How to build the perfect manufacturing or engineering company’s sales pipeline

It’s common knowledge that a healthy, high-quality sales pipeline can transform any manufacturing or engineering business.  In fact, creating and maintaining such a pipeline is pretty much every business owner’s and business development manager’s dream.

Because a healthy sales pipeline means there’s a steady stream of quality new prospects or leads, all open to trying your manufacturing or engineering product or service, there should not be any more sleepless nights wondering when your next enquiry will come in and no more worrying about whether the production line is going to be kept busy or if there are any issues with meeting payroll next month.

Healthy sales pipelines make for all-around healthy manufacturing or engineering businesses,  sustained revenue growth and long-term profitability

And this unique position gives you more options – i.e. deciding to steadily grow or being more selective about the work that’s taken on or swapping out low margin, awkward jobs for higher margin, more straightforward work. You also have the luxury of being able to:

  • Forecast future business results more accurately
  • Analyse and optimise sales strategies for continual improvement
  • Manage and allocate internal resources more effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate how you’re performing against your sales growth targets

Inadequate sales and marketing nurturing processes lead to an unhealthy sales pipeline and poor-quality leads which results in low margin sales as well as many more problems for manufacturing or engineering companies.  These poor results are invariably caused by failure to effectively manage and review and refine the sales, marketing and nurturing process on a regular basis.  Unfortunately, it would appear they’re rife across other sectors too.  According to research carried out by the Sales Management Association, 44% of executives think their organisation is ineffective at managing their sales pipelines. 

Companies with a Formal Sales Process Generate More Revenue

Meanwhile, a study carried out by the Harvard Business Review revealed an 18% difference in revenue growth between companies that have a defined a formal sales process and those that haven’t.

How manufacturing and engineering companies can develop a more successful sales process to prime the sales pipeline

Healthy sales pipelines don’t just happen by chance.  We know this because we’ve helped countless manufacturing and engineering businesses build a sales and marketing process that is still delivering just as well for them now, as they were when we first implemented them. We achieve this by helping them:

  1. Decide what their perfect customer looks like and who they ideally wish to work with: 

  • Company size
  • Sector
  • Cultural fit
  • Products and services that are core to their offer
  1. Scope out the lifetime value of what that customer looks like (or could look like):

  • Profile top customers by sector size etc.
  • Desk research other businesses, including their best customers’ competitors
  • Purchase data from Direct Marketing Association-approved sources
  • Sift and cleanse the data
  1. Develop their unique proposition and positioning to put them in a category of one:

  • What makes them unique?
  • Why do their existing customers use them over their competition?
  • Create a compelling value proposition
  • Develop campaign collateral and sales copy that underpins the above proposition
  • Claim that unique position in the market through marketing and nurturing communications
  1. Support their team with:

  • Telemarketing to find the decision makers with the budget, authority and need that aligns perfectly with their engineering capabilities
  • Persuasive sales copywriting that delivers the top unique capabilities to the decision makers
  • Direct personalised email marketing that educates and nurtures the decision maker until they are ready to buy
  • Direct personalised direct mail to ensure the message is received through a physical media
  • Digital/search marketing to ensure prospects looking for a solution to their problems find them and either reach out or are followed up
  • Social media to underpin the positioning and to build more targeted prospects.

An integrated and systematic approach to marketing and lead generation to develop a sales pipeline involves building funnels/customer journeys and adopting marketing automation sequences to find the decision-makers and deliver campaign messages that focus on customers’ pain points and to show them how they can overcome them.

By building relationships using ‘evergreen’ strategies, trust and rapport develop and, combined with consistent and time-prompted follow up processes (using CRM systems), results will start to flow steadily through.

These are just some of the many components that go into bridging the gap between sales and marketing to deliver a healthy sales pipeline.  

For more details or to find out more about the results we’ve helped our manufacturing and engineering clients to achieve, please call us on 01827 69772 or complete the short contact form below.