How to adapt your company to the industrial sales cycle
We do not discover anything new if we affirm that the sales cycle in the industrial sector is slow and complex. In this area, it is very important to build relationships of trust and have an educating role with customers, since it is not about selling consumer goods, but specific solutions to problems that are difficult to solve. Therefore, it is very important to understand how the industrial sales cycle works and how your company can adapt to it.
Industrial sales cycle: find out how it works
According to a study by Industrial Buy Cycle , the average duration of the stages of the sales cycle in the industrial sector are as follows:
- Analysis and investigation: between 4 and 5 weeks
- Evaluation: between 3 and 9 weeks
- Decision and purchase: 4 weeks
Based on these data, an industrial sale can last more than four months , although it will depend a lot on the type of product or service, since in some cases it can even last a year. Although the scenario may seem somewhat daunting, there are keys to optimizing this pipeline as much as possible and even shortening deadlines. For this, it is essential to know our potential buyers or Buyer Personas .
Keys to understanding the industrial buyer persona
When dealing with complex sales, buyers in the industrial sector look for a lot of information before initiating contact with a supplier. For this reason, in every industrial sales cycle there is a phase prior to the direct relationship with the client, which is to generate educational content so that our potential clients reach us well in advance to be relevant during their decision-making process.
And how is this accomplished? With what is known as content marketing . It is about creating content pieces (articles, guides, infographics, tutorials ...) that provide relevant information to the buyer persona. To do this, you have to keep in mind that in this phase of the pipeline the client still does not know you, so you should not create content about your brand, but rather they should be educational articles aimed at solving possible doubts that your buyer may have. person.
In this sense, the doubts that the buyer person has will depend on the phase of the sales cycle in which they are and, at this point, we return to the importance of knowing and adapting to the industrial pipeline.
"It is very important to build relationships of trust and have an educating role with clients"
Adapt your company to the industrial sales cycle
In B2B operations, the purchasing process consists of 4 phases: discovery, consideration, decision and loyalty . In each of them the customer's needs are different and, therefore, the marketing actions to be developed by the company must also be.x
- Discovery phase: this is the stage in which the buyer person discovers that they have a problem and begins to investigate about it, so the company must focus its efforts on finding the potential customer. How? Generating attraction content . For example, a technical architect who is developing a work and needs to find a solution for the insulation of the building, probably at this stage will look for information on which are the best thermal insulation systems. That would be the kind of content that a company should generate for the buyer persona to reach it.
- Consideration phase: after the information search stage, the client begins to filter and discard solutions , and focuses on a few that are the ones that have aroused the greatest interest in order to make a more in-depth analysis of them. During this period, the company must generate quality information that conveys to the potential client the idea that their brand may be the solution they are looking for . This is achieved with much more developed and professional content that invites the buyer persona to contact the company. It can be ebooks, webinars, product comparisons, etc.
- Decision phase: this is the moment in which the customer makes the purchase decision, so this is when the commercial department enters the scene to put all its efforts into closing the sale. As there will have already been a previous contact, even via email, the commercial agent will have paved the way and will have many more opportunities to get a deal.
To these three decisive phases in the industrial sales cycle would be added a fourth which is loyalty and which consists of maintaining a continuous relationship with the customer once the sale is closed. This can be done by sending newsletters, events in social networks, etc. And with all this, what is intended is to turn your customers into prescribers so that they recommend your brand to other people.
"In each of the phases of the sales process the customer's needs are different and, therefore, the marketing actions must also be"
Create a marketing strategy for your sales cycle
Being clear about how it works and how a company can adapt to the industrial sales cycle, it is time to define a marketing strategy that helps optimize the pipeline . In this sense, inbound marketing is the best solution, since it is a methodology that adapts to the needs of each client without being intrusive , that is, the client is the one who reaches the company and not the other way around.
One of the most common mistakes in industrial companies is taking single actions without having a plan . This is a waste of time and money, since they are generally actions that hardly offer results. Therefore, before launching to send newsletters, redesign the web or create a social campaign, you have to draw up a marketing plan and, before this, you have to define some objectives.
For example, if your goal is to sell more, you will need to generate more quality leads so that your sales department can work on them and inbound marketing can help you (a lot) in this. The purpose of this methodology is to get quality traffic on your website so that, later, these visitors leave their data and a commercial agent can contact them and lead them through the sales cycle.
Inbound marketing allows Park view city to create trusting relationships with your customers, simplify the sales process and make it more effective , as well as improve the profitability of your marketing actions. Do you dare to try?