The New Sales? Not at PlastiCert.
Business articles are coming out, about how sales people are grounded due to COVID-19. No travel allowed, customers not accepting visitors, the normal sales playing field has been drastically altered. Sales people have been working from home. Companies will now have to ask the question, if they have been selling from home for many months, why would we go back to the flying, driving, hotels and meal expense?
For over 10 years, PlastiCert has had zero direct sales or sales representatives. Why? Because we feel that based on our industry’s business model, PlastiCert doesn’t require them. It’s an SGA expense we can eliminate and pass on to our customers.
Specifically why don’t we have sales people? First and foremost because somewhere along the line the difference between marketing and sales got blurred. They do work together, but by definition, marketing informs and attracts leads and prospects to PlastiCert and its services. Sales, on the other hand, works directly with prospects to reinforce the value of PlastiCert’s solution to convert prospects into customers.
PlastiCert feels that using sales people for marketing, i.e. getting our name in from of prospects and attracting them to us, is a bad return on investment. You pay sales people to travel the country side calling on prospects to get their attention. As every procurement professional will tell you, they really only want to take the time to talk when they are in an active supplier search. One of three things has to have happened. Either their current supplier’s quality is failing, or does not have the capacity or does not have the skills, to meet their company’s need. For a specific industry like injection molding, this doesn’t happen frequently, (if ever if you’re PlastiCert). So to think that a sales person can hit the timing perfectly and call on a potential customer at this time of need, is to say the least, wishful thinking. Has procurement been building a relationship with this sales person all along? Possibly, if they could even get their foot in the door and get regular meetings, which these days is difficult. Nine times out of ten, when the need does arise, a decision will be made directing the procurement people to find a new or additional supplier. In this day and age, they FIRST turn to searching the internet.
PlastiCert has put our money in expanding our internet presence. Our website and its content, to be there when that prospect goes searching. Now rather than a sales person finding leads through prospecting, which is a skill in itself, the entire country is our prospect list. With our internet presence we are there for them when they are ready.
That leaves the sales part of a sales person’s position. Back to our definition, sales reinforces the value of PlastiCert’s solution to convert prospects into customers. Once the contact has happened through our internet marketing, no one can better reinforce our value than our people inside. PlastiCert is a technical sell, and conveying that technical ability is best heard from those that live it every day without a sales person intermediary. As for ongoing sales, our business model requires us to be in direct contact with our customers, whether it be order or delivery related or technical in nature. Adding a sales person into the mix is just added overhead that the customer ends up having to pay for.
So while there may be a NEW normal for sales groups throughout the industry, PlastiCert has been ahead of that change for a decade. It took a pandemic to get others to see what we already knew. It’s called foresight, and the ability to challenge existing convention with what we know is the best thing to do, for us AND our customers.
Want to work with a composite injection molder with foresight and the willingness to buck the system so they can provide better value? Visit our Contact page or give PlastiCert a call.