The sales process is also changing in the course of digital change. Online services, customer-centricity and data-driven marketing are the focus of efforts and replace classic sales strategies. In addition, many products increasingly require explanation and customers are becoming more demanding. As a result, the B2B sales process has been extended by 22 percent. The path to the successful conclusion of a contract takes a long time – cross-channel communication along the customer journey plays a decisive role. However, it is often not the companies or manufacturers themselves who interact with their customers, but their business partners. High-quality products on the one hand and well-performing sales strategists on the other hand – what sounds like the perfect symbiosis, however, rarely works smoothly in practice. But with the right communication strategy and supporting marketing services, collaboration can be improved.
Communication on an equal footing, the proactive dissemination of information and lasting motivation are considered key for collaboration. After all, it is a strategic partnership that both sides want to profit from in the long term. As a result, manufacturers must regard their partners as their “right-hand man” and actively support them with market development. These measures begin with product-oriented sales training and the coordination of marketing activities and extend beyond the coordination of content and social media campaigns. On the other hand, constructive feedback from the partners is needed to adapt sales campaigns and realign them based on data. Both parties must support each other in order to perform successfully.
In practice, however, the collaboration between manufacturers and their partners often resembles a poorly developed one-way street. The partners receive too little targeted input to be able to focus on their core business; the companies complain about coordination problems and solo crusades. As a result, business suffers – and therefore so do both parties. The reason is often also a lack of resources. Those who actively participate, coordinate systematically, regularly ask questions, give feedback and also develop high-quality content and practical implementation strategies must turn this challenge into their core business. However, companies generally lack the manpower required in view of the shortage of skilled workers and budget restrictions.
A partnership-based relationship on an equal footing with measurable sales results – that is the declared goal of collaboration – on both sides. In order for this to be successful in practice, it is often necessary to have a neutral third party who provides input, makes results transparent and converts constructive feedback into action strategies. However, very few companies can perform this internally. It’s quite different for external service providers: for professional marketing agencies such as ALEX & GROSS, their core business is to assume the role of mediator. Marketing allowances that the manufacturer gives to its sales partners can therefore be used quickly and easily in the form of campaigns that have a direct impact on lead generation or product awareness. The campaigns are designed by the external service provider, who will then also implement them at a later stage. Well-known manufacturers such as Unify and SAP and their partners are already benefiting from the preconfigured ALEX & GROSS service packages. From performance analysis, content production and the design of landing pages, to the automated evaluation of individual marketing measures, ALEX & GROSS offers precisely the services that manufacturers and their sales partners want to achieve rapid sales success. One-way streets can therefore become a smooth symbiosis with the aid of a third party.
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