Old_School_Manufacturing_Salesman.jpgWhen looking at reliable percentages for manufacturing sales training, it can be difficult to determine the legit ones from the made-up others. Success rates for salespeople, research stats from the buyer and even how much they talk to friends before purchases all have percentages assigned to them – just be sure to check statistical sources.

But one unfortunate stat remains consistent – most people polled say they dislike the sales profession and what it stands for. So, how do trainers navigate around this problem for the benefit of their teams?

Service: Eye on the prize

Good salespeople are, by nature, persistent and gregarious. They provide a valuable service to others, and top performers can earn a good living. Rather than maintaining a mentality of what’s to be gained from a prospect, keeping the service mentality alive provides confidence in a sales pitch.

Those who are new to sales often think they can basically wing it without proper education and training. But even the best professionals stay on top, in part, by continuing to learn. Here are some tidbits that are good to remember in manufacturing sales training – be it for newbies as well as the experienced.

B2B or B2C: Either Way, You’re Selling to People

Manufacturing sales training can encompass both direct-to-consumer and business sales. While there are important distinctions between both, business still ultimately means that salespeople deal directly with human decision-makers. That means navigating the buyer’s past experience, personality traits, preferences, biases, blind spots, irrationalities and a broad range of intelligence. Allow them to talk about themselves and listen closely.

B2B or B2C: Either way, you're selling to people #sales #marketing

Remember Who You Are Talking to

At this point in manufacturing sales training, it’s important to note the differences between sales audiences. While businesses consist of people, remember that these people are working. Businesses don’t have time for conversations that, with each passing breath, seem merely sociable. Friendliness is great, but get to the point. People don’t like feeling as if they’re being pulled away from something important.

Distinguish Your Product

In the realm of sales manufacturing teams, individuals are not only competing with other manufacturers, but also with one’s own team members. As individuals, top performers will have their own style of communication. In that spirit, why not have one’s own way of distinguishing the offered product or service?

Win the Information Battle

Before the Internet, cold calling made some sense for B2B selling, but not anymore. Rather than estimating a need, data points available on the Web simply cannot be ignored. There’s no need to approximate a potential buyer’s demand when a number of questions should be answered first:

  • How profitable is the sale?
  • What challenges does the prospect’s industry face?
  • Is it worth the time?

Of course, the more that’s known about a prospect’s industry, the better.

Outline a Mental Picture for the Prospect

What will it take to get a B2B prospect to come on board? If they commit to what’s being sold, what would be their desired outcome? If it’s possible to make these goals happen, then one exercise in manufacturing sales training is getting a team to figure out how they can make the client’s goals happen. Working backward from achieving the goal is a simple start to outlining how reaching milestones may happen.

The Takeaway …

Ultimately, the amount of success a sales member gains is up to the individual. The above tips serve two general purposes.

  • One: to foster the right mindset when approaching prospects.
  • Two: to have the right pieces of information ready whenever they may prove useful.

In other words, sales are often won or lost depending on the quality of preparation before the pitch is presented.

CMTC's Top Five Manufacturing Trends of 2018 Guide Call to Action Image

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment