Research from Capterra indicates that among 500 businesses surveyed, while CRM software is widely adopted among sales teams in general, only about 6 percent of manufacturing companies have adopted it. We think that number should be much higher!Read More 3 minute read
Hint: it’s not as simple as a CRM is for sales and marketing automation is for marketing. Each type of software has some unique features geared toward sales or marketing audiences, but there is also plenty of overlap. There are many options for sales and marketing tech out there with different combinations of features and the ability to customize to meet your needs. Here we will clarify the general differences and similarities.Read More 4 minute read
Editor's note: this blog was originally published in December 2014 and has been revised and updated in May 2020 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
My last blog discussed the problems that can arise from an inconsistent sales pipeline. I equate it to riding a roller coaster. When sales are going up, all is great! But when sales are going down, you lose your stomach. Not exactly the kind of thrill ride you want for your business!Read More 2 minute read
COVID-19 has presented many obstacles and life-changing behaviors in our daily lives, and yet I am finding some positive effects on our collective business lifestyle. Many of us are experiencing remote work for the first time, and that has presented options and opportunities to hone our communication and organization skills. We’ve all had to be creative and adaptable during these rapidly-changing times, and this has led us to a variety of helpful tools. I anticipate many will retain some of today’s changes into the future, creating new ways of working and making a lasting impact as we move forward.Read More 3 minute read
When we reflect on our sales and marketing work and assess areas of strength and areas for improvement, it’s hard to know where to start or what benchmarks to refer to. Often, we slip into stream-of-consciousness thinking where one idea leads to the next until we have little direction and even fewer action items as a result.Read More 3 minute read
A predictable sales forecast - is that even possible? We don’t often use "predictable" and "sales" in the same sentence. Our forecast often feels more like a roller coaster ride - not very smooth and not very predictable.
However, we refer to our sales forecast like a prediction of sales to come. So if your sales forecast is a prediction of future sales revenue, we had better stop guessing at the numbers and begin to create a foundation based on information. Oh yeah - and there is no such thing as a crystal ball.Read More 2 minute read
Most of us would agree that strategy execution is critical to running a successful business. In manufacturing, you won’t last long if you can’t figure out how to build widgets to spec or ship them to your customers. B2B sales and marketing are no different. You need a big picture strategy and goal to guide your work but you also need a plan for how to get it done.Read More 3 minute read
If you’re like most in manufacturing, continuous improvement is always on your mind. You spend hours finding ways to streamline production, innovate, bring more value to your customers, increase your revenue, and on and on. One way that manufacturers realize improvement in operations is through formal Centers of Excellence (CoE). It’s hardly a new concept on the production side of manufacturing but have you considered this approach for your marketing, sales, and customer service (a.k.a. client-facing) teams too? Here’s why you should.Read More 4 minute read
Imagine you’ve been tasked with selecting a supplier for a custom manufacturing project. You’ve been involved with the design from the start and, despite some lingering questions about the part’s geometry, you’re heavily invested in a good outcome so you can bring an innovative product to market quickly.Read More 3 minute read
In part two of this series we looked at outbound activities and the time it takes to create, train, and deploy a consistent outreach campaign. It’s not as easy as picking up the phone and closing a deal. It seems simple enough- but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it successfully. The world of sales and marketing – inbound (pulling prospects to you via digital strategies) and outbound (reaching out to engage new opportunities) -- is complex and as a result requires planning and patience. These two activities are interdependent. Consider how gears in synch run smoothly while gears with broken teeth grind and choke. Our two gears, inbound and outbound, need to be tooled well and working in concert. This blog takes a deeper dive into inbound.Read More 5 minute read
No matter how long you’ve been in manufacturing, you’re acutely aware that timing is everything these days. You’ve invested in a facility and production lines carefully designed for flexibility and maximum output in the least amount of time. Maybe you’re thinking it would be nice to have the same kind of control when it comes to lead generation: plan the process, hit the quota. But- it doesn’t quite work like that.Read More 3 minute read