The manufacturing industry has evolved in the last decade. Product life cycles are shorter, technology has transformed how companies make them, and businesses have learned to be more efficient with their resources.
But adopting new technologies is not enough to keep up with the industry—manufacturing businesses also need to look for ways to grow their companies. It’s important for manufacturers to have a strong sales growth strategy to acquire new customers, maintain relationships with existing ones, and nurture future business.
This is what makes lead generation, sales, and marketing a crucial component of the growth of a manufacturing company.
In this blog, we’ll cover best practices for generating B2B leads for manufacturing businesses:
Before jumping into your lead generation strategy, identify what your ideal manufacturing client looks like. Take what you know from your target market to segment potential buyers into different buyer personas. Identifying your ideal client helps your sales development team build a prospect list of potential sales opportunities that meet your criteria.
Every manufacturing company sees their ideal client differently. For example, if you’re a medical manufacturer, you’re only going to want to have medical equipment companies in your sales pipeline. So, having pharmaceutical or industrial equipment companies as prospects in your pipeline wastes the time of your sales reps who could be focusing on prospects that align with your business model.
If you want to get the best leads for your business’s pipeline, your sales development teams should take a look at your current book of business and find commonalities between your highest paying and most loyal clients. Trends in decision-makers, amount of revenue generated, or service region allow sales operations analysts to narrow down their prospect search.
While your manufacturing business may have a single target market, consider all the different buyer personas of potential manufacturing decision-makers. For example, the buying habits of supply chain managers may be different than how new product managers approach making purchasing decisions. Additionally, their wants, needs, interests, and pain points may be different. Therefore, it’s important to consider this so sales reps can pitch them the best information and share the most appropriate content marketing materials, guiding them closer to the end of the sales funnel.
At Abstrakt, we help growing manufacturing companies identify their ideal client and fill their sales pipelines with sales-qualified prospects. Learn more about our approach to manufacturing lead generation here.
Many manufacturing companies use referrals or upselling existing customers to increase revenue. While these are ways to get more sales, it shouldn’t be your only approach to business growth because it’s not predictable nor sustainable. That’s why more manufacturing businesses are using B2B appointment setting (or outbound lead generation) to build their sales pipelines and secure more sales opportunities.
Once your sales development team identifies your target audience and their buying personas, you can start crafting a sales development strategy to introduce prospects to your business and nurture a relationship with them until they’re ready to take the next step in their sales journey.
B2B appointment setting looks different for every manufacturing company based on their area of expertise or the buying personas of decision-makers, so you should choose an approach that aligns most with your market. For example, metal fabrication manufacturers may respond best to cold calling while pharmaceutical manufacturers prefer email marketing.
But the most impactful way is to mix both cold calling and email marketing. Even if a sales development representative (SDR) cold calls a prospect and they’re not ready to schedule a sales meeting, the lead can be put into a lead nurturing email campaign to receive additional sales and marketing materials, providing your business with top-of-mind awareness. When the SDR makes a follow-up warm call to the qualified prospect, they’ll be more likely to remember and trust your business, making them more ready to take a meeting with a member of your sales team.
For greater insight into what B2B appointment setting entails, read our blog here.
Marketing for manufacturing companies is easier when your marketing teams create content that decision-makers are already looking for online. While there are many manufacturing digital marketing strategies out there, one of the most successful and impactful forms of digital marketing for this industry is search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization (SEO) content writing increases the likelihood of interested buyers finding your business online through search engines and allows them to make a purchasing decision on their own terms. Additionally, it positions your company as a trusted leader in the manufacturing industry, encouraging decision-makers to trust what your business has to offer them.
To get started with your manufacturing SEO strategy, your marketing experts should have a good understanding of what potential buyers are looking for when searching for your manufacturing services. They can gather this information by speaking with your sales development team to explore what kind of questions prospects are asking on phone calls or through email. Additionally, marketing experts can perform a competitor analysis to see what other high-performing manufacturing companies are doing when it comes to writing and sharing content, using their websites as a foundation for generating topic ideas.
Once your marketing experts have a list of topics they want to write about, they can write their own content using relevant keywords that potential buyers are typing in the search bar, increasing the likelihood of them discovering your manufacturing company website.
If you want to learn more about how you can optimize content for search engines, read our blog here.
If you’re looking for a way to re-engage leads who were previously looking into your manufacturing services, then paid retargeting ads may just be your answer. Digital paid ads (i.e. display ads, pay-per-click ads, and social media ads) empower manufacturing companies to boost brand visibility and get in front of the eyes of interested buyers.
Paid ads can be shown to specific audiences. For example, when it comes to organic SEO, content is presented on search engine results pages (SERPs) to anyone who is actively searching for topics regarding the manufacturing industry. But when it comes to targeted ads, your marketing team can target specific demographics and geographical locations which is essential for bringing your ads to the most accurate decision-makers, increasing the likelihood of them contacting your business.
Additionally, paid advertising produces quicker results for manufacturing companies compared to appointment setting and organic SEO. And while you may have more leads sent your way, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re qualified for your services, so your SDRs should reach out to the inbound lead and verify that they meet your sales qualifiers.
When it comes down to it, paid advertising can be an incredibly effective way for manufacturing companies to get in front of their target audience, generate leads, and boost sales. When paid ads are combined with other sales and marketing strategies, manufacturing companies can build a comprehensive marketing plan that helps them achieve their business goals.
Sales and marketing are often identified as completely separate functions within a manufacturing company’s everyday business operations. While this may be somewhat accurate, alignment between the two departments is essential for making sure you get the most impact from your lead generation strategy.
With sales and marketing alignments, your manufacturing company has the ability to:
- Enhance productivity
- Write clear brand messaging
- Provide a better customer experience
- Increase sales
- Make data-driven decisions
For more insight into the different ways you can align sales and marketing efforts, read our blog here.
Manufacturing companies need to gain new leads and retain existing customers to stay competitive in today’s market. Implementing various lead generation practices such as B2B appointment setting, SEO content writing, and targeted paid advertising opportunities, manufacturers can acquire new leads that they can nurture and convert into customers.
As long as you can keep up with the ever-changing manufacturing landscape, your business should be able to scale in a way that is both profitable and sustainable. At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we work with growing manufacturing companies like yours to generate high-quality sales opportunities. When you’re ready to maximize the growth of your manufacturing business, contact the sales reps at Abstrakt!