How to Shorten the Sales Cycle for Your Industrial Sales Team

Challenges: Community, Leadership

Posted by Meaghan Ziemba

How to Shorten the Sales Cycle for Your Industrial Sales Team

Leveraging simple, but powerful techniques to shorten the sales cycle and create a repeatable process for your industrial sales team.

By: Meaghan Ziemba, Marketing Communications, MakingChips

This year’s Industrial Inbound Summit was held at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, WI -- the perfect venue for a marketing and sales conference that focused on the importance of brand storytelling and a culture of customer first.

The summit was hosted by Top Line Results and Creative Stream, and featured an impressive lineup of speakers and on-site advisors. Each speaker provided tips and tools on how to position your manufacturing business for success in a hyper-competitive, digital world.

Creative Stream partner, Jeff Coon provided a sales formula that focuses on personalization, entertainment, credibility, and scarcity.

 

$ = (P+E/C) x S: Sales = Personalization + (Entertainment/Credibility) x Scarcity

The old formula of hiring a salesperson, going to the same trade shows, knocking on prospects doors, and cold calling no longer works to build a predictable revenue stream. The way that buyers find their information, evaluate their options, consider who to buy from, and how they make decisions has drastically changed with the advancements of technology.

They crave a great customer experience that focuses on their goals and helps them become successful. They want want solutions to their problems, but if you aren’t willing to engage with them and help them learn, they will not be interested buying from your business any time soon.

So, where does your company rate? The secret to success lies in the emotions of your buyer personas without all the fluff. Manufacturers need to determine how well they are selling to the “Buying Brain”, is is the part of the brain that processes fight/flight and emotions (rather than the rational part of the brain).

Businesses should rate themselves in reference to the formula above in terms of sales, marketing efforts and recruitment efforts.


Personalization

Manufacturers need to know each of their buyer personas. They should tailor their communication efforts to individual prospects and customers based on information they gathered through various interactions with them. This could be email communications, follow-up calls after trade shows, online forms they filled out, etc. Personalization offers more relevant information to the audience members you’re trying to target for your products and services. It helps your current customers and prospects feel like you’re directly speaking and engaging with them.

To help improve your personalization efforts, consider the following steps:

  • Identification - with the latest technology, manufacturers now have access to all sorts of data in regards to their leads. The platforms allow companies to track the origin of a lead that visits your site, pages visited, time spent, videos, downloads, etc.
  • Segment - Once you identify a lead, you need to decide what information will trigger what content. Segmenting your leads will help you refine your content strategy based off of first time customers versus repeat visitors.
  • Have a strategy - After you have segmented your leads, create a strategy for each segment that maintains your relevancy and continues to drive your sales.

Implement - Use email, text alerts, or pop-ups to implement your strategy for each segment.


Entertainment

The advancements in mobile technologies allow consumers to search for products and services directly from their smartphones and mobile devices. Video has become a major component in brands’ storytelling strategies to tap into their buyer personas’ emotions. If consumers are not entertained, then chances are, you won’t gain their attention. If you don’t have their attention, then you won’t sell to them.

As an industrial manufacturer, what are two things you could do to immediately improve your entertainment efforts? How can promote your products and services in a way that taps into their hearts and emotions?


Credibility

If customers do not trust you as a brand, then you can guarantee they will not buy from you. How can you improve your credibility to maintain the trust of your current customers and to gain the trust of your prospects?

The short answer - Be honest. Be honest with yourself as well as your market because honesty has value.

Industrial manufacturers can improve their credibility by:

  • Offering education content over promotional content
  • Being transparent and admitting what they are good at and what they are not
  • Provide opportunities for consumers to try before they buy
  • Engage with their audience on social media by responding and reacting to comments and likes
  • Following up with them after troubleshooting a problem they had with a product or service
  • Admitting when they missed something or made a mistake


Scarcity

If you limit the availability of some of your offerings, they have the potential to become more attractive to your audience. It makes customers feel unique and powerful by having access to something valuable and exclusive. There are a variety of ways to incorporate scarcity into your sales process, including:

  • Purchase countdowns
  • Sale price countdowns
  • Next-day shipping countdowns
  • Seasonal offerings
  • Low stock notices
  • Limited edition items
  • Spotlighting customer behavior
  • Using numbers that indicate popularity/demand
  • Showing real-time activity.

Make sure to review your buyer personas and apply the tactics that best suit their needs.

Finally, ask yourself what part of your sales, marketing, or recruitment processes would best benefit from implementing marketing automation/sequences? Who in your organization would be the best to help implement this?