Is today’s marketplace full of opportunity or obstacles?
A majority of SMB manufacturers and distributors see today’s economic market as more challenge than opportunity. But this doesn’t need to slow you down. A key component to sustainable growth is shifting your sales and service culture to tackle two of your biggest challenges; falling margins and stagnant sales growth.
The good news is that SMBs represent more than 98% of manufacturing firms in the country. The power to win is on your side. Your innovative and entrepreneurial spirit is an advantage. As is your ability to develop personal relationships with customers and the agility to adapt quickly to their specific needs. Achieving your growth goals requires that your sales and service teams can do the same.
Upgrade Skills for Tenured Sales Teams
Small and mid-size manufacturers and distributors often have a tenured sales team that may be struggling to adapt to the changing marketplace, as well as the role they play in it.
Sales reps no longer:
- Serve as the primary source of information
- Provide the primary conduit for customers to place orders
- Succeed as well with handshake deals and good ole’ boy tactics
Your most experienced sales reps may now be working with customers who are one or two generations removed.
That’s why you need to up the game of your sales reps by equipping them with sales training and coaching. But it’s important to realize that a one-off training will not get the job done.
Your reps will make the time and effort to develop the sales skills needed to succeed today when the sales training and coaching is:
- Preceded by an audit to identify strengths and barriers to growth
- Tailored to respect their skills, experience, and style
- Designed to “stick” to keep sales reps relevant and valuable resources for your customers
- Delivered in a collaborative manner with tools and processes to support behavioral change
Sales Training Isn’t the End Game…Customer Service Must Sustain Growth
Once you’ve enabled your sales team to drive sales growth, your service team needs to meet the hard-won customer’s expectations effortlessly to retain and grow those customers.
Your customer service advantage becomes the driving force to ensure:
- Relationships remain strong
- Repeat orders roll in
- Account footprints expand
- Loyalty grows, along with customer lifetime value
Establishing a consistent customer experience through compelling and empathetic service conversations allow you to deliver value with each and every contact.
SMB Manufacturers and Distributors Are Not One-Size-Fits-All
Your sales and service training should not be a one-size fits all. Every small and mid-sized manufacturer or distribution business was started by a founder with a passion for the products brought to market. Each of you has grown differently.
That’s why you need a partner who understands how to honor what you’ve built and strengthen your ability to sell and serve more strongly.
Sales Pro Insider is the consulting firm that works with you to provide upbeat, interactive, collaborative training and coaching. We understand that each and every one of your sales and service people may adapt differently to new skills development, tools, and process improvements. By helping each one focus on their strengths and reinforcing positives, they’ll be able to shift their mindsets to have conversations that count.