Too often, Industrial OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) lose aftersales revenue opportunities to third-party vendors simply because they are not prioritizing spare parts and consumable sales with their install base. With the right strategy, industrial OEMs can discover an untapped goldmine by growing their spare parts, repair, and maintenance business.
The key is to understand which customers are most likely to buy services and when to reach out to them.
It requires a multi-pronged approach that may be difficult to overcome alone. Many sales teams lack necessary coverage, operate in a traditional, reactive sales model, and have limited customer data and business insights – all big prohibitors of a manufacturer’s ability to be flexible in their aftersales approach.
In this blog, we will cover these three major elements that prevent an efficient and effective spare parts business, and how to overcome them to maximize your recurring revenue potential.
1. Covering the Entire Sales Pipeline
In 2020, an increasing number of manufacturing customers defined “zero unplanned downtime” as one of their biggest priorities. This shift in focus from a CAPEX (capital expenditure) to OPEX (operating expenditure) model means there is a lot of opportunity within your current install base. Even if you have a stellar field sales team that has done wonders to fill the sales pipeline with new equipment opportunities, they still may be missing a significant amount of revenue opportunities simply because they are not calling current customers. Additionally, they may be expertly qualifying your top leads and getting the sale, but they may struggle to keep up with converting aftersales MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) to SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads) for long tail customers, leaving significant revenue on the table.
Because requests for spare parts and consumables are often a time-sensitive matter, OEMs lose out to third-party vendors because they are not responding fast enough.
This is where an outsourced inside sales team can be critical to maximizing your revenue potential with your entire install base.
When you outsource inside sales, your field reps can remain focused on winning new customers and engaging with their top clients. Now, your business will have the flexibility and coverage needed to convert more MQLs to SQLs, foster deeper relationships with long-tail clients, and ensure that revenue opportunities are not left on the table.
2. Evolve from Reactive to Proactive Spare Parts Selling
When it comes to sales for a spare parts business, oftentimes customers will not request a quote for a part until after their equipment breaks down. You are lucky if this happens because you are being considered for the sale against your competitor, but don’t assume that you are not the only company that your customer reached out to.
The key is to reach out to the customer before their equipment breaks down. You are the experts on the equipment you sell, and your sales team should know the lifecycle of the major components that easily falter. By proactively engaging with customers and performing health checks, you demonstrate that you not only have an intimate knowledge and stand behind your equipment but that your customer’s success is priority #1. It also primes the customer for up-selling/cross-selling opportunities, like bundling a spare part with consumables needed to complete a maintenance job. The goal is to be top-of-mind whenever your customers’ equipment eventually falters, as opposed to an afterthought.
Deploying an outsourced inside sales team enables you to not only follow up on inbound MQLs quicker but proactively reach out to your install base to perform these health checks and offer additional services on your behalf. The results can be staggering.
3. Data-driven Approach + More Consistent Communication = More Revenue Potential
The more you know about your customers and their sales process, the more likely you will be able to provide an excellent experience throughout your customer’s lifecycle. This requires a disciplined approach to recording customer data, such as who bought what, when they were last engaged, and a consistent feedback loop between teams and departments. This ensures that every interaction is targeted and will prime customers that may have older equipment, service contract renewals, scheduled maintenance, etc. for that next sale opportunity.
With an outsourced inside sales team, they are incentivized to constantly look for campaign improvements, identify bottlenecks in your processes and ensure that they’re capturing all relevant opportunities and customer data. They utilize these constant feedback loops between reps, managers, and clients to assess what the current state is, where the pain points are, and provide feedback to management for suggested improvements. This ensures that you’re capturing your entire MQL lead queue for spare parts inquiries, while your field sales team is focused on upstream activity.
Schedule a call with us today to learn how you can achieve greater revenue outcomes for your aftersales services.