In what is increasingly becoming a heavily commoditized market, manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to add value and set themselves apart from the rest of the companies in their direct line of fire.
As customers continue to rewrite the rules of what is expected of you as a manufacturer, you need to be prepared to rewrite your value proposition accordingly. Here are four powerful value adds that you can introduce into your business to ensure that you always remain front and center when your customers are ready to by.
1. After sales service
- Deliver product demonstrations
- Proactively engage with customers with training, support and guidance
- Offer end user support as well as distributor sales rep support
Given the array of options available to buyers now, the need for a comprehensive after sales service program is more important than ever. Not only should you be creating an easy, straightforward buying experience for your customer but also making sure that you are available to deliver after sales service and support wherever your buyers may need it.
Product training, guidance and end-to-end support and service can go a long way in ensuring your product is ‘sticky’ and make it difficult for your buyer to switch to a competitor. Offer exclusive sneak peaks at new products and share case studies from other customers to become an extension of your customers’ businesses.
2. Ensure your product is unique
- Research your market and competitor offerings
- Regularly gather customer feedback
- Continually develop and improve your products
Paramount to success in the manufacturing business, having a unique product can be a game changer. But it’s not a matter of just thinking you have a unique product, you need to make sure you back this up with market research, customer interviews and feedback.
Ensuring a unique, quality product will not only set you apart from your competition but act as encouragement when your customers are coming to buy.
Think about what makes your product superior to your competition? Can you tailor your messaging accordingly to appeal to a certain buyer persona?
As long as what you’re offering remains unique, you’ll be able to sidestep any price wars that may start amongst your peers.
3. Ride-along with your reps
- Educate and learn from your reps
- Feedback and share advice after ride-along takes place
- Ensure regular ride-alongs
As a manufacturer, it can be easy to become detached from day-to-day interactions with your buyers. Rep ride-alongs can be incredibly powerful to get some facetime with your buyers and you back in touch with your end users.
It is also a great opportunity to educate reps and for them to increase their knowledge about your products and learn more about your brand. Which products typically sell well together? Are there any new products on the horizon? What are the benefits to the end user of choosing your products over a competitor’s?
Coaching your reps to have better conversations with your buyers can be a game changer for all parties involved. Your sales rep will benefit from your insight into their strengths and weaknesses while your buyers will value your extensive product knowledge. Share success stories from other customers, promote your after sales service and offer up helpful tips to ensure your customer’s success.
4. Empower your reps with proactive insights
- Adopt new technologies that will empower your reps
- Ensure adequate training and support is available
The right technology can be a huge advantage to your sales reps and add a truly personal touch to every customer interaction. From managing orders and inventory to streamlining processes and increasing visibility across the business, it really can make a difference and bring entirely new ways of working to your reps.
Delivering proactive insights into your customer’s purchasing history, typical sales trends and top performing products, are a few of the ways technology can help inform collaborative conversations with your buyers that are both personal and profitable.
Manually gathering this level of insight into each customer account would likely require the expertise of your IT team and a PHD in manipulating spreadsheets. However, with analytics tools and technology, it is available at the touch of a button.
Armed with a level of insight into your customer that is truly second to none, your reps will be well poised to wow your customers anywhere, any time.