3 Ways Sales Enablement Technology Supports Manufacturing Companies

3 Ways Sales Enablement Technology Supports Manufacturing Companies
December 13, 2018

As today’s buyers demand more from manufacturing companies – and become more selective about which firms they work with – it’s sales teams that are increasingly feeling the heat.

Manufacturing sales reps 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. And they also make it vital to equip these sales teams with the right technology. 

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 just liable to leave your buyers unimpressed – if they’re even mentioning your product portfolio at all.

An effective technology platform, however, mitigates these issues by equipping organizations with the training, coaching and content their reps need to outsell the competition. Here are 3 ways a sales enablement tool can be indispensable for manufacturing companies.

1. Better Content for Manufacturing Sales Reps (and Partners)

Today’s manufacturing companies need engaging sales content that can easily translate product details into concise value messaging for direct and channel sales teams.

Sales enablement 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 tougher 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

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. They (especially partners) also need to become instant experts on growing product portfolios.

An effective sales training approach allows manufacturing companies to:

  • Formalize the creation and delivery of manufacturing training courses to your entire salesforce – from new hire onboarding to continuous learning
  • Certify that 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: Sales enablement platforms like Brainshark make it easy to create training courses and curriculums that can be accessed from the Brainshark learning portal, mobile app, a simple web link – or even right from your CRM or Salesforce Communities.

3. A Critical Resource During Business Transformation

M&A, product expansion, and global market expansion are part of everyday life in the manufacturing industry.

When an organization grows in any of these ways, you need a scalable way to keep the entire sales force up-to-date with the latest content and product information – and ensure that they’re being applied in the right way.

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.