Sales enablement is a powerful process that helps drive sales success. But how does this work within the manufacturing industry? Well, although the industry is changing all of the time, the need for sales success is always at the forefront.
With the advantage of a digitally connected world, trade, collaboration and connection is possible anytime and anywhere - across the globe. If you’re not already familiar with sales enablement then you could be missing out on a vital concept.
It shouldn’t be overlooked and it could be the process you’re looking for to skyrocket your business growth and return of investment. In this post, we’ll cover what sales enablement is, what it means for manufacturers and why you might need to invest. After all, if it’s guaranteed to create business success, it’s worthwhile, isn’t it?
What is sales enablement?
According to HubSpot, sales enablement is the iterative process of providing your business’s sales team with the resources they need to close more deals. These resources include content marketing, knowledge, technology, and the correct tools and facilities to sell productively and successfully.
In simple terms, it all comes down to doing sales better - taking a holistic look at data, technology and processes to create the best sales ecosystem possible. It’s about connection, collaboration and understanding. If you understand what your prospective customers want, you’ll be able to give it to them and increase your overall sales and customer retention.
Sales enablement isn’t just selling your services to others. It involves research, in-depth analysis and thought-led tactics. It’s a targeted approach to guaranteed sales success.
What is sales enablement for manufacturers?
Why would you need content when you can just pick up the phone and start selling? Well, content is informative, it’s thought-led (if done correctly) and it’s a key communication tool. The manufacturing industry can be confusing but with the right content, you can be a thought-leader in your field.
Good content answers questions and provides solutions - your business might be the chosen solution. With the correct content, you can build trust with your audience, improve conversions, connect with customers, and most importantly, generate leads.
Ensure all the content you produce is audited and valuable for the sales team. If it is, the content will do the talking. Also, centralise the valuable content so the sales team can access it and then start educating your prospects with helpful information. You don’t want them wasting valuable time searching for the information.
Case study creation
The ultimate persuasion tool is other peoples success stories. Convert more leads by showing another customer's success. Case studies should be data-focused, they should outline the problem the customer had at the beginning and they should outline how your product helped the customer overcome it.
Case studies, give you the ability to frame your product in the way you want - don’t overlook them!
Reporting and analysis
Numbers, statistics and databases can be overwhelming and confusing for anyone. But if your team is confused it will slow everything down and damage productivity. Bespoke systems should be in place so everyone can access the information as and when required.
Standardised reports and review
Know what reports you need to generate to create success and remember to develop them over time to keep track of everything. You want to analyse your success and see the areas that need development. Reviewing the reports you make is essential. Highlight points of disconnect in the sales process too such as converting leads into sales - to highlight where sales performance can be improved.
Build lead scoring systems to assign positive and negative triggers to leads based on fit. Manufacturers using CRM platforms can assign leads to reps the minute they convert from your site! This is an incredible chance to spark conversations and get the connections started.
Technology and automation
Technology is the perfect chance to modernise your manufacturing sales process. Save your team valuable time and make things run more efficiently and smoothly. With the right systems in place, you’ll be flying with your sales, communications and customer service.
If your sales team isn't generating leads elsewhere, get them to target your prospects through the art of email marketing. Craft follow-ups, use personalised tokens and save HOURS of laborious email admin by scheduling automated emails for each stage of the customer journey. Don’t let prospects forget about your amazing manufacturing processes.
Chatbots are the answer to speaking to your prospects as soon as they enter your website. Ask questions, get to know your potential customers and target high grade leads. It’s an efficient way to keep track of conversations and add a voice to your brand. Manufacturing can be deemed as boring to some, so add a little personal touch.
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that lets people superimpose digital content (images, sounds, text) over a real-world environment. It’s creative, imaginative and it does all of the hard work for your potential customers. It can help customers visualise the products, it can instruct and guide, it enhances decision making and it can also be a great way to interact with your potential and existing customers. Augmented reality can help your sales team communicate the product features and benefits by visually representing them.
Training and development
How do you expect your sales team to keep generating sales and working to their optimal level without the guidance and help? Provide them with training so they can use the processes you’ve implemented correctly.
Show them how to make their job easier and connect with them on a personal level and develop their weaknesses, they’ll repay you with great work. If you’re putting in the work to maintain good customer service and relationships, focus this effect on your team too. Make them feel appreciated!
A CRM system
With 81 percent saying they’re ready to invest in new digital technologies to boost productivity, you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunities available. Be one step ahead, start targeting, get real-time reports, rationalise your sales moves and know what your customers really want. It’s a no-brainer for manufacturing companies who are wanting to take their services to the next level.
Do you need sales enablement?
If you’re wanting to take your existing sales to the next level or reach new leads - it shouldn’t be overlooked. If you want a skilled team that can target new customers in the best way possible, then it’s a priority.
Sales enablement plays a key role in scaling the sales organisation. It provides all the salespeople with the best practices, the best resources and the best knowledge to be successful in recruiting new leads.
Without sales enablement, you could be missing out on connections that could help you grow your business. You’ll also have a sales team that isn’t in the loop with everything that’s going on in the business.
For the best collaborations to happen, everyone needs to be equipped with the right tools and information. You need your business to be streamlined, focused and in line with the wider organisational goals.
Put your business first, recruit new customers and grow your business. Sales enablement is essential. It’s the foundation of all great partnerships. Show your industry that you’re a thought-leader and know your stuff. It always works in your favour, that’s for sure.
Do you need help with your sales? Red-Fern can help!
Do you do anything we mentioned? If you do, that’s incredible! You’re en route to enabling sales, keep going! If you don’t do anything we mentioned or you’re looking to further streamline your existing sales process, see if you can make a few tweaks, and measure the results. If not, our expert team can certainly help.
With over 30 years of combined experience in the manufacturing industry - we’re experts in our field and we can provide the guidance and support you need. Get in touch with us and start putting your sales first - it’s an investment long term.