For global and domestic manufacturers alike, the struggle is real to stay up-to-speed with the latest and greatest marketing technologies. Unlike consumer-facing brands, manufacturers have more complicated buying journeys and complex sales processes. Whether they make a multi-million dollar piece of equipment or a specialized custom tool, manufacturers rely on highly-trained and knowledgeable product specialists to close sales. So how do you leverage today’s modern marketing tools and automations to support a business model that still requires a hands-on, consultative approach to sales?
CREATING EFFICIENCIES IN THE SALES CYCLE
Within the manufacturing space, the sales cycle easily spans between six months to a year. And depending on the industry, additional complexity around federal funding or regulations easily extends timelines and pushes out deals. Keeping these complex, rolling deals alive can be an exhausting game of hurry up and wait. So in managing these ongoing deals, organizations quickly adopted CRM platforms to keep record of interactions and exchanges throughout the sales cycle.
But even the most robust CRM platform still relies on its users to perform an action — sending an email, making a call, checking the account. What if you leveraged marketing automation to automatically perform those tasks for you? Marketing automation supports manufacturing sales teams by creating a unified customer experience, keeping leads warm or moving them through the funnel, and automatically qualifying high-value opportunities.
Within the sales cycle, marketing automation establishes a consistent customer experience from the very start. This experience makes or breaks deals. Customer expectations, regardless of industry, continue to evolve as technology advances. Consistent outreach and communication, especially at the start of the engagement, establishes a relationship and helps earn trust.
HOT & HEAVY OR SLOW & STEADY
Automated outreach within the sales cycle can also be used to prioritize certain types of leads. If a lead expresses interest in a high-value product, automated emails can compliment personalized outreach, like phone calls. Additionally, using multiple channels lets you meet leads where they’re most comfortable. Especially in the very beginning of the buying journey, a phone call to discuss requirements or product features may be overwhelming or off putting in this digital age. Consider automating an email offering to answer any questions for a softer, more consultative approach to sales.
Automated drip campaigns can also ease the burden on sales of facilitating consistent contact with early-stage leads. And even though they’re automated, drip campaigns can use templatized emails or plain-text messages to look as though they’re being sent from a specific sender. Drip campaigns also help to capture a lead’s level of interest. Looking at engagement metrics, like email opens and clicks, of early-stage leads can indicate buying intent or product interest.
LEV-eraging our extensive experience with consumer brands, we at Lev help manufacturers support highly-skilled sales teams by using marketing automation. We work with industrial leaders to scale up their marketing programs and meet an increase in market demand. Working alongside sales and product teams, our Salesforce CRM and Marketing Cloud experts lead organizations through digital transformation.