9 Ways to Generate Manufacturing & Industrial Sales Leads and Appointments

9 Ways to Generate Manufacturing & Industrial Sales Leads and Appointments

Here are some top tips for you to engage with prospects and build on that core client base.

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Many manufacturers often find themselves in the position of needing new sales qualified leads. It’s not uncommon for businesses within the manufacturing sector to have a core base of clients, and the occasional ad hoc projects. What is often needed in order to grow, and remove risk though is additional core clients. Here are some top tips for you to engage with prospects and build on that core client base!

Sourcing Relevant Data for your Manufacturing Business

Firstly, let’s talk data! Without sourcing or building the right data for you to prospect and market to, you’re going to fall over… There are many ways that you can build data lists, however, here are some tips to ensure that you’re getting the right data:

Understand who you’re currently selling to and what a qualified prospect looks like.

As a manufacturing business the chances are that you could have several routes to market and sectors that you specialise in. For example, do you utilise distributors or channel partners, could your product (or part of) be sold as components that could be used in several sectors or do you sell to end users and are those end users: businesses, consumers, or a mix of both?

When building out your data, you also want to consider mapping out the Decision-Making Unit, I.e., is the Decision Maker likely to be a single person or a group of stakeholders? What job titles, or job functions are relevant to you, and your proposition. Remembering that the larger the company the more individuals that are likely to make up the decision-making unit. Because of the different levels of seniority and the various departments involved in decisions, the average B2B purchasing decision involves over 5 people (although there is nearly always 1 person that tries to influence the others) and your initial point of entry may not be the ultimate decision maker.

When sourcing data, FAINT is often a better rule to follow as it addresses the funds of a company (Funds, Authority, Interest, Need and Timing) rather than BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timing) qualification. Budget can only be assessed once you have spoken to a member of the decision-making unit. Also, what is the ideal geography? Should you use turnover and number of employees as a basis or just one?

Once you have a true understanding of your target audience, it is time to work out what type of initial messaging is likely to resonate, and the best medium to deliver the messaging.

Utilise LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator can empower any business with the opportunity to prospect to the right people. For manufacturing businesses looking to generate new sales leads, it’s worth taking a look at how Sales Navigator can help you with identifying valuable prospects.

LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to build custom data lists based a wide range of selections including: Industry type, geography, seniority level, job function and job title, company size, company type (privately held, public etc.). These are just a few selections available to you.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator - Outbound Prospecting & Lead Generation Utilising LinkedIn Sales Navigator to build a prospect list ready for prospecting. Having taken the time to understand who you want to sell to; you can build very specific lists within LinkedIn.

It’s worth noting that LinkedIn has now capped the number connection requests you can send each week to 100. Also, LinkedIn prefers that you send connection requests to those that are likely to know of you (2nd Degree Connections).

LinkedIn automation software can allow you to automate your connection requests. In addition to sending sequential messages to prospects, along with other group members, and email connection requests to 3rd degree connections. The key to utilising tools like this is to ensure that you’re personable, and relevant.

Check out this article on The Age of the LinkedIn Robots for more tips on how to transition from an observer to an engaging LinkedIn member!

Email Marketing for Manufacturers

Email Marketing can be a powerful tool for generating new sales leads… when done correctly! Much like prospecting via LinkedIn, the key to email marketing is to personalise your messages and segment your data. In doing so, your messages are more likely to resonate with your prospects.

If for example, your business specialises in a few different sectors; by segmenting your data into each vertical, you can talk to your prospects about industry relevant topics.

Sequential email marketing will also get you much further in generating new sales appointments over the occasional email blast! Not only will you gain more visitors to your website, but as your sequences mature, you’ll begin to see a significant uplift in responses.

A word of warning about purchased data lists and generic emails… Never send emails to generic email addresses such as info@ or departments such as procurement@ as not only are these emails not personable but can be read and therefore marked as spam by multiple people risking your marketing email domains being blacklisted.

When done correctly, Email Marketing for Manufacturers can be a powerful tool! The above graph shows stats from our own email marketing over the course of one month, resulting in 32 responses / conversations.

Telemarketing – Generating Sales Leads for Manufacturers

If you’re looking to generate high-quality sales opportunities, telemarketing is guaranteed to be an option that is on your radar.

Telemarketing allows you to engage your prospects in a peer-to-peer conversation, understanding their pain points, and putting you forward as a supplier to overcome them! Not only this, but it is great for building a pipeline of opportunities both that have an immediate need, and those that need to be nurtured. For example, if someone does not accept your LinkedIn invitation or engage with your email marketing, click on your Google Ads, the probability is that you will not know why, whereas a highly skilled telemarketer can ask those relevant data capture questions, who, how often, how many and when are you likely to review?

The art of B2B Telemarketing in the UK has changed significantly over the years. Long gone are the days of the boiler room style, hammering the phone with your boss sitting on your shoulder. Effective telemarketing and appointment setting needs to be consultative. Asking questions to ascertain your prospects requirements, and then putting forward an effective solution as to how you can help over come them. In doing so, not only will you gain higher quality sales appointments, but you’re more likely to convert them too!

Manufacturing Events Follow Ups

Keep in touch with people that you meet at events, whether they’re online or physical! Events are a great opportunity for you to meet prospects that you may not have met elsewhere, just because they didn’t buy from you at the time, doesn’t mean that they won’t!

This all comes down to managing your data and CRM effectively. Putting in a periodic call or email to a prospect means that they’re not going to forget you, especially if you’re accurate with your note taking! Much like all of the tips given so far, personalisation is key. If you can gain some information that is going to help you be relevant on the next call, make a note of it.

Paid Ads for Manufacturers and Industrial Businesses Depending on your target audience, and your website, Paid Ads or Google Ads may be something worth considering. There are many advantages to paid search engine ads, the main being getting relevant prospects to your website if your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) isn’t getting you to the first page.

When done well, paid ads can rocket your pipeline, however, they can also prove to be a bottomless pit if your negative keywords are not as effective as they could be.

If you have a killer website that allows the user to easily contact you, and clearly states what you can offer, pay per click adverts may well be something worth considering to win that low hanging fruit!

If you’re blogging, blog consistently! Blogging is a fantastic tool that allows you to convey to the reader your understanding of their sector, challenges and what you can offer to help them overcome those challenges. It’s also great for your search engine rankings too.

Maintaining a blog does come with its own challenges too though. To blog effectively you need to be consistent with the frequency in which you’re blogging. If you’re looking to utilise your website’s blog for SEO purposes, then you also need to identify relevant and searched for keywords.

Keyword research on its own can be time consuming! There are a number of tools out there that can assist you with keyword research beyond Google Analytics and Google Search Console. The most common and well-known being SEMrush, a fantastic tool for any marketeer that understands keyword research and how to identify which keywords are relevant.

If, however, you do not possess these skills, or the time for manual search and comparison, a tool such as SmarttDigital may be what you’re looking for. This powerful AI technology allows the user to understand what your target audience is searching for, providing you with keywords and phrases that are being used regularly. By understanding what your competitors are doing, you can replicate this. If you’re not an avid content writer, the tool also provides recommendations on what content you should be producing!

Regardless of which tools you’re using to aide your blogging ability, the two most important things to remember are relevancy and frequency.

Direct Mail

Direct Mail can sometimes be seen as an old hat tactic when it comes to prospecting, it’s also not the cheapest form of marketing. If, however, you have a solid pipeline of marketing qualified leads, then Direct Mail can produce a real punch in helping your prospects to move along their sales journey.

If you’re utilising Telemarketing as part of your wider marketing strategy, your bank of marketing qualified leads is going to be your best prospects for sending out pieces of Direct Mail to. Having ascertained who the Decision Makers are, and their requirements, a striking piece of Direct Mail is going to make you more memorable.

A client once sent out a Lego kit (very specific to their industry) and removed the instructions, replacing them with a letter stating that if they wanted the instructions to get in touch. They sent out 20 of these to marketing qualified leads, 14 of them turned in to appointments with many converting to new, high value customers! Thinking outside of the box, so to speak, will go a long way when it comes to a piece of Direct Mail, generating appointments and becoming memorable.

Reengage with lapsed clients

As a Manufacturer where you’re picking up ad hoc projects… reaching out to your lapsed customers is something that you should be doing. Regularly.

If they needed your services once, the chances are they’re going to need them again at some point. Not only this, but by reaching out to them, you may well identify further opportunities to become a regularly provider, rather that just the occasional projects. If they’re using a supplier that cannot facilitate all of their requirements, but you can, come the time of contract review, you’ll be best placed to put yourself forwards as a credible, able, and already known supplier.

If you’re ready to build a pipeline of opportunities The Lead Gen Specialists can help identify immediate sales opportunities along with a bank of marketing qualified leads, nurturing them until they become sales ready. Contact us today to discuss your appointment setting needs - call 03332 400 054 or email enquiries@leadgenspecialists.co.uk

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