Five Tips to Expand Your Manufacturing Company Beyond Referrals
Most of your prospects don’t actually want a sales rep involved while they’re evaluating your company. That’s an impressive shift in the B2B space that you need to account for if you want to continue selling.
Want another one? More than one third of the influencers within these companies are now millennials. Decision-makers aren’t in the same office anymore, using more mobile-powered research to help in their evaluations.
And of course, the globalized market means in many B2B industries, you’re not just competing with other companies in the same town — you’re competing internationally.
So, when you’re a manufacturing firm that has been relying on word-of-mouth and referrals so far, what does that mean for growth?
The Five Systems That Need To Be In Place For Manufacturers to Expand
If you want your manufacturing firm to expand its market beyond the bubble of referrals, you’ll need all five of these systems in place and working for you.
A Strong Grasp of Personas
A persona is a semi-fictional representation of the types of people buying from you. These are the people inside these companies that are responsible for discovering and evaluating solutions like yours. They each may interact with your company differently — it could be one group of people who make initial contact for instance, but they may have to justify that decision to a higher-up who comes in later.
In any case, it’s imperative that you have a deep understanding of these people, as it’s them you must convince of your value.
Get a Persona-Optimized Website
Once you know your persona, you have to ensure that your website is set up to efficiently receive them. If you know that you’re often dealing with VP-level decision-makers, speak their language and make it obvious that you’re looking to talk to them.
If you want to stand out as a potential trusted advisor, you have to offer a stellar digital experience that connects the trade show experience to your unique value proposition in words and images that speak directly to your personas.
A Content Strategy Aimed at Helping
All that time that people don’t spend talking to your sales reps are still spent consuming information about your company. It’s just in a different format now.
People are looking for information on their terms — not according to when you have time to talk. They’re looking for signs that you’ll be a company worth doing business with, and that means they’re evaluating the content of your website. If all you have is a home page and a contact form, they’re probably going to look elsewhere.
Take the time to put your expertise on display through helpful content that educates people about the manufacturing process, the materials you use, how your customers can get one particular job done versus another, how they choose between the different options, and so on. Do this, and you demonstrate thought leadership and that you’ve got something special going on — they’ll be a whole lot more likely to take the next step.
Device- and Platform-Agnostic Marketing Resources
People are looking for information they can consume on whatever device they’re currently using. If you have an amazing infographic that explains useful points about your manufacturing process, you need to make sure that it looks awesome whether it’s on a board-room projection or a small smartphone screen.
If you aren’t able to show you’re ready for anything when it comes to what people are viewing your site on, how are you going to convince them you’re ready for anything when it comes to developing their products?
Let The Prospect Engage At Their Own Pace
Finally, don’t lock everything behind forms. Sure, keep some tricks up your sleeve, but by and large, give your prospect everything they need and let them view it as and when they need it. Don’t make them fill in a form if all they’re trying to do is learn a little more.
But do work within these limits to help them learn more! Have a chatbot waiting that can suggest more content or answer simple questions. If do get their email, feel free to explicitly share further content with them, but do so at an appropriate pace.
We Help Manufacturing Companies Compete
We’ve had special experience helping manufacturing companies succeed in the new sales and marketing paradigm. Want a piece of that? This month, we’re sharing our experiences in an online workshop just for Manufacturing and Technology companies. Sign up right here and we’ll set you up with everything you need to know.
Reading this in the future? No worries! We record every online workshop we give and make it available at the same link.
Ready for some more next steps? Read in full about how we deploy our playbooks to help manufacturing companies succeed right here instead.