Digital Disruption in the Manufacturing Industry
The limitless opportunities made possible with digital disruption shouldn’t be reserved only for manufacturing’s back-office. In our latest eBook, “Strategic Account Management in the 4.0 World, we discuss how account planning is long overdue for a technological revolution.
For manufacturers, strategic account partnerships are core to sustained profitability. But the path to profitability is shifting in this complex new digital world. Simply engaging customers through great customer service is no longer enough. Companies today are expecting sales teams to provide compelling insights that focus on customer improvement and ultimately drive real growth. According to a recent Gallup survey, companies who feel that their vendor is making a significant impact on their business gave them a 31% higher share of wallet than customers who were just engaged.
Major Shifts in Manufacturing Business Models
Over the past decade, the traditional manufacturing business model has undergone a major transformation, which has challenged commonplace sales team tactics. First and foremost, manufacturing enterprises and industrial ecosystems have become increasingly complex and global. Additionally, there has been an astonishing rise in both data volumes and connectivity within the manufacturing industry.
Digital disruption, automation and the emergence of new technologies have caused the industry to become more competitive and clients more demanding.
Evolution of Sales Strategies and Priorities
As the manufacturing business model has changed, sales goals and priorities have evolved. Sales teams are no longer concerned with transactional relationships, but instead strive to develop strategic partnerships. Further, they are no longer selling products, but instead focusing on joint value creation. In the past, sales teams measured their performance on sales numbers, but today, they are more focused on measuring share of wallet, margins and number of value-creating initiatives.
Navigating the Complex Manufacturing Sales Landscape
While sales teams realize that they need to innovate, attempting to achieve these new sales goals has presented a unique set of challenges. These challenges are a result of the increasingly complex manufacturing landscape, characterized by the following:
- Product complexity and a rapidly changing, more competitive sales environment
- Complex matrixed customer organizations with large numbers of stakeholders, lines of business, and geographies
- Differing objectives and priorities across customer business units, global, regional and local levels
- Large numbers of internal resources required to manage accounts at global, regional and local levels
The Need to Innovate Your Strategic Account Management Program
Companies must innovate and explore new ways to collaborate and break down barriers, especially when it relates to their most strategic customers. While this task may seem daunting, there are a variety of tools and resources to facilitate strategic account management in the manufacturing 4.0 world. In our next post, we will evaluate if your current strategic account program is up for the challenge.