Optimizing Sales in a Changing Environment
Any company looking to grow needs to identify new ways to increase its business with current customers. Yet the traditional approach to “dialing for dollars” no longer works with today’s buyers.
As Millennials enter the workforce and step into buying and procurement positions, we’re seeing new patterns in metals buyer behavior. Customers don’t want to be “sold to,” preferring quick, email communication to phone conversations. This younger buyer often makes decisions transaction by transaction based on vendors’ online presence and price instead of relationships. According to a recent American Metals Market article, the steel industry is a mere five years away from losing 50% of its current workforce to retirement, which suggests Millennials will be reshaping the way buying and selling is done across the industrial metals supply chain.
Targeted, intentional outbound contact, offering value-added solutions to anticipated customer needs makes efficient use of a buyer’s time, thereby earning the right to be a relationship seller. Managers must help inside sales staff develop confidence and competence in their outreach skills.
The right approach to inside sales can do more for your metals organization than simply adding new accounts and additional revenue. It enables inside sales staff to be proactive and work more collaboratively with outside sales—and your customers.
Maureen Grinnell is one of MSCI’s professional development partners for sales education. Her one-day interactive workshop on Nov. 30 brings the most high-impact skills and strategies from MSCI’s Adding Value Through Inside Sales curriculum.