New way to Market for Manufacturing

Written By: Bruce McDuffee-Founder and Executive Director of Manufacturing Marketing Institute (MMI)

Chapter 11 Overview

Where Does Sales Fit?

“In most manufacturing companies, the belief is that the sales team generates the revenue. The sales team may be direct- sales force, a network of manufacture’s reps, or some combination. The salespeople are the heroes because they bring home the bacon. The power of influence within a manufacturing company usually resides with the sales team, the product team, or some combination of the two. It is extremely rare for the power of influence to reside with the marketing team.”

The marketing team, if one exists at all within the manufacturing organization, is relegated to being the service center for the sales team and the product group. In other words, the marketing team produces whatever the sales team and product group needs. Their contribution may include producing and creating brochures and presentation slides, attending trade shows, creating seminars and webinars, overseeing social media posts, and other things desired by the sales team.

Does sales have a place in the practice of marketing? Consider a manufacturing company where the structure is such that there is no sales department and there is no marketing department. In its place is a revenue team under the leadership of a seasoned marketing and sales professional who is not only a consummate leader, but is also a technology aficionado. Within this revenue team, the roles would be defined according to how they contribute to generating revenues. Possible roles would include:

  • Customer Care
  • Field Liaison
  • New Business
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Customer Support
  • Technology Operations

If you look closely, you will notice that these roles are a mix of what were once known as sales and marketing roles. The personnel would be integrated physically within the office space, if possible. They would strive to achieve the same goals and objectives as one team. Leadership would be unified and treated evenly, regardless of role.