For more than 50 years European manufacturers built their reputation on high quality—and then the tides turned. Quality took a back seat to speed, cost and time-to-market. New competition from Asia and the Americas, higher production costs and requests for more personalization caused European manufacturers to reevaluate current practices.
In our latest white paper, The New Industrial Revolution: Future-Proofing European Manufacturing Sales in the 21st Century we share insights into how manufacturing sales teams can navigate these dramatic transformations and turn themselves into the modern sales organizations that this industry needs.
A New Perspective on Your Selling Strategy
With €17 billion in funding earmarked for industrial leadership by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, manufacturers must be prepared for the growth opportunity that awaits them—which means sales teams must revamp how they approach complex sales processes. Buyers today are more informed, and expect sellers to truly understand their business goals as well as their product, team and processes. Sellers also need to prepare to work within channel sales, as up to 70% of European manufacturing business involves selling with and through third parties.
In short: companies need to invest in aligning people, as well as processes and technology to kickstart sales transformation.
By understanding how to sell with perspective—how to identify the appropriate stakeholders and solve business problems unique to them—manufacturing sales teams will win more deals and grow market share.
Understand The Team You’re Selling To
In the 2018-2019 Sales Performance Study, CSO Insights, the research division of Miller Heiman Group, surveyed 103 manufacturing sales leaders globally. The study uncovered that 72 percent of them cite their biggest challenge as identifying and gaining access to decision makers.
It’s not uncommon to include six or more individuals as part of the buying decision and for each stakeholder to have a different valid business reason, proving that manufacturing sellers need to develop the right perspective when speaking to each member of the purchasing group.
What European Manufacturing Sellers Need to Do
In the report, we offer defined, actionable sales transformation strategies that European manufacturing sales leaders can begin to implement now, such as:
- Understanding the needs of every stakeholder
- Focusing on channel management
- Using predictive analytics
- Teaching competitive advantage
With just 32 percent of buyers feeling like sellers exceed their expectations, modern manufacturing companies need to invest in their sellers and equip them with the right perspective that goes beyond technical knowledge. CSO Insights found that sellers who exceed buyer expectations outperform sellers who merely meet expectations by 12.4 percent. That’s an edge that any European manufacturing sales leader would love to have.
Get ahead of the competition and start thinking about how you can re-envision your sales approach by downloading the The New Industrial Revolution: Future-Proofing European Manufacturing Sales in the 21st Century here.
Contact us to learn more about how Miller Heiman Group can enable your organization’s sales transformation.