3 Ways Manufacturers Should Use Technology to Support Sales Enablement

3 Ways Manufacturers Should Use Technology to Support Sales Enablement
April 2, 2021

Sales teams at manufacturing companies are increasingly feeling the heat. Today’s buyers demand more and are becoming more and more selective about the firms they choose to work with.

Sellers face a host of challenges every day, including:

  • Expanding product portfolios
  • Increased competition due to product commoditization, M&A and global expansion
  • A widescale shift away from legacy, relationship-centric sales models (in favor of more consultative approaches)

These challenges are part of the reason why it’s so difficult for manufacturing companies to keep their direct and channel sales organizations aligned, on message, and consistently ready to maximize every buyer interaction.

Historically, manufacturers have heavily relied on in-person training. This is costly and impractical in today’s selling environment. Organizations need to rethink how they train and coach to empower their sellers and distribution channels with data-driven sales readiness & enablement.

As more manufacturers shift to a consultative sales model, they need to quickly get their team of sellers and distributors sales ready. But what can often be forgotten is to create end-user value and deliver results that reflect both your customers’ goals and those of your organization. This is important to keep external sellers engaged with your products and prepared to sell more for you, not the other guys.

Sending unprepared reps into the field is a recipe for wasted time, damaged reputations and missed opportunities. Channel sellers who aren’t engaged with your messaging are likely to leave your buyers unimpressed – if they’re even mentioning your product portfolio at all.

By leveraging an effective technology platform in your sales enablement strategy, you can mitigate these issues and equip your reps with the training, coaching and content they need to outsell the competition.

Here are 3 ways sales enablement technology can be indispensable for manufacturing companies:

1. A Critical Resource During Business Transformation

According to the study “Footprint 2020 Expansion and optimization approaches for US manufacturers” conducted by Deloitte and the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), more than 50% of manufacturers plan to enter a new market and almost all plan to expand existing sites or open new facilities in countries with existing operations in the next five years. This global market expansion coupled with ongoing mergers and acquisitions and ever-growing product portfolios create new challenges in the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturers need a way to keep reps and partners up-to-date on new/expanding product lines, services, expansion opportunities and messaging updates – and ensure they are communicated in the right way to their buyers.

Technology Advantage: With sales readiness tools, manufacturing companies can support a changing or expanding sales force with on-demand training, video coaching and practice opportunities.

Following a merger, for example, you can quickly create and deliver training content that covers updated messaging, competitive positioning and sales process steps. Then you can assign a video coaching assessment to ensure that reps have mastered the new messaging before their next buyer interaction.

2. A Streamlined Sales Training Process

For sales reps to increase revenue per customer and retain accounts, they need to have more valuable conversations with buyers – focusing on business outcomes instead of pricing or product details. Both your sellers and distribution channels need to become instant experts on growing product portfolios.

With an effective sales training approach manufacturing companies can:

  • Formalize the creation and delivery of manufacturing training courses to your entire salesforce – from new hire onboarding to continuous learning
  • Certify reps understand training material through knowledge-checks and assessments
  • Measure the success and ROI of your training to gain greater insight into how reps actually perform

Technology Advantage: With the Brainshark Sales Readiness Platform it is easy to create training courses and curriculums for your sellers, which can then be accessed from the Brainshark learning portal, mobile app, a simple web link – or directly from your CRM or Salesforce Communities.

3. Better Content for Manufacturing Sales Reps (and Distribution Channels)

Without engaging sales content manufacturing companies cannot easily translate product details into concise value messaging for their direct and channel sales teams. But with sales enablement technology they can improve content effectiveness and help standardize the creation process – both of which are proven to drive better results.

According to CSO Insights, organizations confident in their sales content strategy enjoy 28% higher win rates (and better customer relationships) than companies without any sort of strategy. And when it comes to managing channel sales reps, you need to make the most of your opportunities to engage them. That becomes a lot more difficult if your sales content is low-quality, dense or time-consuming to create.

Technology Advantage: Content authoring tools allow you to easily create and send out your own memorable, video-based learning content to keep reps and partners up-to-date on new or expanding product lines, services, expansion opportunities and messaging updates. You can also track viewership to identify which reps are most engaged with your content and which aren’t – and follow up accordingly.

“Brainshark is not only a resource to train new hires, but to quickly utilize and provide on-demand training for partners. It’s a great tool to learn and provide value to partners as sales resources.” – Liz Barnhart, Senior Director of Channel Sales, Talari Networks

Interested in learning how Brainshark’s data-driven sales readiness platform for sales enablement can help you save on training costs and gain more mindshare within your distributor community? Schedule your live demo now