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How to Craft an Effective B2B Product Demo for Prospective Buyers

By Evan Lamolinara | 05/12/2019 | 9:55 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

DemoProduct demos are an invaluable tool for material handling sales reps. Defined as a demonstration of a material handling company's product, they help prospective buyers make smarter purchasing decisions by showing them exactly how a product works. Being that material handling buyers such as plant managers, facility manager, warehouse managers or distribution center manager are essentially recommenders or influencers on the decision, it often requires greater work to convert as you need to arm them with the best information possible to take to the president or board.

Wait Until the Time Is Right

Timing is of the essence when performing a product demo for a prospective buyer. If you showcase your material handling company's product too early during the sales cycle, you'll struggle to generate a sale because the buyer hasn't developed an interest for it yet. But if you perform a product demo too late during the sales cycle, the prospective buyer may have already chosen a different product to purchase. Therefore, you need to wait until the right time -- usually somewhere in the middle sages of the sales cycle -- to perform product demos for prospective buyers.

Consider Video-Based Product Demos

Depending if you are selling a conveyor system, forklift truck, robotics or even an AGV or AGC, you may be able to create videos demonstrating how your company's product works. According to a report by Wordstream, over half of all corporate executives prefer watching product videos than reading articles or other forms of text about products. Since our material handling industry is all about the movement of goods, it’s a great idea to show them how the product performs. Now of course, they will expect it to be working perfect in a demo setting, so also include how the product works in a customer case study setting. This will allow the warehouse or distribution center manager to actually ‘see’ how it is being used within a facility.

Customize Product Demos

You can still use a general template to create your material handling company's product demos, but it's important to customize product demos so that they are highly relevant to each prospective warehouse, manufacturing or distribution center customer. Before providing a product demo to a prospective buyer, customize it for the plant, facility or warehouse manager. You'll have to invest more time and resources to create customized product demos, but it will pay off in the form of increased sales for your material handling company.

Include Case Studies

While the focus of product demos is to show how a product works, you can use this opportunity to provide written and video case studies to prospective buyers. Either at the beginning or end of your product demo, for example, describe how other customers have experienced success using your conveyor, AGV, or crane. When prospective buyers see quantifiable benefits in the form of a case study, they'll feel more confident purchasing and using the product in their own business's operations.

Showing a Demo to More Prospects

Now that you’ve got this great demo in place along with written and video case studies, who else can you show it to? You might have been exhibiting at the ProMat show, so they had a chance to see your product demo along with your competition. You need something new to sell to.

SalesLeads Inc provides industrial project reports to the material handling industry. These are leads or opportunities our researchers find and track who are planning industrial construction, expansion, relocation, equipment modernization projects. You’ll be able to stay on top of current opportunities as we send alerts when a new industrial opportunity is found. This is so you can continuously fill your sales funnel with high quality leads where you will undoubtedly give a demo… so you can bring it to a close.

How to Effectively Target Old B2B Sales Leads

By Evan Lamolinara | 05/12/2019 | 9:43 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

Time is of the essence when contacting material handling leads. According to a report Targetby Vendasta, the chance of working a sales cycle and getting to a sale reduces by 391% after just one minute of securing a lead. As a result, you'll generate more sales by contacting leads immediately -- or within 60 seconds, at least -- after securing their information. Even if it's been days, weeks or months, though, you can still target material handling leads. Old leads require a bit more work to convert, but with the right approach, you can turn them into customers for your material handling company.

Validate Information

Before attempting to contact an old material handling lead, you should validate their information. Even it was originally entered correctly, the information may no longer be valid. Maybe the contact left the company, or possibly a company merger or acquisition. One of the quickest and most effective ways is to use SalesLeads’ Sales & Marketing Intelligence database. Because of our focus in the material handling industry, you’ll be able to search and validate the old contact name, or uncover who had taken their place with the same or similar title along with phone number and email address.

If you discover any invalid leads, remove them from your database so that they don't impede your sales efforts.

Investigate Past Correspondences

If a material handling lead is old, it means either you or someone from your material handling company's sales team failed to convert him or her into a customer at some point in the buying cycle. Therefore, you should investigate your material handling company's past correspondences with the lead to determine what happened. While scouring over past correspondences, pay attention to the date on which your material handling company first made contact with the lead, as well as the most recent date of contact. By reviewing these correspondences, you can learn more about the lead's needs. The opportunity may be lost because the order or purchase has been made, or the prospect may have pushed the purchase out a few months or even until the next budget year. Two of these three scenarios are still opportunities to get yourself back into the sales cycle with the distribution center, manufacturing or warehouse prospect.

Prepare Counters for Sales Objections

After going over past correspondences with the old lead, you should know why he or she objected your material handling company's offer the first time around. To convert the old lead into a customer, you must prepare counters for his or her sales objection. Otherwise, the process will repeat, with the lead objecting your sales offer.

Common reasons for material handling sales objections include the following:

  • Price too high
  • The lead was only interested in researching your material handling company's product or service at the time
  • Selected a different material handling company from which to purchase
  • The lead doesn't have the authority to make purchases
  • Not willing to enter into a contract
  • The lead was busy performing other activities at the time

Research the Lead

Before contacting the lead (again), research him or her to learn as much information about them and their professional needs as possible. Social media alone can reveal a wealth of information about leads. Just head over to the main social media networks -- LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter -- to see if the lead has a profile. If so, check out their profile while taking note of information like their job position, date of employment, phone number and email address.

Getting Ready to Contact the Old or New Contacts

You’re now armed with information, you’re ready to devise a strategy of what to say when you make the call to the plant, warehouse or distribution center manager. According to Steve Martin, no… not the comedian, for the Harvard Business Review, he conducted a study on why sales people lose a sale. Here’s a quick recap that can help you devise your strategy.

  1. If you are concerned that your product or service is not the best known…and why you lost, think again. 63% said they would select a fairly well-known brand with 85% of the functionality at 80% of the cost. However, only 5% would select a relatively unknown brand with 75% of the functionality at 60% of the cost of the best-known brand.
  2. Study participants were asked to respond to different pricing scenarios, and their responses were analyzed to categorize their pricing tendency. The results confirmed that manufacturing is a price conscious industry.
  3. The study asked about personality of the sales person. If all 3 sales people sold a similar product, price and benefits, who would you buy from: a professional, friendly or charismatic salesperson? Manufacturing chose the professional salesperson. An individual who knows their product inside and out, and not necessarily the person you want to be your new BFF.

Offer a Discount or Promotion

You can often encourage old leads to purchase your material handling company's product or service by offering them a discount or special promotion. Since the lead has already engaged with your company, he or she may disregard any future sales messages that you send. Including the words "discount" or "promotion" in your sales messages, however, will entice the lead to reengage with your material handling company, increasing your chance of converting the lead into a customer.

Create a Calling Schedule

When you're ready to begin an old lead, you should create a calling schedule. It's unlikely that you'll reach the lead during your first calling attempt. According to one report, it now takes the average material handling sales rep eight calling attempts to reach leads. Some leads require even more attempts to reach. So, create a calling schedule that specifies when exactly you intend to call the prospect. Research shows that the best time of day to call material handling leads is between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. as well as 6:00 and 8:00 a.m.

Keep Emails Short

If you're going to target an old lead using email, remember to keep your messages short. There's nothing wrong with writing lengthy blog posts, white papers and other forms of media, but emails typically perform best when they are short. According to HubSpot, emails with just 50 to 125 words generate the highest response rates. If you keep your emails around this length, you'll have a better chance of getting the lead to open them.

Know When to Stop

There's nothing wrong with pursuing old leads, but you should know when to stop. If a lead is obviously not interested in purchasing your material handling company's product or service, continuing to contact him or her with your sales messages will only consume valuable time and resources that could be used on nurturing other leads into customers. So, if an old lead is adamant about not purchasing your product or service, cut your losses and move on to another sales lead.

Is Social Media an Effective Channel for Material Handling?

By Evan Lamolinara | 04/09/2019 | 8:04 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

If you're searching for new channels on which to sell your material handling company's products or services, you might be wondering if social media is worth pursuing. Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have become increasingly popular in recent years. Most, however, are targeted at consumer use, not business use. This doesn't necessarily mean that social media is an ineffective sales channel for industrial plant automation companies, however.

LinkedIn is the Preferred ChSocial mediaannel for Material Handling Companies

According to a report by LinkedIn, 94% of material handling companies use LinkedIn to share content with their target audience. Based on these numbers, LinkedIn is the most popular channel for industrial content marketing. Of course, LinkedIn differs from other social media networks by focusing on businesses and professionals. As a result, it's particularly effective for material handling marketing and sales activities.

B2B Companies Have a Half-Dozen Social Media Profiles on Average

A separate report found that the average B2B company has a half-dozen social media profiles on average. In addition to LinkedIn, many B2B companies have a digital presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Each profile signals a new opportunity for a B2B company to connect with its audience, thereby driving leads and sales.

Over Half of All B2B Buyers Use Social Media to Research Products and Services

Statistics show that over half of all B2B buyers use social media to research products or services before making a purchase. Whether they are looking to buy a product or service (or both), B2B buyers often scour social media networks for information.

49% of All B2B Buyers Look at LinkedIn Profiles to Research Vendors

When speaking about LinkedIn, 49% of all material handling buyers use the social media platform to research vendors. They'll specifically check out companies' profiles on LinkedIn, using this information to determine if a company is right for their business's needs. If you haven’t completed a company profile page with product and services pages on your company’s forklift, controllers, or engineering services, get it done…now.

76% of B2B Companies Use Facebook for Content Marketing

According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 76% of B2B companies use Facebook to promote and share content with their target audience. With Facebook reaching over a billion users each month, it can be a powerful platform on which to reach B2B buyers.

77% of B2B Companies Use Twitter for Content Marketing

The CMI also reported that 77% of B2B companies use Twitter to promote and share content with their target audience. This is a great way to get a quick message out using keywords (material handling, overhead conveyor, AGV) to draw attention to your products and services. This way when someone…including the press…is searching for information, you have a better chance of being in their results.

All of these platforms take time to do. Sometimes you just need help in filling the pipeline fast. Project Reports, by SalesLeads, are identified projects uncovered by our researchers. Through SalesLeads, you’ll know what the project is about, who to contact as well as their direct phone and email address.

Why You Should Target Mobile Devices When Selling Material Handling Products or Services

By Evan Lamolinara | 04/09/2019 | 7:49 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

ChartDoes your material handing sales strategy focus strictly on desktop and laptop computers? Even though many target audiences such as plant managers and facility managers are primarily checking their email via desktop, we’ll begin to see that change over the next few years. As a result, it's important to target mobile devices in your material handling sales strategy. Otherwise, you won't be able to reach as many prospects with your sales messages, resulting in fewer sales. Below are a few key reasons to target mobile devices when selling B2B products or services.

Nearly Half of the B2B Buyers Research Products Using a Mobile Device

According to Google, nearly half (49%) of all B2B buyers research products using a mobile device while at work. Of course, this shouldn't come as a surprise since smartphones and tablets are easier and more convenient to use than traditional computers. If a plant automation buyer wants to learn about one of your robotic, forklift or conveyor company's products or services, he or she can quickly search for it online using a mobile device.

Mobile Devices Account For 40% of All B2B Sales Revenue

It's estimated that mobile devices account for roughly 40% of all B2B sales revenue. Whether your B2B company sells a product, a service or both, targeting mobile devices will drive more revenue for your company.

84% of Millennial B2B Buyers Say Mobile Devices Are Critical to Their Job

As new generations enter the material handling marketplace, they will be using mobile devices to do their jobs. Another report found that 84% of millennial B2B buyers say mobile devices are critical to their job. They don't just use mobile devices for browsing social media; they use it for researching products and services before buying them.

Over Half of All Searches Are Performed on a Mobile Device

Statistics show that over half of all internet searches -- Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. -- are performed on a mobile device. By 2020, this number is expected to grow to 70%, meaning that seven in 10 of all internet searches will involve a smartphone, tablet or other mobile devices. If your material handling company doesn't target mobile devices, it won't be able to reach these up and coming users.

80% of B2B Buyers Use Mobile Devices at Work

According to Smart Insights, approximately 80% of B2B buyers use mobile devices at work. Again, many B2B buyers use a smartphone or tablet to research products or services before buying them.

Where’s the Material Handling Market Headed?

According to Global Market Insights, the material handling equipment market will be worth over $190 billion by 2024. With the fast growing pace of automation how will your sales and marketing adjust to uncover those sales opportunities? With the fast pace of the material handling industry, SalesLeads utilizes researchers to uncover the who, when, and how much of opportunities, called Project Reports.

These Project Reports allow you to find out what the project is all about and begin the sales process immediately by calling or emailing the contacts responsible for the project. Try out the service by opening a complimentary account.

How to Streamline Your B2B Company's Material Handling Cold Calling Strategy

By Evan Lamolinara | 03/25/2019 | 8:40 PM | Categories: Current Affairs

PhoneHow much time does your material handling company spend cold calling prospective buyers? Even with the advent of digital and online sales channels, many material handling companies such as forklift, aerials, conveyors, AGV, AGC still use cold calling as part of their overall buyer outreach strategy. It's an easy, inexpensive way to promote a product or service to prospective buyers. But not all cold calls will result in a sale. On the contrary, a study cited by HubSpot found that just 1% of cold calls lead to an appointment, and even fewer result in a sale. You can still use cold calling to sell your company's products or services, but you should consider streamlining this tactic so that it doesn't consume all your material handling company's time and resources.

Limit Calls to 10 Minutes

Some material handling sales reps assume that longer cold calls are more likely to result in a sale than shorter cold calls. A report published by ZoomInfo found that calls lasting six to 10 minutes have a 29% higher conversion rate than calls lasting longer than 10 minutes. Therefore, you should try to keep your cold calls under 10 minutes. Stretching out a call for the sake of keeping the buyer on the line isn't the best way to use your time. If a buyer isn't going to make a purchase, you should move on to the next phone number on your list.

Reach the Decision Maker

Another way to streamline your company's cold calling strategy is to try and reach the decision maker. The person whom you call may or may not have the authority to make purchases on behalf of his or her business. If you reach a receptionist, for example, there's a good chance he or she won't be ale to make a purchase. To overcome this challenge, you should try to reach the decision maker. Whether it's the company's CEO or any other executive, decision makers have the power and authority to make purchases on behalf of their business.

Call at the Right Time

The time of day when you call prospective buyers will affect the success of your company's cold calling strategy. Statistics show that the best time of day to make cold calls is between the hours of 4:00 and 5:00 p.m., unless you know that they start their day earlier and end earlier too. Many warehouse, manufacturing and distribution centers often start their day by 6:00 a.m. or 7:00 a.m. So, adjust your time accordingly as the right time to call.

Now that you know how best to handle cold calling strategies, here’s how you can get to the right decision maker that has an active project going on that can use your products and services. As you may be aware, our team of researchers uncover active projects in industrial facilities, warehouses, manufacturing plants. Our Project Reports provide you with the contact person(s) for the active project as well as direct phone number and direct email. Give both strategies a try. You only have appointments and sales to gain.

Is Cold Emailing an Effective Sales Tactic for Systems Integrators?

By Evan Lamolinara | 03/25/2019 | 8:30 PM | Categories: Current Affairs

Email1Most sales reps have heard of cold calling -- it's one of the most common strategies used by system integrators to sell their products or services. However, a sales strategy that's often overlooked is cold emailing. Like cold calling, it involves communicating with a potential customer with whom you've had no previous content. The difference is that cold calling involves calling potential customers, whereas cold emailing involves emailing them. So, is cold emailing an effective B2B sales tactic, or should you focus your sales efforts on other strategies?

15% to 28% Average Open Rate

You may assume that cold emails have a low open rate since the recipient isn't familiar with the sender (the business). But according to a report by Preopeller, cold emails have an average open rate of 15% to 28%. That means for every 100 cold emails you send, you can expect 15 to 28 recipients to open them. By optimizing your cold emails with an eye-catching subject line and familiar sender name, you may achieve an even higher open rate.

Easy to Get Started

It's also easy to start a cold emailing campaign. You only need the email addresses of potential customers, at which point you can send them cold emails to promote your business's products or services.

The trick is, where to get high quality emails. That’s where SalesLeads can help. Our Sales & Marketing Intelligence service is a high quality content and contact database with email addresses. Not all services provide the email addresses, and if they do, they charge extra. You can use our service in a couple different ways. 1. Use the high quality content database as is, and search for contacts for targeted companies, filter by city, state etc., or 2. Let us know exactly who and what you want to target and our team will create a custom targeted list with the information verified.

Increased Brand Exposure

In addition to selling products or services, cold emailing can increase your system integrators brand exposure. Even if a recipient doesn't open your email, he or she will still see the subject line and the ‘From’. By including your systems integrator name and other identifiable brand elements in subject lines, you'll expose more users to your business's brand. The next time one of these prospects want to make a purchase, they may choose your business because of its brand.

CAN-SPAM Compliance

If you're going to use cold emailing in your system integrator’s sales strategy, though, you should familiarize yourself with the CAN-SPAM Act. Some B2B sales reps assume that the CAN-SPAM Act prohibits them from emailing potential customers with whom they've had no previous contact, but this isn't true. Rather, the CAN-SPAM Act requires businesses to give recipients the ability to opt out of receiving future emails. In other words, you must include an "unsubscribe" link in your cold emails -- and you must honor this request if a recipient clicks it.

Now that you’ve had the opportunity to view who opened your emails, you may want to track particular companies in the news so you have additional reasons to call. SalesLeads released News Alert, a way to track pertinent information about that company. You will automatically receive this service with your subscription. Test it out with a free subscription to our service.

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Evan Lamolinara

Evan Lamolinara

Evan Lamolinara is president of SalesLeads, Inc., a company that has been around for over 60 years, generating high quality sales leads dedicated to the sales & marketing professionals in the industrial marketplace. Mr. Lamolinara, an entrepreneur and competitor, purchased the legacy company in 2014. Since then, he's redeveloped its core software delivery platform and grew the company over 400%. Evan graduated from Mount Union College with B.A. Business Management and honed his competitive skills as a 3-year letterman on the College football team.



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