Customers provide challenges – experts solve them
As you listen to the thoughts of the sales team of Brand ID’s industrial labels, it quickly becomes clear that selling products and services to industrial businesses is a job for resilient and solution-oriented individuals.
The requirements and challenges that come directly from customers are what drive vendors to develop new solutions. Sales work has changed radically in the recent years. Globalisation and new technology have reduced industrial mass production. For example, labelling products are rarely ordered in large batches.
“Many customers demand short delivery times and want products delivered directly to their own production lines,” says Key Account Manager Kimmo Hautamäki.
Service requirements are also constantly changing. The security and quality of supply are no longer considered competitive advantages. They are prerequisites for even getting a chance to discuss your solutions with the customer.
“Nowadays flexibility is the most important thing for the customer. Customers want to know how we can solve their problems. You have to be genuinely interested in the customer’s business and provide solutions that bring added value to them,” says Expport Sales Manager Jarno Mäkelä.
Flexibility also means the ability to manufacture individual products for the
customer. “We offer the same quality and expertise to our smaller customers as well,” says Sales Manager Sirkka Hartikainen.
Situations change, added value is what counts
Brand ID’s products are often installed in the customers’ finished products. Specifications are usually provided by the customer, but added value comes from the ability to offer a tailored solution or exceeding the customer’s expectations.
As an example, Key Account Manager Marko Silmu mentions brand labels developed in collaboration with the forklift manufacturer Rocla.
“We developed brand labels for Rocla’s forklifts in collaboration with the customer. Rocla was able to provide their customers with forklifts that were already equipped with a brand logo. This provided added value to both Rocla as well as their end customers. Challenging cases include situations where the quality or specifications of the product change, for example, due to a third party.
“A good example of this is when a paint supplier modifies the properties of their paint. In such a case, we may have to change our glue in order to ensure sufficient adhesion. In that case, we would have to carry out adhesion tests to find a new solution for the product,” says Jarno Mäkelä.-
Sometimes the customer may suddenly run out of labels due to an inventory error. More labels than planned may have been used by the installer or on the production line. In such a case, the buyer would quickly need more labels.
“These are situations where our ability to help and solve problems rapidly is measured,” says Brand ID’s sales team.
At Brand ID, solution selling is based on close collaboration with the customer and the company’s production development team. Large customers in particular often have precise requirements and specifications concerning, for example, materials. Vendors usually discuss the design of the ordered product together with experts and then build a package offer. After this, the process proceeds from the approval of model products to production.
“Usually the customer’s needs or the intended use of the product are clear. However, customers who are developing their products sometimes have to make major changes to their product, even after good planning, and our vendors’ and designers’ job is to be part of the process. I think that a vendor is always a product developer as well,” says Marko Silmu.