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Talking to the Big Boss: Preparing for Your C-Level Manufacturing Sales Pitch

Posted by IndustrySelect on Wednesday, July 14, 2021

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4 MIN. READ

Things are starting to go back to normal for the manufacturing sector. More businesses are opening up to their full capacity again after COVID-19. The good news is that many prospects are considering their next step and looking at proposals from vendors. You can stand out in this competitive environment by reaching out to C-level executives directly. However, you’ll need to craft a strong C-level manufacturing sales pitch to convince these decision-makers.

What to Expect When Talking to a C-Suite Manufacturing Executive

Over 60% of B2B buying decisions involve four or more people. By contacting a C-suite exec, you can shorten this sales cycle. Expect things to move faster after your initial call.

The role of a C-level exec can vary based on the size of the business. Pay attention to the number of employees and company valuation. You'll get a better idea of whether the prospect is involved in management.

C-level manufacturing executives have the authority to support major changes like a transition to Industry 4.0. This means your prospect will be more receptive to a disruptive solution. However, they will also expect to hear about a solution that is creative and worthy of their interest.

These professionals are strategic thinkers, but their level of expertise can vary. Do some background research to get an idea of how familiar your prospect is with technical concepts. Avoid tech jargon as much as possible.

C-level manufacturing execs will also look for legitimacy and credibility. Be prepared to demonstrate your ability to address these needs with referrals and case studies that include numbers, if possible, from the same manufacturing sector.

How to Tailor a C-level Manufacturing Sales Pitch

Before you put together your pitch, you should research the organization and its niche industry. Find out about competitors and current demand. Look into potential new uses for the products the organization manufactures. You should also research the materials used and acquisition challenges you can help with. Upcoming regulatory changes for that industry is another topic to explore.

Mention your findings in your pitch. It will show that put time and effort into preparing and are worthy of your prospect’s time.

While another prospect might look for a product that will solve a specific problem, a C-suite executive will make a macro-level decision with the future of the company in mind. A list of features isn’t going to sway their decision. But, demonstrating how your solution can support the goals of the organization will.

You can talk about how your product or service can increase productivity, create a safer workplace or help the organization meet industry standards. Showcase these benefits through storytelling.

Additionally, discuss the future in your C-level manufacturing sales pitch. Explain how your product can help the company stay competitive in light of future disruptions in the market. Illustrate how the solution unlocks sustainable growth. Also, give concrete examples by talking about how you can help increase margins or reduce the defect rate.

Because of these long-term considerations, CEOs and other C-level manufacturing professionals will look for a product that is durable and scalable. Highlight these benefits in your sales pitch and use testimonials from long-term clients you have helped grow.

Then after your initial sales calls, utilize other communication methods and resources to keep the C-level manufacturing sales pitch going and establish stronger relationships.

Best Practices for Integrating Social Media and Email into the Sales Cycle

C-level manufacturing executives are busy. An omnichannel approach is more convenient for these prospects, and it gives you the opportunity to re-engage them.

Ask for permission to connect via email or social media during your call. You should also ask some questions about top challenges and priorities.

Use this information to re-engage your prospect and keep delivering content tailored to their needs. You might find out that the prospect is struggling with high material costs, automation, the IoT or the manufacturing skills gap. Tailor your messaging to show how you can help with these issues.

Be flexible with your omnichannel efforts as well. During COVID-19, over 90% of B2B sales moved to a remote environment with tools like video calls that could be here to stay. Adapt to the prospect’s preferred method of communication for an optimal experience.

Relationship Building

Establishing yourself right from the start as a long-term partner for success can be a strong differentiator. During COVID-19, many manufacturers learned the hard way that they need to rethink their approach to vendor management to mitigate risks.

C-suite professionals will look for resiliency. Show how you can keep delivering services or products in spite of a new shutdown or another scenario. Transparency is another factor that can set you apart. It's something you can demonstrate during the sales cycle too.

Get Started with IndustrySelect

A successful C-level manufacturing sales pitch starts with research. IndustrySelect can help you with detailed profiles  of 460,000 industrial businesses and one million manufacturing executives for C-level prospects. Sign up for a free demo to see how this tool can give you access to the information you need to craft personalized sales pitches.

Want to explore the finer points of improving your sales pitch? Check out our series on perfecting the pitch


Article Sources:

https://go.forrester.com/blogs/three-seismic-shifts-in-buying-behavior-from-forresters-2021-b2b-buying-survey/
https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/the-b2b-digital-inflection-point-how-sales-have-changed-during-covid-19
https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/supply-chain-recovery-in-coronavirus-times-plan-for-now-and-the-future
https://www.jeffbullas.com/influence-decision-makers/

 

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