Why it’s important to integrate sales into your process
Sales and Marketing
Why it’s important to integrate sales into your process
Source: Marktspiegel Werkzeugbau
One of the great difficulties of the tool, pattern and mold making industry is the high dependence on individual sectors and the very small number of customers. If you want to break this and appear more flexible in the market, you inevitably have to focus on the subject of sales and position yourself there professionally.
In the past, sales were almost superfluous in the mold making industry. Order books have been full for decades and companies have not had to deal with acquisitions at all. Business has been good, driven largely by loyal existing customers.
Today, the market situation is more dynamic than ever. Tool, pattern and mold manufacturing companies in particular suffer from high turnover in the purchasing departments of their trading partners. In order to get an order, they have to reposition again and again. It’s tedious and mostly an industry-unfamiliar thing. This is where a change of mentality is needed for Benedikt Ruf. He was responsible for the marketing and sales analysis area for the voluntary referral initiative Marktspiegel Werkzeugbau until April 2022. In his view, sales are often not yet established in the industry because many managing directors n haven’t yet fully recognized the need for a continuous market. proximity to ensure the future of their businesses. “If you are only in the business and not close to the market, you will not be able to make sales”, is certain the expert. “Entrepreneurs need to show that they are open to orders. To do this, they need to present themselves and actively ensure their visibility.
Networks with decision makers
Ruf is the serial founder and managing director of the Gindumac used machinery platform. What sets sales apart for him is having an intelligent understanding of what the market needs right now, who decides, in what form decisions are made and how that can be used to achieve business goals. “If you don’t have connections to decision makers, you usually don’t have the ability to bid for anything,” Ruf says. In addition, sales learn how the company can be competitive in a tender – in terms of price, delivery times, quality, innovation and technology.
In theory, a professionally positioned sales force is an important driver for successful businesses. But how can this be translated into concrete actions?
Active sales can only work if there is a clear sales plan aligned with the company’s current turnover and business situation.
Sales via social media are often still underestimated
Entrepreneurs who are not yet using these social media platforms as a sales channel are wasting valuable potential. Ruf is convinced of this. “Social media is a great option for cultivating existing customers and acquiring new ones, because high reach is already possible in free use,” says the expert. “The more prominently you appear in professional networks, the more potential clients can notice you. You must be aware. »
Entrepreneurs should therefore think about how to make the service portfolio visible through the company profile, posts and content. Networking is the alpha and omega of sales success. You can be brave and proactively write to potential new customers or maintain contact with existing customers. Comments and likes are often underestimated, although they also help to gain presence in the target group.
No hasty decisions
As a general rule, any activity that contributes to new customer business is good on its own. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs should not be guided by anarchic actionism. If a bad market situation leads to hasty investments in sales, the basis for planning and setting objectives in line with the company’s strategic objectives is usually lacking. Hasty actionism is of no help at this point. Those who suddenly run out of orders and make acquisitions out of necessity tend to lose sight of the overarching goal of growing the business. This must be avoided. The goal should always be to keep the fridge full until you are hungry.
A sales objective could be, for example: Gain five new customers from the medical technology sector. Sales planning should determine how a business can achieve this goal. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered in advance:
- 1. In what timeframe should the objective be achieved?
- 2. What personnel should be employed to achieve this?
- 3. What measures are needed?
- 4. How can I access the data pool to approach contacts via cold calling or field sales?
“Active sales can only work if there is a clear sales plan aligned with the company’s current turnover and business situation,” says Ruf. “So I advise every entrepreneur to put sales on the strategic agenda.” So those who first think about where they want to go, what activities make strategic sense, and how they can be organized over the course of the year are well advised. Only then, according to the expert, should one free up or accumulate resources for this and invest in cold calling. “It’s important to get straight to the implementation level with well thought out planning. Quick and targeted action is needed. Set a clear goal, set metrics and just do it,” Ruf adds.
Establish sales monitoring as an impact monitoring tool
Sales monitoring, i.e. downstream performance reviews, is just as important as sales activity planning.
The times have changed. If you want to secure orders, you must actively work on it. There is no alternative to selling. This is precisely why it must be integrated into the process chain as a natural component. “Entrepreneurs can no longer afford to rest,” sums up Ruf. “What matters is the process of continuous market cultivation. And it shouldn’t be perceived as arduous. It should feel natural and be experienced by companies. As if it was for them, as the air that ‘they breathe.’
What Ruf values so much about tool, pattern and mold making entrepreneurs is the great passion with which they pursue their work. He explains: “I would like to see entrepreneurs in this industry succeed in transferring this passion into sales and outward communication measures. Because it will be the easiest, most natural and most effective sales tool available to them. »