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Targeting Manufacturers? Five Winning Strategies for Effective Business Development in Manufacturing

Posted by IndustrySelect on Monday, March 23, 2020

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If your business is going to succeed in the manufacturing market, you need to have the right business development approaches in place.

Of course, tackling business development in the manufacturing market is easier said than done. There is a variety of factors that you have to pay attention to when appealing to this market.

Business development, sales, marketing ... what's the difference, anyway?

It's important to note that today, many roles that are technically sales or marketing roles are now "business development" positions, rebranded for a variety of reasons.

While sales and marketing professionals have specific functions (like closing a deal or creating Facebook ads), business development professionals interact with a variety of departments in a more overarching way (setting sales or marketing benchmarks, for example).

As a business developer, your job is to ensure that other departments (like sales and marketing) can do their job with minimal interruptions.

You enable your business to find success and may have to fill many different positions to achieve that goal.

Why is Business Development Different in Manufacturing?

Formulating the optimal business development strategy looks a little different in manufacturing than it does in other industries:

1. Manufacturing buying groups are highly interconnected. A stakeholder from a prospect's QA department may like your product or service, but it won't matter if their safety director doesn't also approve. Manufacturing pipelines are uniquely interconnected, meaning every department in a manufacturing company has the potential to affect other departments directly. You need to ensure that your salespeople and marketing strategies are set up to tackle entire buying groups, not just separate departments.

2. The stakes are high. Sellers in the manufacturing industry often have the potential to clinch huge contracts with buyers. You may not have to worry about making as many sales per year, but losing a deal last minute can be devastating. Business development professionals in manufacturing industries need to be meticulous and painstaking in their work.

These factors make handling business development for manufacturers a unique experience, but IndustrySelect can provide you with buyer-specific data so you can tailor pitches to prospects' unique needs and goals.

Tips for Business Development Professionals in the Manufacturing Market

The manufacturing market may be challenging, but the potential for success is huge. Here are some tips for crafting a great business development strategy in the manufacturing market:

1. Research your stakeholders thoroughly. Researching the specific stakeholders you're trying to entice can give you a much-needed edge during the pitch phase of a sale. For example, if you suspect an engineering director may take issue with a facet of your offer, make sure to head off those issues before they arise. Give each stakeholder something they can bite into when evaluating your offer.

2. Consider your competitors carefully. Because of how much capital is at stake in manufacturing sales, buying groups will research your competition meticulously. Make sure your sales and marketing departments are set up with statistics that support your product or service's performance in comparison with your competitors. Act proactively, not reactively.

3. Accept that trending marketing methods don't always work for manufacturing. Instead, consider different tactics such as investing in networking events or manufacturing shows where you knowyour product will be in front of key stakeholders.

4. Target specific buyers. In most instances, manufacturers prefer a product or service that will tackle a niche need over a one-size-fits-all solution. Know what you're offering inside and out and get that offering in front of people you know will be interested in it. IndustrySelect's buyer profiles allow you to meticulously customize sales and marketing content for your target demographics.

5. Position your brand as a thought leader. If your brand is seen as not only a trusted provider but also an expert in a specific niche, you can create additional revenue streams through methods like content marketing. Try to place yourself as a thought leader in your niche.

Be a Lead Generating Hero with IndustrySelect

If you're a business development executive, looking to generate more leads for your sales staff, we can help.

IndustrySelect provides clients with touch-point data for potential leads, including contact information and other actionable data.

To learn more about how you can use IndustrySelect to generate reliable leads for your company, visit our website and start your free demo!


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