We’ve been fortunate over the last couple years to have in-depth discovery meetings with over 300 manufacturers in the US and Europe. These companies span different industries, and distributions types. They all have varying access to data to drive their analysis. Suffice to say, there’s quite a bit of diversity within this focused group.
What We Have Found
We asked each of these companies to rate themselves on their approach to customers along a continuum from “Reactive” to “Proactive with a Purpose”. The intent was to understand if these manufacturers recognized the business benefit of being proactive and how they went about executing on this concept.
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What we found has major implications to leaders of these companies. A staggering 80% characterized themselves as reactive, or having just rudimentary ideas on being proactive vs the 20% who rated their organization as “Proactive”.
More to the point, the difference in growth rates between these groups was dramatic.
The “Proactive” companies grew almost 2 times faster than the rest in the survey group. They achieved this in 3 different ways:
- Higher throughput (more customers touched per year)
- Bigger “basket sizes” per transaction
- Higher conversion rates per interaction.
- Not surprisingly, these performance leaders also had higher market share and Aftermarket revenue as percent of total revenue.
Proactive selling should be an integral part of your operating plan. It is not discretionary – unless you are explicitly willing to cede wallet and market share to your competitors.
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