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.