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The Ultimate Guide to Digital Sales for Manufacturing Companies

Posted by Sabine Kempe on Dec 21, 2020 2:40:31 PM
Sabine Kempe
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How to Achieve Growth & Profitability in a Challenging Economy 

Key forces driving digital disruption

2021 - The manufacturing industry is going through a phase of significant disruptions.

Skyrocketing market demands and increasing global competition add pressure to manufacturing companies that already fight slim margins and complex business conditions.

The Covid-19 crisis adds more fuel to the fire with strained resources and profits, disrupted supply chains, and painfully uncovered digital gaps.

Where does that leave today’s discrete manufacturers? Among the classic objectives of reducing costs on all ends and improving overall efficiency, businesses are gaining a new vision:

Operating profitably, selling simply, and leading their industry with 100% customer focus. These are now the new B2C goals in a B2B world.

The key forces driving digital disruption in manufacturing companies

The key forces driving digital disruption in manufacturing companies

 

How can these new goals be achieved?

With smart manufacturing and connectivity on the rise promising Lot Size 1 business models are within reach. Advanced manufacturing methods are overthrowing the economics of production to make customized products and short innovation cycles affordable. And according to Deloitte digital mature companies are 3 times more likely to report annual net revenue growth and net profit margins significantly above their industry average!

With an ocean of digital technology options and competition on their heels - or ahead of them - sales leaders must focus on future-fit strategies that support their complex manufacturing business models. And ultimately, they must deliver a first-class customer experience.

But how can your sales organization transform to meet these objectives?

 

Harnessing Manufacturing complexities to drive sales success

According to Gartner, more than two-thirds of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience! So what hinders Manufacturers from capitalizing on a customer-first approach?

According to Gartner, more than two-thirds of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience!

First of all, Manufacturing is a capital-intensive and mainly product-focused business that traditionally does not easily pivot to meet changing market and customer demands. On top, industrial companies have a unique set of challenges when implementing digital technologies to meet these demands:

  • Thousands of configurable products or selection options
  • A vast manufacturing and engineering knowledge to manage
  • High customer expectations and individual requirements
  • Complex costing and pricing
  • A multitude of approval and collaboration processes
  • Countless variable factors in production execution
  • Difficulties in customer service and after-sales

Poor sales process in manufacturing leading to revenue loss

Poor sales process in manufacturing leading to revenue loss

 

All these challenges are driven by a major lack of data availability and transparency due to siloed or outdated systems. This is where manufacturing sales teams trip up. And this is why they only spend 37% of their time selling, and the rest of the time drowning in Excel sheets, admin tasks, and Sales Ops communications.

Long cycle times, vanishing margins, high error costs and customer retention problems are the new target zones to focus on in your battle to mass-produce manufacturing sales success.

Accelerate sales, empower growth – making digital count

PWC predicts that 86% of manufacturers will benefit from digitalization over the next five years. These benefits will come from cost reductions and revenue gains.

70% of digital transformation initiatives will hit unmanageable roadblocks along the way.However, according to McKinsey, a massive 70% of digital transformation initiatives will hit unmanageable roadblocks along the way. The question then becomes this: How can your manufacturing business make its digital initiatives count?

Modern sales leaders have recognized the irreversible need to evolve with technology. They are now looking for the right path that leads to the desired rewards. With an ocean of digital technology options—and competition smelling blood—you might be wondering what future-fit strategies can help you improve sales effectiveness, maximize customer satisfaction and lower costs.

 

22% of manufacturing industry leaders saw higher than expected returns on their digital investment (RODI)

In a recent study by Accenture, 22% of manufacturing industry leaders saw higher than expected returns on their digital investment (RODI).

What did they do differently? Their investment in digital follows industry-specific best-practices and solutions that matches their digital maturity level. With a strategic approach towards digitalization, the benefits can far outweigh the risks.

Pushing digital success for Manufacturing

Manufacturers around the globe are adopting digital strategies to disrupt existing business models and contend in hypercompetitive markets. But the path to success is not straightforward.

In an economy where market conditions are changing at lightning speed, agility and speed are at the essence of any transformation. But in your industry - where complexity and capital-heavy production take center stage - a ‘transformation’ is as welcome as a power outage.

Manufacturers holding off their digital transformation in anticipation of the “right time” need to realize that it is now. Lost opportunities aside, competitors - that have begun their digital journey in advance are now leading the sector.

Here are the 6+1 core competencies digital champions have in common:

  1. A consistent customer and market transparency

  2. Uniform management of sales projects

  3. Efficient collaboration at any time with all stakeholders

  4. Transparency through real-time access to all data

  5. A fast and reliable creation of configurations and offers - direct, indirect, digital

  6. A consistently excellent customer experience across all sales channels

+1 Digitization as a strategy and not a project

 

Manufacturers secure major wins by optimizing the sales process and digitalizing their product expertise.Conclusion: Manufacturers secure major wins by optimizing the sales process and digitalizing their product expertise.

Where the Age of the Customer meets the Era of Technology-Driven Innovation, there are still too many industrial companies struggling with digital transformation. The good news? Manufacturers that dare to switch gears now are presented with best-match technology options that are tried and tested and promise quick Time-to-Value and exceptional Return-on-Investment.


Do you want to learn more? Contact our experts to get a free assessment of your sales process and digital maturity level!

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Sabine Kempe

Written by Sabine Kempe

Sabine - a manufacturing sales expert and cloud enthusiast at heart, she is dedicated to matching the challenges of manufacturing businesses with the opportunities of a digitalized world.

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