It’s quickly becoming common knowledge in the business world today: to win over new customers and maintain existing ones, manufacturers must create a truly ‘relevant’ sales experience. But what exactly does that mean? And how can manufacturers ‘walk the talk’ with a truly relevant, customer-focused approach to sales?

Read more

Why manufacturing companies need a truly relevant sales approach

It’s quickly becoming common knowledge in the business world today: to win over new customers and maintain existing ones, manufacturers must create a truly ‘relevant’ sales experience. But what exactly does that mean? And how can manufacturers ‘walk the talk’ with a truly relevant, customer-focused approach to sales? In this article, we want to go beyond the relevance hype and show how best practices can make your sales activities more relevant and more effective. 

Purchase decisions are increasingly complex 

To take a relevant approach to sales, it’s important to understand how your customers make purchase decisions in the first place. Back in the day, purchase decisions were often a fairly straightforward, linear process, involving only a few decision makers. Today, the decision-making unit is generally much larger and more diverse. It involves many different stakeholders, sometimes spanning across multiple levels of a company’s management. Each of these individuals has specific needs and drivers that need to be accounted for.  

What this means for manufacturers is that your sales approach needs to be equally diverse. It starts with understanding what makes each decision-maker tick. You’re no longer targeting just one type of buyer. Your company will need to develop sales-enablement content that targets multiple buyer personas within a single company. What are their needs and expectations when it comes to the product, communication, service and long-term outlooks? By identifying and focusing sharply on these topics, your sales team is already on the path towards offering a relevant sales experience. 

Being relevant is not the same as being kind 

Successful companies care about the success of their customers. Naturally, that means offering excellent presales and after-sales support and building long-term, trust-based partnerships. People skills are a crucial asset to establishing valuable customer relations. There’s no doubt about it: you’ve got to be ‘kind’ to your customers. But being relevant is more than that.  

A relevant sales approach means proactively addressing your customers’ concerns and thinking alongside them to find the best solutions for their individual needs. It also means solving potential problems before they occur. Above all, it’s all about putting yourself in your potential buyer’s shoes and predicting how your product fits into their business success now and in the future. 

Digital sales tools help you achieve relevance 

Are you interested in making your manufacturing company’s sales approach more relevant? If so, then digital tools are a useful resource. Digitalized sales teams use their company’s CRM platform like a personal sales assistant. It contains valuable data about past interactions with your customers, which gives you a deeper understanding of who you’re dealing with. With these insights, you can personalise your approach and give your customers the feeling that you are working proactively at their side to address their unique needs. 

By fully mobilising your company’s CRM platform as a sales tool, your sales team can understand the challenges your customers face and identify relevant selling points. Even something as simple as setting periodic reminders in your CRM to check in with customers makes a strong impression and keeps your company ‘top of mind’ among buyers. Proactive sales outreach like this positions your company to exceed customers’ expectations, which is a true sign of relevance. 

Personal relevance means focusing on people 

Using digital tools is essential for maintaining a relevant sales approach. After all, you’re going to need plenty of background data and automated processes to effectively manage buyer relations. Just remember above all that there are real human beings behind the interactions and statistics in your CRM platform.  

People love doing business with people. Any customer-facing member of your organisation, whether they are in sales or support, should focus on capturing rich, personal details in your CRM platform in the first place. Then, your sales team will be better equipped to offer a relevant sales experience, because they can speak in terms that are sure to resonate with the buyer. 

Would you like to know more?

Niels Waslander
Business Consultant

Niels.Waslander@crmpartners.com