Manufacturing Insights

The most successful manufacturers are good at selling in their existing markets and growing sales by expanding on a proven formula. Before tapping resources to develop new product lines or markets, manufacturers should leverage the relationships they’ve already worked hard to build. In an article for titled7 Powerful Strategies for Strong Sales Growth”, Drew Greenblatt, President of Marlin Steel, advocates increasing penetration in existing markets first. “All the systems are set up. The team knows how to make it right. Stick to your knitting and grow market share in what you do best already.…exploit this foundational portion of your business to get the easiest, quickest sales.” Consider the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, which states that for many events roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Most manufacturers would probably admit that the premise applies to their businesses as well; so, it stands to reason that focusing resources on that 20% will generate the most bang for the buck.

Strategies for Growth

What strategies should manufacturers adopt to achieve this growth?

  • Become more customer-oriented than market-oriented. Approach client management as a separate function from new revenue development. Understand your client portfolio, strategize on new opportunities to engage clients, and direct resources accordingly. Recognize that customers within the same industry may have unique needs and purchasing criteria and create individualized sales plans for key customers.
  • Expand your existing product range with complimentary goods or services that meet your customers’ needs. Competing on scope will grow revenue while making you more indispensable to your customers. One way to leverage this strategy is to outsource to other companies that are willing to produce under your brand name. Outsourcing keeps investments in production down, allows your firm to stay focused on its core mission, provides autonomy in choosing suppliers, and creates access to current technologies.
  • Embrace the digital economy. Networking used to mean face-to-face meetings with customers and trade shows. The internet is now the mainstream transaction tool, integral to building customer relationships, generating sustainable growth, and promoting brand awareness. Quick wins on the technology front include upgrading your website to make it responsive, mobile-friendly, and easy for customers to access the information they need, such as order status and payment history. Investing in a well-designed and optimized website will give you ranking advantages on Google searches and create inbound marketing opportunities. Use social media and an email program to broaden your online profile and take advantage of direct customer access to keep buyers engaged.

The Primary Goal

Boosting sales that have flat-lined can be challenging, but the above strategies employ relatively modest investments to build on already successful relationships. The primary goal is to make your key customers aware that your firm is committed, and has the bandwidth, to address their growing needs. For more information on how your business could benefit from these recommendations, contact us at