New Business Strategy: Anticipating Changes in the B2B Buying Process

On the whole, the Dutch Manufacturing Industry is faring very well and businesses are reasonably positive about the near future. We say reasonably because there are developments that manufacturing companies are monitoring closely. Examples are the Brexit dilemma, the pressure to become more sustainable, and the growing digitalization. This last point also has major implications for commerce, such as the changing role of sales in the industry. It's time to review your new business strategy...


Changing buying process

With the transition to the digital age, major changes are underway in the buying behavior of prospects and customers. Just five years ago, the Sales Manager of a manufacturing company could still rely on loyal preferred customers. These customers were mostly won through traditional sales efforts and traditional industrial marketing methods such as cold calling, advertising in trade magazines, or exhibiting the product at trade fairs.

But times are changing...

Prospects don't sit around and wait for your sales department to call them. Trade journals aren't even opened. And visiting trade fairs is too much effort.

With the internet evolution, your potential clients are empowered to search for answers and solutions to their business problems and needs themselves. By obtaining information online, they know more ... or think they know more. They are critical and, what's more, don't feel any need to listen to another general ‘sales pitch’.

The three biggest annoyances:

  • Unsolicited cold calling;
  • Aggressive sellers;
  • Limited knowledge level of salespeople.
New Business Strategy: Anticipating Changes in the B2B Buying Process

Changing sales process

Today, 75% of the B2B buying process has already been completed before anyone contacts you. This has major consequences for the commercial playing field in the manufacturing industry. In practice, we see that at many manufacturing companies the new business strategy and the sales process are not yet sufficiently geared to these changes.

The biggest change: the orientation phase now takes place mainly online. In fact: 80% of B2B buyers search online first.

Only when convinced of your technical product or service will prospective clients contact you themselves. Your manufacturing company, product, or service needs, therefore, needs to be visible online and above all distinctive.


Anticipation is profit

When appointments are made, prospects arrive much better prepared. The sales talk is entirely different as a result, with potential customers no longer being afraid of asking very specific questions. And they expect to hear the right answers from someone who knows their business. Because let's face it, wouldn't you much rather be helped by an expert than a salesman?

Sales closes 9% bigger deals with prospects who have been ‘fed’ relevant content from marketing.

To keep an edge over your competitors, anticipating these changes is absolutely essential. It's time for a different approach; an alternative new business strategy, a new way of doing business. Marketing can help your sales team do just that, with the use of industrial marketing. Think for example of improving your visibility and findability, creating a relevant reason for contact, or the transfer of valuable data.

Wondering how this works exactly? Read all about it in our white paper on The Future of the Dutch Manufacturing Company.

New Business Strategy: Anticipating Changes in the B2B Buying Process

Marketing helps sales and vice versa

As an industrial marketing company, we believe that in the future of the manufacturing company, sales and marketing will become one department. Marketing creates high-quality content, analyzes data, and delivers crucial information to sales. Sales feeds marketing with knowledge about what the customer cares about and what is happening in the market. Industrial marketing at its best.

That way, sales, and marketing are in constant contact. They don't necessarily take over each other's tasks but enrich and feed each other with the right information.

 This balanced collaboration between marketing and sales is paying off.

Manufacturing companies where marketing and sales work closely together see their profits rise by 20%.

Whitepaper: De Toekomst van het Nederlandse Maakbedrijf

The Future of the Dutch 
Manufacturing Company

The white paper on sustainable growth, closing the deal and four tips on doing business even better.

Read the whitepaper

New business strategy: conclusion

The days of conventional sales methods where you make random phone calls, driving endless miles, and drink too many coffees are behind us. To stay ahead of your competitors, to (continue to) close deals, and ultimately to secure your business future, the Dutch manufacturing company will have to develop with the times. It's time for another new business strategy.

Standing still is the fastest way of moving backward.

With the changes in the buying and selling process, the role of the seller is also changing. That seller's role is now more important than ever. Fortunately, there are all kinds of digital opportunities to respond to this. Crucial to this is the collaboration between marketing and sales. Together they determine the goal and the desired result.

Curious about what this new way of doing business can do for you? Contact Tim van der Aa. Using practical examples, you will see how the process works, what results it leads to, and what it can do for your manufacturing company.