India’s manufacturing PMI (Purchase Manager’s Index) stood at 52.4 in March 2015 up from 51.1 in February beating market expectations and the yearly average of 51.93 from 2012 till 2016. Manufacturing remains an area of focus for both the common man and the Government but what do Manufacturing Companies have in store while they start this new financial year gunning for higher targets?
Some Sales Heads are smarter and use metrics, graphs and numbers to spread the target across territories and regions. Let us remember that these targets are generally driven by investors/shareholders demands and hence cannot be overlooked.
However, the one area which is often overlooked is Learning. Learning, be it e-Learning or Classroom Instructor Lead Training is a part of the annual ‘Training’ plan as a compulsion for completing a set number of man hours. We have all seen the rush to sign on that sheet of paper for attendance after a Training Session. Now, you can understand why Learning is not effective.
Let us now look at 3 Sales Effectiveness Challenges for Manufacturing Companies
Lack of interest in Product Knowledge Training/Functional Training due to dull/verbose content
Most companies have multiple products.
Most companies have products that sell on their own.
These products complete the ‘Sales Quota’.
Wow! That sounds familiar you say?
What about my new and high margin products you say?
Sales people are busier than we can imagine. This is 2016 so the odds are that most of your Sales people are millennials with an attention span of 8.5 seconds.
Making Content Fun has been the forefront of our efforts at Outsell when we speak to clients and sales people.
We met Industry experts across Manufacturing industries like Machine Tools, Power Tools, Cutting Tools, Raw Materials and Medical Devices to name a few and one thing that stood out was that everyone struggles with Recap of Learning.
Common themes for Sales training are conferences, 2 days events in a fancy hotel, 3 days training at the Headquarters or the Regional Office without an emphasis on Reinforcement or Recap of Learning.
Genuinely, the sales person is busier than any other department in your company but if he isn’t equipped with the knowledge to sell and equipped at the right time, the quality of Sales conversations will decrease.
Stats suggest 88% of the learning in Classroom is forgotten if not reinforced within one month. This is an imperative stat when we measure learning and are trying to find new ways to ensure that Sales Persons on the field are effective.
Now, Outsell provides you an application that enables learning and recap of the same on-the-go.
Read about 5 Tips for Sales Readiness of New Hires here.
Low Adoption for New Systems like CRM
One statement that generally generates laughs at most of my meetings is that the CRM is a system designed for the Management and not the field Sales force. Even you would agree that despite the CRM being an integral system to day-to-day activities, it is one of the most menial, boring and arduous tasks to accomplish after you have already spent the day in the field trying to sell what you should be.
A great way to learning is integration of CRM with a Sales Effectiveness Platform. Allow the Sales Effectiveness Platform, a learning cum collaboration tool to be a buddy to the sales person.
What is a Sales Effectiveness Platform?
Well, a Sales Effectiveness Platform is one which allows a fun way of learning and recap of Product Knowledge along with a Knowledge Library of Product/Sales Collateral for healthy Collaboration.
Umm.. Sounds Complex. Explain Like I’m Five?
Sales Effectiveness Platforms have 4 Key Benefits
Fun way of Learning and Recap of Learning with Assessments
A Document Library for all the Product/Sales Collateral for the Sales person to refer at all times.
Analytics on Real Time Usage of the Tool for Management
All this on-the-go. On a Mobile App. (There should be a Web version too but ideally Mobile!)
Miraj started his career reconciling Third Party trades at Goldman Sachs. Since then, he's sold Fixed Income Bonds to Central Banks, Recruitment Solutions to Multinationals and Security Systems to Industrial plants in remote locations across India. He understands the rigmarole of a Sales man because he is one.