In the post-pandemic world, the manufacturing businesses are getting back to normal. Still, there are many sales challenges faced by professionals working in manufacturing SMEs. We talk to SME manufacturers of all sizes every day and hear first-hand about the problems they’re dealing with. Their struggles are real, so we thought we’d highlight some top challenges faced by Sales Team in SMEs. We will also provide insights into how industrial manufacturers can address them head-on.
Challenge 1: Can’t get anyone on the phone
In the pre-pandemic world, any sales rep could go to a potential buyer’s office and discuss how their business was the best. Now sales in-person is out of the question and cold calling doesn't really work.
So how can you reach the modern buyer to start the conversation?
Think outside the box by upping your sales game
The world has turned more digital, and the industrial manufacturing industry hasn’t been immune. Reaching possible buyers was one of the biggest manufacturing challenges in 2020, and it’s not likely to change anytime soon.
With more and more processes being automated and digitized, isn’t it time to apply the same principles to your sales efforts?
Using a digital solution to back and forth with customers and closing sales is the most efficient way to get things done.
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Also provide your potential buyers with online content that speaks to their manufacturing needs, such as case studies that provide concrete examples of how you’ve helped people just like them or a newsletter that provides expert insight into the problems they're facing every day.
As your ideal buyer searches online for solutions, your content will show up in their results pages, leading them to your website and (eventually) to contact you.
Then, it’s time for your inbound sales strategy to kick in. Use custom messaging that speaks to their pain points and meet them at every stage of their decision-making process with helpful resources, not sales pitches.
You can make this process even smoother by making it as easy as possible for prospects to get the answers they’re looking for online. Make sure your company is present on the social media channels your ideal buyer frequents, provide easy-to-find resources on your website and consider adding a chat function on the site to put people directly in touch with sales.
Challenge 2: Killing Time on Data Entry and Making Reports
Many SMEs ask their sales department to spend quality time building reports for their supervisors or managers. It’s not justified and not a good use of their valuable time. When sales reps are assigned to do work on administrative tasks instead of doing their core job; what they do best, then sales suffer. This is one of the sales challenges due to which all SMEs sufer.
An digital solution that do the job for you
All of the important data that managers need should already live and breathe in your cloud-based solution. This data can be accessed anywhere in real-time. This data not only ensure accuracy and reliability, but it also means anyone can pull that data – whenever required. Any Cloud-based solution is such a tool that has built-in features to eliminate the burden of monotonous data entry activity and time-consuming updates. Working on an online tool especially at the time of pandemic is a win-win for everyone.
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Challenge 3: Time Taking Manual Quoting And Proposal Generation
If you’re still using Excel, email, or Word to create proposals and quotes in your organization, you’re not alone – in fact, you’re probably in the majority. However, manual sales quotations are time taking, inconsistent, and prone to error.
Moreover, the configuration of the sales quotation or proposal doesn’t provide any guidance for complementary or required items based on earlier product selections. The net outcome is an inefficient system with a vague template.
Using a cloud-based digital solution enables businesses to swiftly and efficiently configure, manage and deliver powerful sales quotations. Sales teams leverage product item details into quotes where they can reorder, apply discounts, and add comments to build accurate, multi-currency quotes and invoices.
Challenge 4:Skilled Labor Shortage
In today’s world of advanced technology, automation can help fill the labor gap. However, human capabilities will still be required to analyze and solve problems as well as manage end results. With the baby boomer generation entering retirement, the manufacturing industry is facing a skilled labor shortage. This is one of the major threats which the manufacturing sector is facing today.
To overcome the problem and shortage of qualified and skilled manpower, manufacturers must be creative in selecting and recruiting employees; hiring people based on their skill set, and not their degrees. Producers must be fair and selective when choosing employees. Also ensure they are able to work quickly, under pressure, and ready to work in shift schedules.
Additionally, manufacturers must be able to provide their new and existing employees with regular training to help increase their potential. Manufacturers are required to consider using competency management software to bridge their employees’ skill gaps.
Of course, one of the biggest sales challenges is time. If that’s the case, it may be time to find a partner like TranZact to help with your sales strategies. It will take 2 weeks to onboard you and your team and is easy to use. What's best about it is that the basic version of the product is free, so you can use it without worrying about the silly amounts of money.
Digitization is a must for the Indian manufacturing sector, specifically for SMEs. It will help enhance the effectiveness, profitability, and overall growth of the businesses. This, in turn, will benefit the economy and allows for maximum consumer benefits and satisfaction.