2022 Manufacturing Sales Trends: What to Expect and How to Prepare

2022 Manufacturing Sales Trends: What to Expect and How to PrepareThis article will discuss manufacturing and manufacturing sales trends for 2022.

As we go through this topic, we will cover:

  • What is manufacturing?
  • What trends are occurring in the manufacturing sector?
  • How are these trends impacting manufacturing sales?
  • What tools and processes should manufacturer sales implement now.

Note: Always use Grammarly to ensure your emails are rock solid.

 

What is manufacturing?

Manufacturing is the process of making a product to sell. Products include clothes, medical devices, computer chips, and anything other physical product that workers must assemble before being sold.

 

What is a manufacturer?

A business that makes products to sell is called a manufacturing business.

 

Manufacturing trends to watch in 2022

According to an article in Global Manufacturing titled “Critical manufacturing industry trends to expect in 2022“, the three trends to watch for are:

  • Increased investment in data-driven business tools
  • Concerted efforts to address the generational skills gap
  • Adoption of mobile solutions

Others, like Deloitte, note similar trends such as:

  • Workforce shortage
  • Supply chain instability
  • Smart factory initiatives
  • Cybersecurity
  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)

These, combined with a pre-covid workforce that did not heavily use digital channels, led to a manufacturing industry that was ready to digitize.

How are these challenges impacting the sales process in manufacturing companies?

 

Trends in manufacturing sales

Manufacturing sales is changingManufacturers are dealing with consumers who are growing more sophisticated, increasing competition, and, above all else, a growing risk for knowledge loss in their workforce.

Sales processes, human resources, sales teams themselves must change to support growing complexity and challenge.

  • The buying journey is now (primarily digital). While some buyers will want a return to in-person conversations, many have grown comfortable buying over the phone or via Zoom meetings.
  • At the micro-level, buyer conversations, deal updates, and the sharing of resources are flowing through mobile devices via SMS, custom, and off-the-shelf platforms. Even in face-to-face situations, expect to see tablets and mobile phones sharing information using side-by-side selling techniques.
  • Oh, yes, and if that wasn’t scary for some of you, augmented and virtual reality will continue to grow more prevalent. While the minority of businesses will invest in AR models and VR demos, this is only increasing in importance over the coming years. You ant to begin understanding all of this.
  • At the macro-level, you need to ensure all of your systems are integrated, from your manufacturing ERP systems to your CRMs to your Sales Content delivery platforms. And you need all of that data informing you how to improve your go-to-market efforts.
  • And data collection and analysis are everywhere, ensuring efficiency based upon inventory levels, machine-level operator efficiency, and so much more.
  • Knowledge capture from SMEs across the business is critical, so too is knowledge distribution, both in terms of supporting in-the-moment learning moments and providing repetitive training services to the field.

Thankfully, manufacturing sales teams can avoid worrying about the robots on the assembly line and the rising use of 3D printing, at least for now.

 

Tools and processes that manufacturer sellers should implement now

What tools and processes should your manufacturing sales teams implement in 2022?

 

Build organization alignment via OKRs

It would help if you used a goal-setting methodology that creates alignment across the teams. Please read our article on Trust Enablement about creating OKRs and also check out this article on Dunbar’s Number and how companies like Gore-Tex are using this insight to drive impressive results.

There are a number of tools to consider in this area, our current favorite?  Profit.co.

 

Map your buyer and customer journeys

It’s essential to understand your goals and your prospects and existing customers.

As you map this journey, you will find friction points in the processes and opportunities to improve the overall sales process.

 

Employ Enablement and Operations

You know where you and your customers want to go, now leverage Sales/Revenue Enablement and Revenue operations to get your sales teams ready and map progress.

 

Read our in-depth recommendations for Sales Enablement tools for manufacturers for guidance.

 

Manufacturing Sales CRM Options

Your operations team will want a CRM system that you may or may not yet have in place.

Here is our comparison of your sales CRM options.

 

Salesflaremonday.comPipedriveHubspotSalesforce
Very Small Business (less than $2M in annual revenue)Small to Mid-Sized BusinessSmall BusinessSmall to Mid-Sized BusinessMid-Sized to Large Business
Very easy to use the system and works well with Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, and LinkedInIncredible Project Management, Content Storage, Plus CRMEasy to use Contact and Deal FlowTop of the line Marketing Automation Plus CRMCustomizable and Scalable to meet the needs of the largest businesses
Only lightly customizable and with limited integrations. Weakest CRM in the group but acceptable functionality and incredible in other areas.Fewest Integrations — Use solutions like Zapier to close the gap.Free CRM is solid but the least robust of the three. Adding in paid features becomes expensive.Most complex solution to learn.
Try NowTry NowTry NowTry NowTry Now

 

Your sales process

We just discussed that your buyers likely know as much, or more, than you — this raises the bar on how well you must execute.

A key factor to consider for excellent execution is running a flawless sales process, lead qualification, and in-depth discovery.

Learn more about, and implement methodologies like MEDDIC, BANT, or Command of the Message.

And if you are already a Salesforce CRM user, consider checking out iSEEit as their solution runs right inside the CRM and helps you, monitor, enforce, and manage the MEDDIC sales methodology where your managers already work.

Summary

The manufacturing sales team of 2022 will need to be aware of all these challenges and trends and be prepared to implement the necessary changes.

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