Advancing manufacturing techniques are, of course, the key to competitiveness. Smart factories, connected products, additive manufacturing and advanced materials are all driving innovation and competitiveness. However, what about the number one challenge to manufacturers today: Growth.
Manufacturers are comfortable improving designs and getting products to market faster, but they tend not to tamper with the sales process, even though a cumbersome sales process leads to lost deals — and lost revenue.
Hanover Research recently surveyed more than 100 automotive and industrial manufacturing sales professionals and executive leaders to try and determine industry perceptions around the customer experience. Survey respondents rated products that best meet customer needs and superior support and service as the two most important attributes associated with superior customer experience. Fair or consistent pricing ranked towards the bottom.
Yet — fair pricing — along with quote turnaround time, ranked right behind on-time delivery as the biggest sources of customer frustration for survey participants. In an open-ended question that asked respondents to name their greatest sales interaction challenges, pricing and contract negotiation ranked high on the list.
The Hanover Research data proves that manufacturers are aware they have pricing, quoting, and contracting issues but are not linking these sales challenges to the overall customer experience. The result: they are failing to prioritize what CEB data shows is the most important driver of organic revenue growth, namely the sales experience. Customers must see differentiation in the areas that matter to them. It’s time to flip the mental model of organic revenue and growth. Innovation is not enough, manufacturers need to set their company apart from the competition.
Where efficiency, innovation and brand used to rule, today the customer experience is driving revenue and growth.
To learn more about how to meet modern commerce expectations in the manufacturing industry visit our website: http://www.pros.com/manufacturing-sales-experience/