As manufacturers strive to succeed in an increasingly competitive environment and volatile economic conditions, they are investing in new tools and solutions to help them gain the competitive edge. However, differences in what impacts purchase decisions are not limited to just the business and consumer markets, and manufacturers have their own specific requirements that differ from company to company.
“A marketer selling to manufacturers should recognise that, like business and consumer buyers, they seek different benefits, and must therefore be approached with a distinct marketing strategy,” explains Louise Robinson, MD of CG Consulting. “The primary function of most manufacturing buyers is to investigate and negotiate with suppliers with the aim of making sure what they are buying will fit the needs of their company. For them, considering a purchase is not only about evaluating the merits of the product, but it also includes an evaluation of the support a vendor will offer.”
Purchasing by manufacturers typically requires marketers deal with many decision makers representing several functional areas. Besides being a time-consuming process, dealing with this means marketers must tailor their message to appeal to each person they are speaking to, Robinson adds.
“This is where a tailored database can be an essential tool to success, as can a lead generation campaign. We have seen it happen through customers, who have used our extensive database of all the decision makers in manufacturing in South Africa, as well as our lead generation services, to better understand their own customers. Knowing who you are selling to, and what their needs are, can be the difference between success and failure.”
Whether selling to one manufacturing decision maker or many, a business looking to target this industry will likely to spend a considerable amount of time on face-to-face selling efforts, Robinson says. However, while the majority of spending that occurs when marketing to manufacturers is directed to personal selling, making the sale requires more.
For a start, she says, companies selling to manufacturers must ensure that they offer the right plan for the business they are selling to. “Just because they are open 24/7, doesn’t mean they have a need to reset a user’s password at 4am. It also might mean that that is exactly what they need. Understanding the business is the first step to starting the right conversations.”
Manufacturers also want to deal with companies that have dealt with other manufacturers, and understand the industry, Robinson says. “If a manufacturing buyer is not satisfied with a supplier’s reputation, there is a good chance a sale will not happen. A supplier’s reputation is evaluated in many ways including the quality of products produced and service reliability. This is usually established by word of mouth as well as some research.”
Ultimately, selling to manufacturing companies requires a targeted approach, and a good deal of information and insight, she concludes. “By properly planning and initiating your relationship, manufacturing clients can easily become your most rewarding.”
About CG Consulting
CG Consulting has a young technology direct marketing team that specialises in growing clients’ revenue pipelines through strategically focused lead generation campaigns. The company’s core focus is profiling, gathering market intelligence and looking for opportunities in the market place. CG Consulting is a database specialist with expertise in all aspects of the industry, and specialises in appointment setting across Africa.
CG Consulting’s services are IT-focused, and include outbound telemarketing campaigns into the corporate market in South Africa and the entire African continent; outsourced B2B lead generation campaigns; telemarketing call downs (branding and awareness drives); qualified appointment setting campaigns with corporate clients within Southern Africa and the African continent including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Angola and Egypt; database management and data mining; market research and profiling of corporate clients in South Africa and across Africa, as well as many others.
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