Marketing- Companies from industrial sectors such as mechanical engineering increasingly have to focus on. The digital transformation, of the business world makes data the most important raw material of the 21st century. A high degree of digitization creates the conditions for high sales growth. These findings are present in corporations and have long since arrived in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Industrial SMEs are actively promoting digitization in more and more business processes. However, when it comes to marketing and sales and the associated market observation, many SMEs are still taking traditional approaches.
“There are many reasons for the hesitant attitude, especially in these strategically important areas. Often it fails due to ignorance of the modern tools available today. And also to the caution due to ever-stricter data protection regulations or simply to well-established structures and processes,”.
Medium-sized industrial companies should consider the following seven developments to prevent negative effects on marketing and sales.
Marketing- New Digitally-Driven Markets
New digitally-driven markets – such as autonomous driving and smart cities – are highly dynamic. Classic industrial companies often see (too) late where these new markets are emerging, competitors appear, or old markets are being completely questioned. Established, successful SMEs often have a solid customer base in a tightly focused market that has grown over the years. Owner-run family businesses sometimes stick to well-established structures. There is often a lack of skilled workers, time and courage to think outside the box, unlike dynamic venture capital-fueled start-ups.
Gut Feeling In Marketing And Sales Activities
Sales activities very often focus first and foremost on gut instinct. And with it the famous “vitamin B,” i.e., relationships with potential customers, networks and personal contact. The classic sales strategies include telephone (cold) acquisition and mailings. But also the field service, which has proven to be all the more difficult in times of pandemics.
Insufficient Data Basis
There is a lot of data about customers and markets, but it is often unstructured, with media breaks and of mixed quality. Outdated and incorrect sales data contain incorrect or incomplete information about prospects and existing customers. This can harm marketing and sales processes. Inadequate data means that marketing and sales teams are ill-prepared for action, harming both conversion rates and the brand’s reputation.
Measure The Effectiveness Of Marketing And Sales
Measuring the effectiveness of marketing activities is important, which now works great online. Unfortunately, SMEs still often use offline measures that cannot be measured. In this way, it cannot be properly ensured that salespeople speak to the right target groups and contact persons, ask the right questions and make informed decisions. This is where digital marketing scores with very good measurability and high effectiveness, as shown by successful examples from content marketing, email marketing and social media marketing.
Reservations About Digital Solutions
When developing new products, SMEs repeatedly prove to be very agile, innovative and creative. Some even rise to the Olympus of hidden champions and, for example, supply the world market with highly specialized technical components of laser technology or optoelectronics from an inconspicuous commercial building. While the development department is digitally well equipped, the urge to innovate suddenly ends at the gates of the management or the department for marketing and sales. Well-established methods seem too proven to be questioned, and there are reservations about digital solutions. They are often considered too expensive to buy, legally critical in terms of data protection and complicated to use.
Networking Between The Departments
Marketing and sales require everyone involved to understand their own company, product and business. This can only be achieved through networking and lively exchange between the departments. Marketing, sales and communication, however, are often inadequately networked in terms of processes and technology. This discrepancy is often deeply rooted in the corporate culture and manifests itself in silo-like structures and a lack of communication between the departments. However, a lack of communication leads to faulty processes.
Renewal Of Marketing And Sales
Industrial companies cannot avoid renewing their traditional marketing and sales models. However, the strategic focus of SMEs are often on their core competencies, i.e., research, development and production. Developments and innovation potential in other areas such as marketing and sales are often recognized too late. Especially SMEs that do not modernize their go-to-market strategy through the targeted use of technology will not be able to improve their sales growth and customer satisfaction – and at best, will remain in the status quo.
Modern Sales And Marketing Tools Can Help
Many SMEs do not know their actual market potential and which potential customers could be interested in their offer outside of their customer list. It is crucial to have the right information available at the right time. SaaS offers for digital sales and marketing support can remedy this efficiently and effectively.
Sales engagement platforms help sales teams to optimize and automate the interaction with customers and prospects via digital channels. These platforms can usually even be integrated into the company’s CRM system. These provide metrics for tracking sales emails. Depending on the product, they can also include sales content recommendation, sales cadence creation, campaign management, email planning, message A / B testing, follow-up reminders, click-to-call, and sales intelligence.
Target: B2B Database For Current Sales Opportunities
With Target, for example, Echobot offers the largest B2B database for current sales opportunities. Companies can draw on a wealth of resources here, a constantly updated database that includes over twelve million companies from the DA-CH region and Great Britain. SMEs that take the decisive modernization step with such a solution provide their sales force with a tool to find potential B2B customers they have not yet had on their radar. Users can filter search results according to detailed criteria to land exact hits that belong to the target group.
The intelligent linking of static databases with dynamic content from the Internet creates new possibilities such as selecting according to web content, news, signals, technologies used or key financial figures. In addition, the leads are enriched with additional data such as sales, number of employees, news, etc., so that SMEs receive better and more qualified leads.
Practical Example: Marketing And Sales At SIE Solutions
SIE Solutions, based in Lustenau / Vorarlberg, specializes in digitization and system integration and acts as a solution provider for system design, agile development, professional production, and the delivery of embedded systems and cyber-physical systems. For SIE Solutions, it is important to have a complete overview of the market and competition and to be able to use automated reports on customers and competitors regularly.
For a long time, the company relied on gut instinct when assessing market developments and competitors, which ultimately was ineffective. Today SIE Solutions uses a digital, cloud-based platform for sales and marketing intelligence to identify competitors, find potential new customers and monitor market trends. The provider of embedded systems benefits from a complete overview of the market and observing the competition. The sales team succeeded in reducing the time required for sales preparation by 90 percent and optimizing new customer acquisition.
Successful In The Market With Sales & Marketing Intelligence
Sales and marketing will become more and more data-driven – and this development will not pass SMEs by. For SMEs, it’s about finding their next customers faster. And to make the go-to-market strategy more efficient to be a decisive step ahead in the competitive environment. “What is needed is high-quality sales and marketing intelligence data for addressing customers in compliance with data protection regulations. Modern B2B databases guarantee topicality and conformity. Modern tools for sales & marketing intelligence, on the other hand, make it possible to act intelligently, dynamically and flexibly. In this way, innovative SMEs with excellent products also manage to achieve the same business performance,”.