When you do online research, you see that the industrial sales profession is a subtype of B2B (Business-to-business) sales in some sources. Those sources claim that industrial sales activities cover only manufacturing products such as machinery or auxiliary equipment.
Unfortunately, this is an entirely insufficient statement. All sales activities between any two companies and include products, solutions, or services with precision technical specifications are called industrial sales. Yes, industrial sales are a form of B2B sales. However, because of industrial markets’ nature, sales activities require a technical approach and specific methods.
What is industrial B2B selling?
Industrial B2B sales provides solutions for specific needs. It can be defined as either selling an electronic component to an aircraft engine manufacturer or selling an advanced vacuum cleaner to a cleaning company. Although their business areas are different, both customers are industrial establishments serving their markets. Usage areas and technological levels of products differ from each other. Still, both have distinctive technical features that stand out in their fields. After all, the reason for purchase is the buyer’s demand for those technical features.
What is industrial sales profession?
B2B sales activities in industrial markets are carried out by technical experts of the industrial sales profession. Sales experts are technically proficient sales staff that specialized in industrial products. Their primary duty is to promote and sell their products —industrial goods and services— to customers by demonstrating the advanced technical functions and benefits. Hence, an industrial sales professional should have the technical knowledge and sales skills to offer solutions and engage in dialogue with customers.
According to the conventional concept, industrial sales profession can be described as;
- Finding and qualifying new sales leads (potential customers).
- Building new business relations with the prospects (qualified leads).
- Maintaining existing accounts and acting as a professional contact to satisfy client needs and resolve complaints.
- Scheduling sales presentations to show the value of products or services.
- Breaking the buying resistance by handling objections.
- Keeping track of sales data, submitting regular reports to management, and maintaining historical data.
The golden key of industrial sales profession
I’m sure you noticed the first two items. These are the stages of prospecting; Searching, finding, qualifying, and approaching — the starting point of sales. The conventional approach to technical sales profession is still acceptable, but that’s not about at all. When it comes to industrial sales, there are other factors. Industrial products have complex technical features. Buyer companies are technically competent and experienced. Underrated details can be of great importance in industrial procurement. It is essential to have the specialized technical knowledge and a broad perspective to be a distinguished industrial sales professional.
An industrial sales expert’s role also involves interpreting and explaining highly complex technical information to customers. They should show and convince them how a product or service can help their challenges. Therefore, industrial sales profession plays an essential role in the modern industrial sales process. Technology has advanced in great leaps in recent years and continues to alter how we interact and do business. However, not all business owners have the time or know-how to keep up with these improvements. The industrial salesperson is the key person who stays up-to-date on the latest developments and can transfer this knowledge to others.
Technical sales professionals
Members of the industrial sales profession are often called technical sales engineers, technical sales experts, technical salespeople, or industrial sales reps. No matter what and where they do, they are regarded as industrial sales experts as long as they sell industrial products with significant technical features.
Industrial sales experts act as the supply chain’s technical reference book of the sales process. They define the technical aspects of the products and reveal how those aspects and features can help the customer.