Industrial manufacturing companies who don’t have an organized system to attract and educate prospects are in for some bad news: It will become more and more difficult to get them to reach out to you and become a new sales lead. Prospects who used to call you for information early in the sales process are now getting their information online and are well through the research phase before they ever pick up the phone to talk with you.

In their book, “The Challenger Sale”, researchers Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson argue that prospects are 55 – 75 percent of the way through the decision-making process before they contact companies for information.

In the industrial equipment industry, where sales cycles can be as long as 3 – 36 months, this statistic is the icing on the cake of a set of big challenges that sales teams face when trying to close deals.

Challenges of complex sales

We live in a world where business gets faster every day, making long sales cycles seem intimidatingly slow. In this situation, your best play is to provide lots of valuable information about your industry, your product, and the problems it solves, and deliver that information in a targeted way so that it finds your ideal prospects – or better yet, so that ideal prospects find your information during their online research.

Jay Baer, a marketing consultant and author of “YOUtility” advocates a style of selling called “Friend of Mine Awareness” in which, in addition to all the regular marketing you do, you also “seek to have a prospective customer allow you inside their circle of trust, where you become more than just a purveyor, but rather a valuable resource” to them. In the narrow markets where we sell a product or process to a very specific industry, would you rather be known as a “salesperson” or “that guy with all the problem solving, valuable, relevant, compelling, solutions-based information”?

Digital marketing gives you the opportunity to target people in your narrow field, and become a great resource to them.

As the sales cycle trudges on

As you begin down the path with a new prospect, you’re embarking on a long journey that will cost you time and money. You have to illustrate value propositions, and work with your team to anticipate and overcome comprehensive justifications. Industrial products are sophisticated, and your pitch must often be tailored directly to the set of problems and issues that each individual prospect has. Deliver bad information and you’ll lose the sale. It’s what author Jill Konrath calls “the dreaded D-Zone” where you’re branded as a provider of bad information so you’re relegated to the world of deleted, delayed, or dismissed for other products.

Marketing automation tools and other smart digital marketing platforms can help you curate all the best answers your team has come up with and house them in such a way that they are ready to be sent to prospects at just the right moment in their sales journey. Imagine being able to know when a client has read a case study you’ve sent him, and knowing that the next case study in the series has been triggered to be sent to him in just a few weeks? These types of automated solutions work to inform the client while making you look good and keeping your product top-of-mind in the process.

We’ve developed a systematic approach for B2B lead generation that is targeted to your ideal industrial customer that will put you far ahead of your competition.

If you would like to learn more about online lead generation for manufacturers download our white paper. Click Here Online Lead Generation For Manufacturers: Why it’s critical for complex sales & how it can triple your leads per month.

While others in our industry shrug off (or, more likely, been intimidated by) digital marketing, we embrace it, harness the technology, and put it to use for our Industrial manufacturing clients to generate high quality leads. We’d be glad to talk with you about how our strategies can transform your lead generation efforts, and convert more sales.

If you’re a U.S. manufacturer of industrial products and would like to see if our ILG service is a good fit for your world-class business, we’d like to talk with you. Please begin by filling out our short discovery form here: