Scientific Sales Considerations
Many people are intimidated at the thought of selling scientific or other highly technical products and services when, in reality, there are no major differences to selling any other products or services. Here are a few scientific sales considerations we thought you may want to consider however…
First and foremost, if you are not an expert with the product you are selling, don’t pretend to be! Scientists and other highly technical professionals are experts when it comes to identifying dishonesty in this regard, and it generally won’t be received well. It is not unusual in this industry for non-technical sales professionals to occupy senior sales positions. The reason being, their role is to identify sales opportunities, not to close, that would be a job for a Technical Manager or other client-facing technical position.
Scientific Sales Cycles
Depending on the industry or sector the scientific business operates within, scientific sales cycles can massively differ. Scientific equipment manufacturers for example, will have a very long sales cycle of 2 to 3 years (or even longer!) Compare this to consumables, or contract research organisation project work for example, which have very different sales cycles. This all needs to be taken into account when building the sales strategy of a scientific business, to ensure that prospects and clients are all properly managed and a steady stream of incoming work is achieved.
Monitor the Metrics
Monitoring sales metrics, as it is with most businesses, is key to the success of a scientific business. In terms of marketing efforts, best industries, and sectors to sell into and best geographic location to pursue efforts, it’s important to monitor this to ensure that time and money is not being put into fruitless efforts. The same goes for monitoring the sales stats of employees to make sure they are achieving their best levels of sales.
In laboratory environments especially, it’s important to keep a track of key decision makers and build relationships with multiple people within the business. This is because often it is not clear cut who has the financial power and who has the decision-making power over the equipment they will use. So, while you may think you need to be selling to the Lab Managers or staff, such as Analytical Chemists, that will actually be using the equipment, it may not be them that will have the final say. Networking and research are key here. Make sure to always have multiple contacts in the business and build great relationships with multiple members of staff from multiple levels. You can also use this information to correctly target your pitch, based on a quick analysis of their job titles and level of influence. For example, an Analyst may not be particularly interested in how much consumable costs can be reduced by investing in a certain analyser, nor will a Purchasing or Finance Manager be particularly interested in LODs and reduced run-times.
Attendance of Trade Shows and Expos can be a major source of income for B2B scientific businesses. It’s a great opportunity to showcase your equipment to relevant decision makers, let people see it first-hand and maybe even try it out. It can be a key factor in not only making new sales but also in raising brand awareness. Trade show attendance can be perfect for networking and building your pipeline for the coming months, and potentially years.
Nowadays, there are lots of different CRM software’s available that can be utilised to help keep track of prospects in your sales funnel. Whether you are operating in the scientific industry or not, a good CRM will allow you to keep track of appointments and interested prospects and make sure you never miss out on opportunities by always following up with your leads.
Collaborative Industry – Outsourcing is Key
The scientific industry, in general, is a collaborative one. There is a vast wealth of knowledge, information, and services available to scientists, not only for research but for Business Development as well. Outsourcing some of your work to a professional agency can help give the boost your business needs if you don’t have the time or the skills in house.
Contact us today to find out more about how we could help you boost your sales and manage your brand, one of our friendly team members would be delighted to discuss our services with you.
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