Survey MARKTSPIEGEL WERKZEUGBAU The Industry Needs to Tap into New Sales Potential
In order to ensure the competitiveness of German-speaking tool, pattern and mold making companies, the cooperative MARKTSPIEGEL WERKZEUGBAU eG conducts an anonymous company comparison across the industry. The initiators started in 2019 to systematically make the companies better with industry knowledge. This article presents the key figures report from April 2021.
The market situation is more dynamic than ever. Unplanned major projects may fail to materialize, changing customer requirements may jeopardize profitability, or new competitive pressures may require a rethink. And it is precisely when market conditions change unexpectedly that the more flexible and courageous thinking of entrepreneurs is once again called for. Benedikt Ruf, board member and expert at MARKTSPIEGEL WERKZEUGBAU (MW) is convinced of this. "The tool, model and mold making industry must continue to deal with structural change," he explains. "The dynamic market developments ensure that companies have to reposition themselves. They have to think in a much more adaptable way and thus orient themselves even more actively to the market. That's why targeted sales are moving all the more into focus as a supporting pillar for securing the future of business models." Ruf analyzes for the honorary Benchmark initiative as an expert the range marketing and selling. The series founder and managing director of the used machine platform GINDUMAC sees an increasingly urgent need for action in the analyzed results from the company's 2019 financial statements.
At the MW, tool, model and mold makers as well as serial part manufacturers from the German-speaking region are analyzed annually on the basis of a strictly anonymized data collection and evaluated according to their competitiveness. The aim of the initiators is to make the results of the data analysis available to the industry in turn, in order to be able to derive trends in the industry from concrete key figures and to create a valid basis for future decisions.
Active Sales Still Lacking in Many Companies
The data analyses of the member companies in the latest survey showed, for example, that more than 70 % of the companies are not planning any sales activities. This means that many companies in the industry are not actively working to generate or identify new projects. Ruf appeals to companies to urgently focus on the sales issue. "Active sales that are professionally planned and implemented can reveal important new sales potential," says Ruf.
Cold Calling as an Effective Means in the Current Economic Situation
One way of becoming active in sales is cold calling. 45 % of member companies in the tool, model and mold making industry are currently using this method to acquire new customers. For Ruf, this is a tried and tested method that is particularly worthwhile in economically challenging times such as the present. In step one, to learn what is possible. And in step two, to diversify the customer portfolio with an eye to the future. How can money be earned in the future? Where is there still potential in the target group? What am I not yet exploiting? And do I even know my target group completely? As an entrepreneur, you need to get to the bottom of these questions. Cold calling, implemented in a professional and customer-oriented manner, is a targeted sales measure that can be implemented with a manageable investment. A test project, so the expert is safe, can supply the necessary clearing-up over the effectiveness for the own enterprise.
Sales Employees are a Decisive Success Factor
Only just under 40 % employ a full-time sales employee. At the same time, they ensure the connection to the market and new customer business. Under certain circumstances, this can be a decisive factor for success. In order to carry out a test project, for example, the company must first free up the appropriate resources. For example, an employee could set himself the task of calling 50 potential new customers every week for three months. The acquisition activity gives the person responsible a feel for how companies are currently positioned, which projects are in the planning stage, and whether their own company can bid there with an offer.
Without Performance Measurement, Activities Remain Haphazard
"The learning effect of such measures is undisputed," says Ruf. And in his opinion, this results primarily from measuring success. The hard currency in the example mentioned would be how many of the written offers could ultimately be won as projects. Sales activities are only effective if their success is measured. Here, a shocking result emerges. For of the 30 % of companies that stated in the market review that they plan and carry out sales activities, less than 20 % actively measure sales success. "We evaluators at MW analyze the companies neutrally based on the available data," explains Ruf. "So if you evaluate these key figures with the given distance, you can deduce that some companies are losing money here because they invest it without impact control. Sales can only be optimized with continuous performance reviews of activities. And only in this way can investments also ultimately pay off in terms of corporate success."
Marketing and Sales Must be Declared a To-Do Item
According to Ruf, the benchmark results clearly show that the marketing and sales topic is not yet on the strategic agenda in many companies. Unfortunately. And similar to the path to end-to-end digitization, there is no star solution here either. No model solution that every company can adapt. The important thing is to show entrepreneurial courage. The key is to design quickly, implement quickly and test quickly. Ruf sums up: "Marketing and sales must be declared a top priority and understood as strategically important, precisely because the company's future depends on it. The argument 'no time' no longer counts. Experience shows you never have time - entrepreneurship creates time."