"We don't know where our products go!" Imagine your company has been operating for decades but is solely dependent upon a steady flow of inquiries from legacy customers that just call when they need something. Over the last 25 years, as the manufacturing sector in the US has been subjected to product innovation and cut-rate foreign competition many companies just became complacent. They believed that price was the primary metric in closing a sale. Our client surrendered to that common wisdom until new management came along.
When the engagement began the only business development infrastructure item that existed was a list of current and past customers. Building a sustainable process for finding customers had to start with an in-depth evaluation to determine product application background. The essence of the initial plan was a qualitative effort to engage with existing customers and begin the relationship development process that is so common in most organizations. As this re-introduction began it afforded the opportunity to understand current applications. This was also extremely valuable in gaining insight into the wide array of applications that would help power the product line resurgence. Building a prospect database, creating communication materials, participating in industry events and more regularly interacting with the account base will contribute significantly to the new profit plan.
Early results of our business development efforts indicate that past customers are responding with more interest. There are no current suppliers in the specialty valve business that are taking an active approach to embracing their constituents. An increasing sales trend and a more energized staff are confirming our objectives.