Increasing Sales in an International Engineering Company2021, France
For one international engineering company with over 20 years of technical innovation and a track record of successful project delivery, a major question remained: how to increase sales in a changed commercial landscape?
With their expertise primarily being technical and an ability to identify and solve problems at the operational level, our Client was having difficulty breaking through to plant managers and decision-makers. They turned to Newman Eventus to devise a marketing approach which targeted senior management and budget holders, resulting in an increase in sales.
The biggest challenge was that our Client’s success had come in an era when plant operators had decision-making authority and production managers held budgets. By solving immediate technical problems at the plant level using innovative new products and materials, our Client had little difficulty securing orders. However, over time the commercial landscape changed to elevate decision-making and spending authority away from the technical cadres towards business unit managers who worked with a different set of criteria. Our Client was unfamiliar with commercial managers and didn’t know how to present their technical solutions in a way which generated favourable decisions.
Newman Eventus identified three critical issues:
- Marketing terminology:
The products were being promoted in terms which appealed to engineers and plant operators, rather than terminology aligned with the metrics business managers use to measure performance.
- Response to customer enquiries:
Each enquiry was being treated as a simple purchase, with a detailed, fully-costed proposal prepared in the expectation of an order being placed in the near future. However, a substantial number of enquiries represented procurement via a capital project whereby customers needed different, project-specific data sufficient to proceed through the next stage gate.
- Market perception:
The market was seeing our Client as a basic equipment supplier rather than an engineering partner. Interactions with customers were mainly transactional and our Client did not have opportunities to showcase their capabilities at the right levels in the organisation.
Drawing on our extensive client-side experience, Newman Eventus put in place a marketing strategy which repositioned our Client’s main offerings from technical products to business solutions. This involved revamping the marketing material and website to focus on the business benefits of adopting their technology by using terminology and metrics which spoke directly to commercial and business unit managers.
In parallel we worked with our Client to modify their offerings so they were positioned as an engineering company and technology partner rather than a simple equipment vendor. We also gave comprehensive training to our Client’s management, sales, and engineering teams on the capital project process, what information is required and when, and how to ascertain what stage a customer’s project is in. This allowed our Client to tailor their response to enquiries according to the precise needs of the customer.
Having implemented our recommendations, our Client was able to launch a marketing campaign targeting the senior management and decision-makers in customers’ organisations. This not only resulted in an increase in orders, but the value of a typical order increased substantially as they were solving larger, more complex problems requiring more comprehensive solutions.
By responding to enquiries tailored to their customers’ capital project needs, our Client was able to use the procurement process to engage with the customer more deeply and build credibility. This led to a broadening of the scope and the opening of new opportunities for collaboration.
Finally, with our Client repositioning themselves as an engineering partner, customers were able to engage them incrementally, which represented a lower risk than committing to a one-time purchase. This led to a deepening of relationships and an increase in sales.