November 13, 2018

A Global Sales and Marketing Strategy for Manufacturing Companies

By Matt Suggs

In an industry that once relied heavily on relationship-based selling, selling in a digital-first world brings distinct new challenges to manufacturing companies. The needs of modern buyers are changing, and sales and marketing teams must be aligned to meet these needs in every interaction.

Manufacturers, especially those with an extensive global footprint, experience the complication of aligning their sales and marketing teams. Yet, the alignment of sales and marketing teams is critical for success, especially when businesses that effectively align their teams see a 208% higher marketing revenue than those who don’t.

Here are two prominent challenges keeping manufacturers from successfully aligning their sales and marketing teams and how to fix them.

Challenge: Communicating the good and bad assets
As organizations expand their business, communication becomes more challenging. The struggle to streamline communication and content workflow between sales and marketing teams continues to be an issue, allowing important insights to fall through the cracks. Sales and marketing teams already struggle to connect on what content resonates with buyers, but on a global scale, it can be even more difficult to adequately understand how marketing efforts perform in the sales process.

Data helps sellers win business and prioritize opportunities. However, sellers often struggle to find the right data at the right time for the right client. This leaves both sales and marketing teams guessing at what content needs to be produced to have the most impact.

Solution: Real-time insights
By receiving information in real-time, when using tools such as intuitive dashboards and reports to track the effectiveness for every piece of content used in selling interactions, marketing teams have the insights they need to create more tailored content for their sales reps to leverage in presentations.

Providing unique insights is a necessary piece of the sales process because modern buyers want more from their selling interactions. The use of technology equips sellers with more relevant content, which can be easily accessed to deliver the right message and add value to the buyer’s unique business problem. Selling solutions provide marketing and sales leaders with a better understanding of what content is resonating with customers so they can easily identify which presentations are driving sales.

Givaudan, a Swiss manufacturer of flavors, fragrances and active cosmetic ingredients, leverages sales enablement technology, which has been proven to accelerate deal closure, drive company growth and repeat business, to provide their global team with real-time insights into the most successful marketing collateral for every sales interaction.

Challenge: Engaging buyers
Organizations need to move away from generic, static sales pitches. In the age of digital transformation, manufacturing sales reps still using paper-based brochures or product sheets are at a serious disadvantage. With modern buyers having more access to product information than ever before, they are expecting more from the sales pitch. For this reason, sellers must be able to provide valuable insights and data that is unique to their buyer’s specific business problems.

However, a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Mediafly revealed that 23% of manufacturing partner sellers lack the resources to facilitate data-driven discussions, while 25% of manufacturing partners struggle to personalize their sales interactions.

Solution: Interactive presentations
By converting paper-based content to digital assets, both marketing and sales leadership gain visibility into the assets being used during meetings and which content resonates with prospects. Having the ability to recognize whether a buyer spends more time assessing Product A or Product B will help shape the strategy for future conversations.

In addition to aiding teams in their transition to a new kind of sales engagement, one which results in a value-adding interaction, sales enablement technology allows manufacturing sales reps the ability to enhance buyers’ experience by turning a static presentation into a collaborative and engaging discussion.

In the case of Givaudan, the company empowers their sellers with value-adding content to improve storytelling abilities and keep potential prospects engaged with presentations that offer insights into their unique business problems.

In today’s modern world, companies that do not invest in technologies that ease their ability to align sales and marketing teams are setting themselves up for failure. To upgrade their sales interactions, manufacturing sellers across the globe must offer more value by showcasing products in a way that keeps potential buyers engaged and focused on the benefits.

Matt Suggs is the EVP of Mediafly and leads their commercial and customer success teams.