Every industry is facing a talent drought now. But for the manufacturing sector, the impact can be devastating. Lack of sales engineers means solution innovation grinds to a halt. Lack of expert sales reps, revenue falls, and profits dry up. These are the worst-case scenarios that leading manufacturers are leveraging digital transformation to avoid.
No matter how painful or disruptive it gets, manufacturers can’t afford to brush off Industry 4.0. If anything, it can be the lifeline that not only saves their business but also propels it to the forefront of the manufacturing industry. But, of course, it won’t be easy to pull off.
For the manufacturing industry, the most obvious path to digital transformation success seems to be in emerging technologies. But AI, robotics, and the like, require a heavy upfront investment. That’s not even mentioning the fact that a manufacturer’s entire infrastructure must be overhauled in order to leverage these new technologies fully.
With sales digitization, manufacturers address several manufacturing sales issues with a single solution. Learn more about it with our comprehensive Roadmap to Digital Go-to-Market Success.
This is a brute force method that can only be done with cash. For most manufacturers, this method is a massive barrier. But instead of waiting, manufacturers would be better served by looking at transforming processes in their businesses. Our recommendation? Start with transforming sales.
Digital sales set the foundation for future transformations
Digital sales is an increasingly attractive proposition for manufacturers. It doesn’t require heavy investment and causes minimal disruption to how the business operates. But it solves multiple immediate sales challenges your manufacturing business is facing today and even helps it become more competitive than before.
Digital sales will address the talent drought you are facingTalent shortage has always been a problem for manufacturers. But recently, due to the pandemic, the problem has erupted into a global phenomenon. Employees are quitting and bringing valuable knowledge and experience with them. Digital sales help address this problem by digitizing and storing knowledge.
For instance, a CPQ stores and turns engineering knowledge into easily accessible options. Instead of requiring an entire team of experts (engineer, sales rep, sales ops, etc...), a customer-facing portal lets the customer configure their own solution with just a few clicks. Your cost-of-sales? Almost zero.
Digital sales can help drive sales efficiency levels to new heightsAutomation is not a benefit reserved for the factory floor. It also works well with the sales process. In the past, traditional manufacturing sales processes comprises multiple time-consuming and manual sub-tasks. Getting the numbers on a quote right and getting it checked and approved by the relevant department can take days.
With digital sales, prices are maintained by the system. Prices and margins are managed and tightly controlled—which means your quotes will always be 100% profitable. Configuration helps sales reps generate quotes in minutes, while automated approval workflows get the quotes approved quickly—so that RFQs can leave your office on the same day.
Digital sales lets manufacturers add new channels with minimal costsA manufacturer’s Digital Sales Platform is the bridge between customers and the business. An embedded customer portal gives customers 24/7 self-service access to everything your business has to offer. They can configure, order, and buy anytime they want to. At the same time, the same convenience can be easily extended to partners, distributors, and dealers.
The system is intelligent enough to tell users apart and apply the appropriate prices and discounts—customers see preferred prices, and partners see how much they can make. With minimal effort, your manufacturing business can have a direct channel to customers and expand its footprint globally by digitally onboarding new partners, dealers, and distributors.
Digital sales automation is rocket fuel for manufacturing sales
Digitizing your entire sales process will not magically solve all your human resources problems. It will not replace your best salespeople completely. They’re still necessary for the success of your manufacturing business. But it gives them and a new generation of salespeople a powerful tool to accelerate sales exponentially.
With a Digital Sales Platform, your current sales team will become more efficient. By spending less time on time-consuming, repetitive, manual tasks, they have the bandwidth to pursue new, more profitable, or more strategic deals. The Digital Sales Platform’s gentle learning curve also means that new sales staff in your expanding sales team can start selling quickly.
Your digital sales, and your manufacturing sales team, will be selling at a new speed. Talent shortages and inefficiencies will be addressed. But the outcomes will depend on your holistic digital strategy and how much focus is given to sales digitization. Download our guide, "The Roadmap to Digital Go-to-Market Success" to learn how you can align sales digitization with your business transformation strategy.
You can also book a no-obligation consultation with our manufacturing experts for a quick walkthrough of the In Mind Cloud Digital Sales Platform, and find out how we can help you digitize sales with a powerful solution built for manufacturing businesses.