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Manufacturing Revenue Growth
How to Sell Successfully in a World that Buys
A Guide for: Industrial Manufacturers
•	 OEMs
•...
Executive overview
Manufacturing is sexy again. America’s resurgence excites everyone in the industrial world. And compani...
(978) 238-9898
Ed was going to be an architect because he loved the nexus of
engineering and design. That was before he wa...
93%
of all B2B purchases
originate with an
internet search
Marketo
Buyers are
70%
through their buying
process before they
are willing to speak
to a sales rep
Forrester Research - 66-90%
You manage your
operations....but
you hope for
revenue growth
Why you’ve lost control of top line growth
You make amazing ...
The solution isn’t to tweak something. But that’s the mistake many
companies make. Adding a bit of SEO, social media, anot...
High level - what needs to change
According to the legal definition of a contract (payment in
consideration for product) y...
Digital World Reality Check
You think of your website as a delimited series of pages that was
created as a defined project...
...and of those
95% of buyers
that start with
internet search
80% ignore paid
ads
&
75% never scroll
past the first page
“...
To succeed, therefore, companies need to create a web of information
which helps search engines find them, and clarifies h...
Once your personas are built, and long phrase keyword work is
completed, then you begin to create content designed to reso...
Done consistently and properly this combination will build the flow of traffic to your site - and
increasingly it will be ...
Have you tried
paying your
commercial
credit line with
impressions?
Wondering how to improve your
internet marketing? Down...
Field Notes & Case Studies
Learn how a fiberglass manufacturer uses inbound marketing to drive new leads and increase
sale...
Content? What do we mean?
There are many ways to create content., and many types incuding articles, whitepapers, videos, i...
but….Traffic is meaningless
(like impressions and other market stats that folks like to use)
Are we nuts? We just told you...
CTA leads to
“Landing Page”
with conversion
form
a conversion
creates a prospect
from otherwise
anonymous traffic
Form leads to a “ThankYou Page” which offers
more helpful information
A lead is not a lead
Do you remember bingo card decks and the ‘leads’ they produced? Or
how about the leads that resulted ...
•	 Learn more progressively - As the relationship develops and
prospects seek more specific information as they journey, t...
company offering a handful of others
that are related. Use that conversa-
tion to highlight other types of business
value ...
# of marketing qualified leads X typical nurturing success rate = # of sales qualified
leads
# of sales qualified leads X ...
but there’s an elephant in this room
the topic of marketing budgets
image - LinkedIn
Manage the top line like you manage the bottom line
You live in a real world of facts & figures. For too long you’ve been
...
Customer service? or ongoing engagement
New customers are only part of your revenue calculus. Many
companies measure custo...
What to keep & what to change
This is a pretty substantial change from your traditional approach. But
the improvements whi...
•	 Adapt your broader strategy as you learn more from buyers
•	 Marketing to engineers - it’s an important part of what yo...
Resources you need to do this
If you had the perspective and technical skills in house you’d already be
doing this. You’re...
Obviously there’s a cost to this sort of initiative. There’s often a linear
relationship between the pace / complexity of ...
Conclusion
If someone told you that implementing an ERP system would be easy,
you’d know they were ignorant or lying. Yet ...
Contact Us
Todd Hockenberry
Mobile: +1 (407) 406-3959
todd@top-line-results.com
Orlando, FL
Top Line Results, Inc.
Ed Mars...
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Manufacturing Revenue Growth e-Book

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If you are a manufacturing company you need to grow your revenue. Read how industrial manufacturers can learn how to market and sell in a changing environment.

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Manufacturing Revenue Growth e-Book

  1. 1. Manufacturing Revenue Growth How to Sell Successfully in a World that Buys A Guide for: Industrial Manufacturers • OEMs • Capital Equipment Manufacturers • Automation & Process Control • MRO Suppliers • Industrial Distributors • Consumables Manufacturers
  2. 2. Executive overview Manufacturing is sexy again. America’s resurgence excites everyone in the industrial world. And companies have applied scientific method to improving operational efficiency and quality. It’s a great time to be in manufacturing. But...it’s also getting harder and harder to sell B2B products. Traditional business development approaches are decreasingly effective. There’s a proven and measurable approach which manufacturers can implement. The process proactively: • aligns the sales process to current buying habits • leverages digital tools as drivers of growth rather than gadgets • automates lead nurturing to build a long-term pipeline • establishes broad thought leadership (rather than simple product expertise) • opens new market opportunities • enhances enterprise valuation • allows companies to manage the top line as deliberately as they do the bottom line The beauty of this transition for manufacturers is that as it improves results, it simultaneously creates a framework of analytics and metrics which allow the previously vague world of business development to be measured and managed just like operations. Here’s how to build that for your company….and how to grow revenue and enjoy business in today’s competitive markets. About the Authors Ed Marsh Ed Marsh Todd Hockenberry
  3. 3. (978) 238-9898 Ed was going to be an architect because he loved the nexus of engineering and design. That was before he was going to be an engi- neer; before he graduated from Johns Hopkins; before he was an Army Infantry Officer (Airborne Ranger); before he set B2B industrial sales records; before he was partners with a German capital equipment manufacturer; before he founded a distribution/rep company for industrial products in India; until he decided that managing a business and employees wasn’t what he enjoyed. Now that Ed’s got all of that out of his system he runs a consultancy that helps US manufacturing companies grow by applying process excellence to business development – completing the full circle back to an engineering & design combination. His practice is built on a unique methodology which combines powerful digital marketing methodologies (a HubSpot partner) with his extensive international biz dev experience. Consilium assists American manufacturers in applying process excellence to their business development. In other words we help lean, well managed companies with rock solid bottom lines effectively and consistently grow their top lines to match. We work primarily with mid size industrial manufacturing companies, guiding them through a journey of designing and executing business grade B2B inbound marketing and focused, profitable global market expansion. (407) 406-3959 Todd Hockenberry and Top Line Results specialize in leading top line revenue growth at small and medium sized companies with a focus on manufacturing, technology, and capital equipment companies. Delivering high return inbound marketing capabilities with and for manufacturing companies is their specialty. Todd has over 20 years of experience in direct selling and leading com- panies selling technology and capital equipment to companies in global industrial markets. He has developed and cultivated direct sales teams as well as managed sales representative and distribution networks--all to significant sales improvements. Todd’s client experience ranges from small family owned manufacturing companies to large publicly traded technology providers and come from industries including automotive, advanced materials processing, defense, metal fabrication, consumer goods and system integration. Todd HockenberryEd Marsh
  4. 4. 93% of all B2B purchases originate with an internet search Marketo
  5. 5. Buyers are 70% through their buying process before they are willing to speak to a sales rep Forrester Research - 66-90%
  6. 6. You manage your operations....but you hope for revenue growth Why you’ve lost control of top line growth You make amazing stuff! Bending, stamping, welding, brazing and extruding - after designing, improving and patenting. And then you and your team apply the latest in management science, LEAN and six sigma to improving the manufacturing efficiency. You’re part of a resurgence in American manufacturing strength and excellence. Congratulations But admit it….even as you know you’re improving the ‘making’ piece, you’re also fretting about the ‘selling’ piece. You might not have this conversation with your sales manager or partner, but it’s the sort of thing you might bounce off a spouse in a moment of reflection. It’s almost as though the more rigorously you manage the bottom line, the less control you have over the top line. Your gut is right. This eBook will explain why and outline the process required to improve revenue growth. It starts with recognizing what’s changed. And while the obvious answer to that is “everything,” the relevant answer is how people buy - or more specifically the fact that the internet has disrupted sales. Back when direct sales reps ruled the earth, they occupied that position of power because they controlled information in a world of information asymmetry between buyers and sellers. Buyers needed sales reps as the conduit to product and application details. The internet eliminated that asymmetry, and in practice inverted it. Now buyers often know as much about you as you yourself, and more about your competitors and their alternatives. They no longer need sales reps until late in the process for negotiation and granular details. Today buyers control their buying process. They search the internet; research solutions; educate themselves on options; and compare suppliers all before speaking to a rep. They’re buying on their own, yet you’re still trying to sell to them. In short, you’re manufacturing modern products in the 20teens and trying to sell them with a stale approach from the 1990s.
  7. 7. The solution isn’t to tweak something. But that’s the mistake many companies make. Adding a bit of SEO, social media, another sales rep, an outside telemarketing firm, another magazine ad or similar tactical steps is akin to beefing up the drive shaft without increasing the motor size and redesigning the entire powertrain to ensure the rest of the design is capable of the resulting increase in stress. Here’s what you need to do... It’s time for a biz dev transformation akin to implementing LEAN for operations Want to learn more about the evolution of B2B sales & marketing Download a Our eBook
  8. 8. High level - what needs to change According to the legal definition of a contract (payment in consideration for product) you’re still selling products (machines, devices, automation, engineered components, etc.) But nobody’s buy- ing products. This sounds trite and obtuse but the very real reality is that they only buy value to their business. In other words the ability to automate has no inherent value to a customer. Reducing labor costs is simply shuttling money from a cost account to a depreciation account. But the ability to scale to add new customers; or to resolve quality issues; or to reduce workers’ comp claims; or to manage WiP inventory and floor space costs; or to shorten lead-times and increase inventory turns are examples of business value that customers may realize through implementing automation. And that’s what they are buying. They may tell you they want XXX speed or a minimum of XX horsepower - but those are details which mislead you into trying to sell them products. Stop! Making that shift isn’t easy though. The features & benefits sales mentality is etched into the manufacturing psyche. But we’ve got a model to guide the change - an analogous evolution which was every bit as traumatic and unwelcome; and one which American manufacturing companies conquered - the change of manufacturing itself over the past couple decades. Now’s the time to apply process excellence to a re-engineering of the top-line part of your company just as you’ve done to the bottom line part. This will position you to actually manage revenue growth! At a high level here’s what needs to change: • stop selling - transition to helping buyers buy • deliberately focus on helping the right buyers buy If perception is reality...your digital presence IS your company (at least as far as prospects care)
  9. 9. Digital World Reality Check You think of your website as a delimited series of pages that was created as a defined project and required various technical skills to implement and update. That was fair….in 2000. It used to be that a website was a gee whiz gadget that eventually evolved into a credibility discriminator. Real companies had websites. That was back in a world when people would type in the URL for your site to go there to see if you were hip. Then there was a phase when sites included a bit more infor- mation - product specs and industries served for instance - and ‘SEO’ became important. Including ‘key words’ like “automation” or “welding supplies” was a tactic to rank well when people used the internet as a vast product index. And search was clumsy enough that one had to include common misspellings too! The evolution of search engines has changed the role of websites, though, and product focused sales methodologies haven’t caught up even as 95% of B2B purchases start with internet search. Today search is contextual. People enter questions, phrases, descriptions of outcomes, etc. They no longer enter a word to describe a product. They’ve changed the way they search because the search engines have changed the way they index and provide answers. Today searches sound like “best warehouse management system for office products distribution” or “reducing seal quality defects in hermetic sealing of lidding for sterilization.” And a site built on keywords like “pallet racks” and “heat sealing” is simply useless if you hope to grow beyond repeat customers and a few referrals. The term “website” as it’s often understood is semantically misleading. Today a website is the beating heart of a vast digital circulatory system. To be effective it must constantly beat, circulating information not only through the veins which you control, but throughout distant capillaries that reach the 95%. And it must do so in a way that automatically addresses the needs of buyers, and be optimized so that the search engines properly understand and convey the value you provide. Successful revenue growth is built on the credibility and reach that result from thought leadership. A company’s digital presence, including but not limited to a dynamic website, is the platform upon which thought leadership is established. From thought leadership flows traffic and leads, and the ability to help buyers through a complex buying process without unwelcome, aggressive intervention by sales reps. That creates several challenges for most industrial manufacturers: • in house skill sets are focused on applying product knowledge to marketing • management teams don’t have the perspective to recognize the limitations of internal staff (read more) • benchmarking against competitors is misleading as they are often equally inept • the temptation is to find an easily implemented tactical fix when what’s needed is a structural change to sales and marketing staffing and budgeting • marketing is no longer a precursor to sales - but rather marketing and sales are a continuum of buyer facilitation • the same relentless innovation that is required on the product development side must now be applied to the revenue growth side • empathy for customers and understanding of their business is now as important as technical understanding of your products • your website, indeed ALL of your marketing, must c ontinuously expand and evolve This isn’t unprecedented, of course. After all how many of the drafting tables you had in 1990 are still in use in your office today? See, you’ve evolved operationally but your sales and marketing structure is nearly unchanged!
  10. 10. ...and of those 95% of buyers that start with internet search 80% ignore paid ads & 75% never scroll past the first page “When we’re at the table we win. We need to be at the table more!” Invisible is irrelevant The first problem companies need to address is “getting found.” In a world where buyers buy, and 95% of that buying starts with an internet search, you need to be relevant to their online research at the very beginning of their process. That means you have to master search - and today’s SEO, or search engine optimization, requires a complex synthesis of engineering and creativity. Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving. MOZ offers a great recap of the progression here, including Google’s frequent and innocuously named (e.g. hummingbird & panda) updates. The evolution of the algorithms has driven the change in user interaction: • from entering a URL • through entering a keyword • and describing a solution • to posing a question about a problem statistics via HubSpot
  11. 11. To succeed, therefore, companies need to create a web of information which helps search engines find them, and clarifies how the information applies to different search queries. Additionally the information needs to be of high enough quality that it engages users in ways which search engines use to gauge value. For instance time on site, frequency and volume of new material, sharing on social networks, inbound links, etc. are all indicators which search engines consider - so it’s not merely absolute quality, but also popularity. To be popular, your thought leadership (we’ll call it generically ‘content’) must resonate with someone. Obviously you want that ‘someone’ to be your ideal buyer. So the first step in getting found is to understand your buyer in far greater detail than you likely do today. In the marketing world this is a called a persona. Most companies have 3-5 personas which they target. It’s a very detailed dive into the world of your target buyer and includes demographic information (typical age, gender, educational background), professional characteristics (title, time in job, scope of responsibility), pain & objectives (what are his/her main challenges and what constitutes success), and how they collect information (typical magazines read, use of social media, LinkedIn groups, trade shows attended, professional associations, etc.) With that background then you can research how they search (what terms they use, what search engines, what results they value, etc.) Adele Revella sets the gold standard in buyer persona research and her “Manifesto” (available here under cre- ative commons license) is a great learning resource. Google keeps moving the goal posts image - found.co.uk
  12. 12. Once your personas are built, and long phrase keyword work is completed, then you begin to create content designed to resonate with the personas. Most commonly you’ll write articles which specifically answer the common, early questions folks have when they’re trying to fix a problem for which your product may be appropriate. Note that this isn’t a series of articles about your products! It’s about the challenges folks wrestle with and what solutions exist. Your products are only tangentially mentioned. If you optimize those articles well, and write enough of them (statistics indicate 70 is a critical mass) on a consistent pace (minimum 2-3/week) you’ll start to grow site traffic. And that traffic will be special - it will be the right traffic since these are folks that aren’t coming based on some generic search, but have the precise problems you can particularly solve. But that’s not enough. The internet has created all sorts of nooks and crannies where people congregate to exchange ideas. That’s where many of today’s referrals are exchanged. That’s where many seek peer advice and recommendations for how to solve challenging problems. It’s imperative that companies engage in forums and exchange ideas. The problem is that many of those forums are known as social media...which many company owners find nonsensical. But you must be there and be active. And you probably have an enormous channel sales (distributors, reps, agents) at your disposal...although you may wonder how many of them really even understand your products. Use them to create new traffic through “white label” thought leadership content that you cobrand and provide for making it is easy for them to share and create new leads for both of you. Does social media freak you out? Our eBook outlines “The 7 Biggest Busi- ness & Legal Risks of Social Media in B2B Marketing” Download our eBook
  13. 13. Done consistently and properly this combination will build the flow of traffic to your site - and increasingly it will be the right traffic. This is representative of what companies typically experience over the 6-12 months after launching an effort like this. The debate over when to invest and what works is settled by fact, not opinion This chart represents the results of a new site design combined with a strong inbound marketing content development and publishing campaign. The client transitioned from a paid search heavy traffic generation approach to an organic inbound getting found online approach using problem/solution oriented content.. Note that this report distinguishes between each category of traffic source (organic search, social media, paid search, email, referrals, direct traffic, etc.) and every lead, project customer and revenue $ can be attributed to specific marketing activity and content.. And the resulting leads typically cost 61% less!1 1 - HubSpot “State of Inbound Marketing”
  14. 14. Have you tried paying your commercial credit line with impressions? Wondering how to improve your internet marketing? Download our “Step-by-step Guide” Download the Guide
  15. 15. Field Notes & Case Studies Learn how a fiberglass manufacturer uses inbound marketing to drive new leads and increase sales. Download this case study and discover: • The importance of Long Tail Keywords, Calls-to-Action and Landing Pages • The benefits of having a Blog and having a social media presence • The value of Email Marketing • How these combined efforts resulted in sales growth of more than 20% Download this case study and discover: • Doubled the number of website visitors from 2013 to 2014 • 75%+ increase in leads from 2013 to 2104 • Visit to lead conversion doubled from 2013 to 2014
  16. 16. Content? What do we mean? There are many ways to create content., and many types incuding articles, whitepapers, videos, illustrations, audio recordings and others. One of our favorites is to ask sales people to write down every question a customer/prospect asked along with some bullet points on how they answered. Writing about the issues and problems of your customers and prospects is a great place to start. There a wide variety of ways to create content a few key ones are: Content that builds trust: • Customer and product reviews • Testimonials or endorsements from happy customers • Articles you’ve written or that mention your firm in outside publications • case studies of how people have successfully used your products or services • “How to” content – specific advice or tips and tricks Content that educates: Once you create awareness and trust a prospect will be hungry to find out much more about your unique approach, your solution, your story and your organization. • ·White papers – not boring, dry technical stuff, your best writing tying a bigger topic together with your specific area of expertise • ·Newsletter – Weekly or monthly education that nurtures their interest • ·Seminars – in person or online, these allow prospects to learn as well as engage • ·FAQs – some folks just need the answers to their questions and this format serves well • ·Survey data – results from surveys can be very compelling as a way to let prospects know you understand them Customer generated content: • ·Referrals and reviews – create ways to move happy customers to a referral and review process • ·Testimonials – automate this process by providing online audio and video tools • ·Video success stories – create events that bring customers together to tell their story and network Other people’s content: Be instructive and helpful by aggregating / curating industry info Content that converts: call them to action and convert prospects to the action of buying. • ·In person events – live events are the absolute best way to use content to close • ·Case studies – deep studies into the success of another client act as tangible proof in the buying decision • ·ROI calculators – use content to help prospects understand the specific value of making a change
  17. 17. but….Traffic is meaningless (like impressions and other market stats that folks like to use) Are we nuts? We just told you that you had to increase traffic...and in the next section we’re telling you that’s meaningless? An apparent contradiction? Yes. Nuts? No...at least not on this topic. You need to grow traffic as a business asset - not merely a number. Statistically only some of your traffic will be interested in what you have to say. The goal is to grow the percentage of interested traffic first, and then grow the absolute number second. In fact you may actually want to reduce traffic - by being clear enough in focus and optimization you’ll avoid folks that arrive by mistake and ‘bounce.’ And you’ll build time on site and engagement by attracting the right folks. But turning traffic from a statistic into an asset requires an almost universally overlooked step - conversion. Numbers of visitors are meaningless - but visitors who engage and who exchange a name and email address for some of your expertise are the future customers that you’ll never have to cold call. Remember those articles you wrote to help attract traffic? Well here’s the next place those come into play. Visitors will arrive at your site through the side door - that article that you wrote that spoke right to them and their problem. Sure, they can navigate around, but they don’t normally come to your homepage to begin. So you’re establishing direct credibility from their first visit. But here’s where you’ve got the chance to step things up. On that same article page where you’ve gotten them nodding in agreement with your insight, you then offer the opportunity to download something of more substance; a whitepaper for instance, or an eBook that digs into a related topic even deeper. You capture an email address and a couple other contact details in exchange for that material. And now you’ve got an early stage lead that you can get to know personally - not just anonymous traffic. The bonus? You’ll also instantaneously have historic perspective into what they’ve looked at on your site and done prior to the conversion. Once you know who they are, and that they’ve been to a certain page 7 times on 5 different visits, for instance, you’ll start to formulate a strategy to develop the opportunity. Here’s what the process looks like to convert traffic using a methodology of “CTA” (call to action) to “Landing Page” to “ThankYou Page.” # visitors X typical conversion rate = # of marketing qualified leads
  18. 18. CTA leads to “Landing Page” with conversion form a conversion creates a prospect from otherwise anonymous traffic
  19. 19. Form leads to a “ThankYou Page” which offers more helpful information
  20. 20. A lead is not a lead Do you remember bingo card decks and the ‘leads’ they produced? Or how about the leads that resulted from other lead generation methods? When sales reps controlled information, prospects had no choice but to raise their hand and request that a sales rep call them. Today prospects are emphatic that they want to be left unmolested by sales reps - and they’re pretty wily in avoiding them. So it’s critical that “leads” are treated according to a new set of rules, not the old pouncing and selling approach. Any early follow up needs to be strongly oriented toward assistance in their research. With sales reps who are incented by a commission payment structure to concentrate on immediate deals, the experience is likely to be unsatisfactory for leads. Further, if you typically hand fresh leads off to channel, you’ll waste many of them. Buyers follow a journey. Nobody arrives at a site like yours, to buy an important and likely complex product like yours, in one sitting. Buying deci- sions for complex B2B products and services require a lengthy “buying journey.” A buyer’s questions and perspectives evolve as a they move along. For instance, at the outset questions like: • has anyone else had this problem • how have they fixed it • what causes it • what’s the best outcome are common. But as you move deeper into the buying journey the questions evolve: • how do I compare different solutions • what does it cost • how can I sell it internally And then toward the end of the process: • what’s involved in implementation • how soon will it be effective • what could go wrong • who else has tried this successfully Often the buyers who are first aware of problems and take initiative to define challenges and research solutions are NOT the actual buyers who will financially approve a project. Therefore it’s important that your content includes materials to help your prospect understand how to sell within their organization. Commonly IT and finance, as well as ‘management’ in general, are groups whom you must prepare your lead to ‘sell’ as your proxy. This “journey” is viewed by traditional salespeople as a waste of time or unqualified lead. But companies that understand how to help buyers recognize the great opportunities it provides. These include: • Virtually recreate the traditional sales rep interaction - It used to be that letters, brochures, phone calls and meetings provided reps an opportunity to be in frequent touch with buyers; to build a relationship and project momentum in small chunks with a series of ‘yeses’; and to obtain frequent status checks. Done properly, this sales nurturing process builds a similar relationship. image - business2community
  21. 21. • Learn more progressively - As the relationship develops and prospects seek more specific information as they journey, they’re willing to share more. Even if you only ask for a couple bits of information at each interaction, you’ll quickly build a more complete picture of the buyer, Maybe it’s first and last name and email address initially. Company name, website and job title are next, followed by several industry specific questions. This “progressive profiling” is innocuous to engaged prospects. And there’s another level of progressive information which you collect gradually based on a number of interactions. Patterns emerge based on specific topics, pieces of content and the rate of engagement. It’s likely that you’ll develop the ability to anticipate, based on a series of prospect behaviors, the likelihood that they will buy and when! • If your process is really skewed toward helping buyers with educational material that supports their professional goals (remember the personas?) then people will readily engage. As they do, and you build a progressively more complete profile, you’re able to personalize the experience for them - IF you have invested in marketing automation tools to do so. Traditional tools like Google Analytics provide a high level, cumulative view of all traffic. But effective lead nurturing is based on detailed understanding of each lead individually - and the right tools allow you to gather a complete picture and execute in a nuanced and individual way. • These are often early stage leads. Not only do they not want to speak to a sales rep, but they’re not yet qualified. Your reps don’t want to talk to them and you don’t want to waste valuable sales time on them. Yet through nurturing many will become qualified. So it’s important to automate the process to run in the background, delivering value to each lead without consuming routine sales & marketing resources. Leads want to be left alone and reps should invest their time in current deals - yet the leads are nurtured and cultivated as a business asset in the interim. • Each lead is an individual with personal preferences. Some will find a brief video easiest to digest. Others will want to download and read meaty whitepapers. Others may find that graphics which outline concepts are the easiest way to under- stand their challenge at a high level. It’s up to you to serve content in various formats, through various channels, so that leads can consume that which is most comfortable to them, when they want it. • While you’re automating this you also want to add a “human touch.” Ensure that leads are aware of the resources you provide, and that if they reach out they are assisted by some- one who is knowledgeable, and who isn’t a “close early & close often” rep. A great approach is to build opportunities into your marketing automation which prompt specific personal interaction based on a lead’s behaviors. For instance, if they download one of your case studies, trigger a call from your
  22. 22. company offering a handful of others that are related. Use that conversa- tion to highlight other types of business value that other customers have derived from your product. Be ready to answer product specific questions - but don’t call to talk about that. Let leads set their own pace. Gently offer other bits of info that you know will address questions which will arise as they move along, but don’t force it. Nurturing leads will create a robust long-term pipeline. When they’re ready to buy they won’t call you to ask for one of three quotes. Rather they’ll call you to discuss implementation. • Well trained, creative and insightful sales reps have an opportunity to substantially distinguish themselves, and by proxy the company, from competitors. Buyers will value the approach as much as the information. The process framework is the same one you’ve followed for years. Generate leads, work with them on projects, and close them as custom- ers. The lead generation now, though, will be driven by a sophisticated program which will help the right people find you (vs. cold calling them). Leads will be automatically nurtured in a manner, at a pace and with information which is appropriate to them personally, based on their requirements and preferences. And leads will either self select in or out - you’ll be able to focus valuable rep time only on actual projects but still nurture many leads that will become future projects. image - smallbusiness.yahoo
  23. 23. # of marketing qualified leads X typical nurturing success rate = # of sales qualified leads # of sales qualified leads X typical close rate = # of new customers X average lifetime revenue = $$$ image - linksmart
  24. 24. but there’s an elephant in this room the topic of marketing budgets image - LinkedIn
  25. 25. Manage the top line like you manage the bottom line You live in a real world of facts & figures. For too long you’ve been asked, often even told, that you must ‘invest’ in marketing without a clear idea of why, or what the return will be. You’ve even been shown “made up” returns such as “impressions” and “audited subscribers.” Certainly those are indicators but they’re not a justification. You can’t repay your credit line with impressions - profits are what matters. Now is the time to change that discussion. Start managing your top line with the same rigor as your bottom line! This is a process of engineered revenue growth. Each step of the process is measured with incredible granularity, and in a closed loop. Want to know how many leads AND how many profit dollars resulted from LinkedIn activity? vs.Twitter? Or maybe you want to know how a journal ad or trade show specifically drove revenue? You should have that information within a couple keystrokes. Actual, real figures - not some extrapolation which seeks to keep you comfortable without really answering the question. And what about the choices that get made? The disagreements that you have to referee so often between marketing and sales when each insists that you have to talk about XXX vs. XXX? Eventually you make a decision, but never really know if it was right. What opportunities are being missed? Fix that with real time A/B testing of nearly every aspect of your marketing. You’ll stop guessing and start managing - not only budget, investment and staffing based on real returns, but each element along the way based on actual results. Marketing used to be the domain of beret wearing artists. Then the IT folks tried to muscle in with lots of jargon and complicated website “code.” Now marketing is squarely in your world. It’s the domain of engineers. Of course it needs to be aesthetically appealing, and must be very user friendly. But it’s all about analytics now, from the personas and key phrases through small incremental improvements in each step. After all, when you can measure everything, the ability to convert 1/2% more of 50,000 annual website visitors means an additional 250 leads. If you are able to nurture those into projects at a rate of 10% and close 30% of your deals, that’s 8 new customers. Campaigns are important, but so is managing the detail - and the tools are available to enable that. These tools and strategies allow you to change your management approach. Traditionally you’ve applied scientific method to operations but sales has been unwieldy. Aside from managing certain activities (numbers of cold calls, presentations, demos, proposals, etc.) there haven’t been any metrics to inform similarly rigorous management of sales. That’s changed now and you can seize the opportunity to manage the top line just as you manage the bottom line. Most importantly that means predictability. Annual planning which as- sumes revenue growth of 3%, for instance, just because that’s a sensible number, becomes an embarrassing memory. When each phase of the sales process can be measured and managed, and your pipeline is nurtured as an asset, you can correlate specific resources (marketing spending) to predictable outcomes. You can actually manage revenue growth! Sound complicated? Actually it’s complex! Learn the difference and how to build your strategy in this whitepaper Download the Whitepaper
  26. 26. Customer service? or ongoing engagement New customers are only part of your revenue calculus. Many companies measure customer contribution by lifetime value which considers future orders, parts & service, extension into other product lines/services, etc. When you manage revenue growth you can also manage these ele- ments. Rather than some anecdotal indicator to observe you’ll be able to drive these revenue components. Customer service and support should be part of the fabric of the relationship between the buyer and your company - not an orchestrated handoff! Building the ongoing relationship into a continuum of education and nurturing supports that across buyer life-cycle stages. Of course referrals are an important part of your growth and success - and they’ll continue to be. But referrals won’t only happen on the tee box. In fact virtual referrals can and should be cultivated. And key to that is not only providing great products and service, but making it easy for folks to refer you….digitally. Throwing the baby out with the bath water
  27. 27. What to keep & what to change This is a pretty substantial change from your traditional approach. But the improvements which can be made don’t mean that everything you’ve done is wrong. Far from it. There’s some to keep, some to build on and some to change. Here’s how it often breaks out. What to keep: • Trade shows - these are an important part of the industrial buying journey. But they’re extraordinarily expensive and ineffective as stand alone 3 day binges. Keep them, but evolve them into 4 month campaigns to extract maximum value • Trade journal advertising - this has value (impressions aside!) New or old school, walk into most industrial operations and you see these on people’s’ desks. But you’re going to have to be creative - Shift your ads from product focused stuff that looks like everyone else’s to offering whitepapers, case studies or reports with an easy link to your site to download. You’ll capture a modern lead through a traditional channel. • Paid search - depending on your product and target personas this can be an effective component of your business develop- ment. Sometimes it’s a waste, and often it is most effectively redirected - for instance, since 80% of people searching completely ignore paid results, maybe it’s better directed toward sponsored LinkedIn posts. What to build on: • Social media - this doesn’t mean that you hire a community manager. But social media is increasingly used by technical buyers to research solutions. Make sure you’re found there, and ensure your company is engaged in a dialog not simply broad- casting. • Get control of your website - IT and outside designers make a big deal out of small changes. And if your website is really going to work as a lead generation engine, it’s going to involve frequent changes and updates. • Staffing and budget - this process will challenge the traditional sales & marketing model. • Embrace unqualified leads - these are incredibly valuable since you can shape them • User experience (UX) - consider every interaction from customer perspective. This includes not only quality of information and value of interaction, but even the ease of navigating your site and finding what they need. What to change: • Mobile friendly - ensure that all your thought leadership content is accessible to users regardless of what platform they’re using to access it. Phones, tablets and PCs are all commonly used, and among some groups that aren’t office based (e.g. floor maintenance teams) mobile is increasingly common • Step back from products & specs - Become buyer focused by building on customer challenges and value you create directly and indirectly • Stop selling - help buyers buy image - PeterCook
  28. 28. • Adapt your broader strategy as you learn more from buyers • Marketing to engineers - it’s an important part of what you do, but often it’s treated as a complete solution. Engineers can say no, but others say yes. Marketing and selling to engineers involves a broader business effort • Demand analytics to support investment decisions and continuously improve performance. These should be measured against goals set according to corporate strategy, and be built on realistic expectations • growth target • lifetime value • rate of close • rate of conversion • traffic “Overestimating internal capabilities - The shift to managed revenue growth will demand new technologies,skills and processes. A realistic assessment about which capabilities should be developed in-house and which should be developed by new partners is crucial.” adapted from Harvard Business Review, November ‘14 “Managing the Internet of Things” Download a Guide for Marketing to Engineers
  29. 29. Resources you need to do this If you had the perspective and technical skills in house you’d already be doing this. You’re not...and you don’t. Executing on this is going to require resources to be reallocated and skills to be identified. Even the early, strategic planning will challenge traditional assumptions. So what’s required to launch an initiative like this? It’s not a DiY project. The combination of art and science, business savvy and sales & marketing experience require a unique perspective. You’ll need an advisor with a background in your market and expertise in these disciplines to guide your effort. You’ll also need specific journalism (research & writing), design and technical skills. You may have some of these in house, but you likely don’t have adequate resources, particularly for writing the volume that will be required. So at least high level advisory and content creation will require outside resources. A program like this requires a very intricately planned and choreo- graphed execution of many disciplines - sometimes it is inefficient to shuttle tasks between inside and outside resources. It may be most efficient to outsource a program in its entirety. Internally you’ll at least need a coordinator - someone who interfaces between internal and external resources and who performs an inside sales function. You’ll also need to commit some staff time to the project of content creation - often making them available for interviews by writers and review/editing of what’s been written. Many companies naturally turn to “marketing agencies” for this sort of work. They also seek “silo” expertise in areas such as SEO, social media and web development. That typically results in average results. First it’s critically important that an initiative be fully integrated - so each tactic must reinforce and build on the others. Silo focused independent outside resources invariably fail to satisfy this consideration. Market- ing agencies tend to consolidate those capabilities, at least on paper, but they lack perspective and industry experience. You should vet any outside resource for the following capabilities: • Experience in your industry (or something parallel which has similar market characteristics) - they should be comfortable with the types of buyers and technical fundamentals of your market • P&L experience - they’ll ask you to make choices which require balancing priorities. If they haven’t managed those sorts of choices themselves in an industrial manufacturing environment, they’ll fail to understand the decisions you must make • Sales & Marketing experience - this transition in buying behaviors challenges the traditional sales & marketing model. Your advisor must be fluent in both to guide your adaptation. • Technically capable - they need to understand what’s possible, and what’s feasible. • Strategic and tactical - too often strength lies exclusively in one domain or the other. You need both • Strength to challenge - they need the business background and comfort to challenge your strongly held assumptions to ensure optimal engagement Your internal program coordinator should be: • technically savvy and engaged • demonstrate many of the program concepts in their own activities (personal branding and content) • great writer and strong research (ideally journalism background) • basic design capabilities • very committed to continuing development across disciplines and student of trends, tools and techniques what’s the bottom line?
  30. 30. Obviously there’s a cost to this sort of initiative. There’s often a linear relationship between the pace / complexity of the program and the rate of growth it sparks - so companies can decide the speed and magnitude of return they require and map required investment against that. For mid-size manufacturing companies ($5-100MM) the annual investment in a program of this sort is from $50-250K. However, it’s important to note that that number doesn’t reflect other changes which can be netted against it (e.g. reduction in sales staff and reduced paid advertising) nor does it reflect the fact that with specific reporting and correlated revenue & ROI, marketing can be comfortably moved from a cost account to essentially a cost of sales. How badly do you want it? Learn how a capital equipment manufacturer grew sales 250% Download a Case Study
  31. 31. Conclusion If someone told you that implementing an ERP system would be easy, you’d know they were ignorant or lying. Yet you’ve been told by marketers for years that marketing was easy. That’s part of the reason you’re skeptical to allocate a budget to marketing beyond what you plan for trade shows. So let’s be clear. This won’t be easy. There will be cultural challenges - you’ll struggle to stop talking about product specifications for instance. There will be organizational challenges - some of your employees will resist, sales will feel threatened and your marketing team may not be able to adapt. There will be resource challenges - you and your team will have to support the process of creating the thought leadership content, and your staffing and budgeting will have to be adjusted. And it will take patience - you’ll see indicators after a quarter and trends after two but results won’t really be clear for a year. In short, you’ll likely turnover some staff and endure some dark moments during which you’ll wonder if it’s really going to work. Expect it. Marketing, which used to be a series of activities (prep for a trade show, relaunch the website in 3rd quarter,) will become an everyday focus just like HR and quality. Your management perspective and priorities will change. But if you execute consistently and correctly it will work. The trends are clear. The 95% & 70% statistics define the world in which you must grow revenue. Success and vitality depend on the transition. But it’s not just a change to make to survive. Adopting a managed revenue growth approach will enhance your business in additional ways. You’ll find that quickly global sales opportunities become clear. As pockets of interest self identify, and then further self select through nurturing as closeable, manageable, profitable projects, you’ll find export growth becoming an important part of your business. You’ll skip the whole tortuous process of struggling to identify the right markets and preemptively select capable channel partners - instead the markets and capable partners will identify themselves to you. You’ll even find easily accessible new global markets to consider for export sales opportunities. And it will make your company stronger. Whether you measure strength in resilience to market fluctuations and consistency of free cash flow, or in valuation if you’re preparing for a liquidity event / transition, the fundamental drivers are the same. Industrial manufacturing companies which manage their revenue growth are stronger and position themselves for higher valuation. Finally, you’ll enjoy business more when you’re man- aging it rather than responding to it! Wondering when you should consider international expansion? Download a Our eBook
  32. 32. Contact Us Todd Hockenberry Mobile: +1 (407) 406-3959 todd@top-line-results.com Orlando, FL Top Line Results, Inc. Ed Marsh Mobile: +1 (978) 238-9898 em@cgbadv.com Boston, MA Consilium Global Business Advisors, LLC image - NewGeography

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