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How to Grow Manufacturing Business

By Angelica L. Cox

"The value added by U.S. factories is more than $2 trillion a year, equal to the next three countries (Japan, Germany and South Korea) combined." -- Marketwatch.com

Are you wondering, "How can I grow my manufacturing business to global prominence?"

Here we will focus on the importance of expanding your client base, widening your sales reach, developing manufacturing partnerships and retaining your skilled sales team, all with an assist from innovative sales software.

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How to Grow a Manufacturing Business

Expand your client base

An over reliance on a few mainstay customers will not provide your company with enough business required for consistent growth.

Sure, before the globalization of marketing, a company was more likely to concentrate on a handful of larger, regional clients to fulfill the bulk of their sales.

But with today's abrupt marketing shifts, suppose that a sudden downturn adversely affects your largest clients, forcing them to cut back on their purchases. What percentage of your business will be adversely affected in turn? Experts warn against "let(ting) any one customer become more than 25% of your income base."

Smart marketing programs are refining the science of lead generation and lead conversion so that your company can target faster and more succinctly new clients most suitable for your business.

Once the most ideal prospective clients have been identified, configure, price, quote (CPQ) software for manufacturing can generate ready-made proposals, suitable for presentation as early as the first meeting between lead and sales rep.

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Expand your market reach

Everybody--everywhere--can be a potential customer. When production quality and customer service is world class, you can attract new buyers halfway across the world.

An online selling platform, optimized for every device and across multiple channels, can place potential customers into a virtual showroom floor.

Configurable product software that utilizes product and component graphics allows users a thorough engagement with your products, whether it be simple summer clothing or customized vehicles.

Further, a configurable software that is paired with Omnichannel communication capabilities can ease customer concerns about the geographic distance between your manufacturing center and their location. Omnichannel allows users to connect with your product experts from anywhere through multiple service channels.

Today's customers are willing to pay a little extra in shipping charges if the level of production and customer service meets their expectations.

Grow your manufacturing business through partnerships

Very few configurable products are islands unto themselves. There are typically a number of complementary products which also require a process of configuration.

Take personal boat configuration, for example. Leading custom boat manufacturers already utilize configurator software to make custom-design simple and engaging for the user, even with all of the technical considerations involved.

As a partner in boat production, boat hoist manufacturers must also engage customers in a configuration process to ensure that their boat hoists will work with a specific watercraft.

When two like-minded companies come together and employ CPQ software in a combined fashion, the convenience to the buyer is multiplied. Plus, manufacturing becomes more efficient for both companies involved.

Retain your talented sales force with the most advanced selling tool

Hiring employees is expensive. A 2016 study by The Society for Human Resource Management sets the average cost of a new hire at over $4,000, with an average employee tenure of eight years.

In terms of skills development, product knowledge and mentoring of new employees also adds cost. The value of a veteran sales team is limitless to your business growth.

Three keys to successful sales team retention are through quality sales training, engagement with your products and incentives to stay with your company over the long-term.

1. Training. With its intuitive user interface, sales reps can begin using CPQ software from day one.

They will no longer be required to become technical software experts as well as product and customer service experts.

And because the software is integrated with both your current inventory and your customer relationship management (CRM) software:

  • Sales reps will not be required to ingest bulky inventory binders or dated spreadsheets, and
  • Guided selling alerts will prompt them to offer quality up-sales and cross-sales, as well as price breaks based on factors such as bulk buys or individual customer rewards.

Automated pricing updates and final quote calculations will also relieve them of the cumbersome (and often error-prone) task of manual price quote tabulation.

2. Engagement. Less technical training on complicated product configuration means more time for the sales team to engage directly with your product.

Give any sales rep the time to become passionate about what you produce and they will carry that passion into every business meeting.

3. Incentive. The benefit of intuitive (and attractive) product configuration use, automated price quoting and guided selling prompts are enough to put your sales reps in the most ideal position for consistent sales success.

A software tool like CPQ will help your sales team increase their average dollars per sale, which could mean stronger commissions and bonuses.

They may view the effortless use of intuitive configuration and price quotes as an incentive on its own.

When you can provide the most effective selling tools for your representatives, why would they consider working elsewhere?

Verenia's CPQ for Manufacturing Growth

Verenia's CPQ software can reach users across every time zone, over any computer or mobile device. Paired with Omnichannel communication, customers will feel the distance evaporate between them, your product and your sales experts.

As a tool for sales reps, your team can generate client-bid proposals and convert valuable leads into sales and long-term client partners.

Our flexible software can extend to fit around your existing cloud-based business management software, such as Netsuite, so there is no need to retrofit your current marketing software.

Whether helping to create a greater customer base, wider market reach or favorable partnerships, Verenia's CPQ can help grow your manufacturing business.

Learn how Verenia can improve sales performance for manufacturers through CPQ software.

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