A focus on innovation where final products practically sell themselves has well-served the manufacturing sector for decades. However, in today’s world, this strategy won’t drive long-term growth. For example, the next best widget cannot sell itself by solely improving features and benefits. Companies need a robust product pipeline that meets the changing customer needs—and the right team in place to connect the product development and sales pipeline. In other words, organizations must align resources to unlock revenue.
While product innovation continues to drive growth, the approach must connect well with customer insights to motivate market-driven solutions. The Alexander Group’s recent work in the manufacturing space has uncovered a disconnect between new product development and sales pipeline. Without a strong link between the two, sales will continue to focus on near-term opportunities, capturing growth only through cross-selling current products, while product development creates products without targeted opportunities in mind.
To drive sustainable growth, world-class manufacturing organizations leverage customer awareness to develop market insights and incorporate them into the product development process. These organizations should support the business case not only with broad, qualitative or subjective market variables, but also by the application of targeted opportunities and account planning. But how do they link these processes?
The successful execution of this process requires a team of players, in the right position in order to win:
Does your organization have the right players in position to create a successful team?
To learn more about aligning resources and unlocking revenue, attend Alexander Group’s upcoming Annual Chief Sales Executive Forum.
Co-author: Kyle Uebelhor is a principal in Alexander Group’s Chicago office and one of the firm’s Manufacturing practice leaders.