Creating a Culture of Innovation

Start in Your Sales & Marketing Departments

Innovation – the key to American success, prosperity, and global influence. Those of us in the manufacturing sector have heard for years that our country’s economic growth and prosperity is in part due to innovative products produced by manufacturers using innovative best practices and processes. Many believe “innovation” is the key to the United States re-gaining an economic edge in the global economy.

A Couple important questions to answer include:

  • Now that we’re committed to innovation what can we do to leverage that competitive edge?
  • With US manufacturers creating and producing “beyond state-of-the-art” products and services, what are we doing to get them off the back dock and into the hands of our customers?

After answering these questions we should ask  . . . where should we focus our time and resources to increase revenues from the sales of these new products and services to benefit our owners, stockholders, and employees?

We believe the answer is to invest them in your sales and marketing people and processes. By now most of us have learned we can’t wait for our customers to beat a path to our door salivating to buy our latest hot product. It takes sales and marketing to draw them.

Some of us have salespeople who we wish:

  • Possessed deeper product knowledge
  • Would reach-out to more prospects
  • Knew and could articulate our product’s value proposition better
  • Would better optimize their time by more thoroughly qualifying their prospects and not sabotage margins by offering discounts and concessions – rather sell on value and not on price.

Some of us have marketing departments who we wish:

  • Researched new products, market opportunities, and competition before we invested in the equipment, tooling, and processes to manufacture them
  • Established new product pricing so we capture optimum market share without compromising margins
  • Created and equipped our salespeople with value-based messaging (product knowledge) so they can sell with confidence and courage on value and not on price
  • Were aligned with sales to eliminate the “lost sale” blame game where sales says “poor or unqualified lead” and marketing says “poor lead follow-up or non-existent sales process”
  • Implemented marketing automation technology that tracks and reports prospect website page activity, downloads, and email and text correspondence so sales can prioritize prospect follow-up

We believe addressing some of these upper management desires by implementing innovative sales and marketing best practices, processes and technology is the best solution. The resulting increase in market share and revenue will not only reward your owners, stockholders and employees it will also shift the culture of your sales and marketing departments and company as a whole.

So what are some of these sales and marketing best practices and processes?  In this 3-part blog series leading up to the OMEP Summit, I’ll present a high-level look at the Why, What, When and How of some of these practices and processes.

This is what we’ll investigate:

  • WHY are aligned value-based sales & marketing practices/processes important to your future?
  • WHAT are examples of these & what do they offer?
  • WHEN should you deploy them?
  • HOW can they be integrated in with your existing people, processes and culture?

In my next blog, the second of three in this series I’ll cover the first two: The WHY and the WHAT?


Jim will be speaking at the Oregon Manufacturers’ Summit on March 12th. LEARN MORE >