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Where is your email address? Contacting industrial suppliers sucks!

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One of the biggest problems engineers encounter when sourcing products and services is simply finding the right person to call.  If you need a 3M product, odds are your company is too small to deal directly with 3M, so they’re going to refer you to a distributor’s regional office.  That office will probably take your call, but your local sales rep will surely be out in the field, and you won’t get to talk to him.  Maybe you can wrestle an email or a cell number from the inside sales rep, if you’re aggressive, but that doesn’t describe most engineers.

By the time your message gets to your local sales rep… for the regional distributor… for the 3M product you were ready to buy 5 days ago, you have probably gone with a sub-par solution, a more expensive solution, or just given up and moved on to a different project.  When he calls you, he probably won’t even know what you were looking for in the first place, basically making his job a cold call.  That sucks for everyone involved.

Why don’t industrial suppliers put the phone numbers of their regional sales reps on their websites?  The smaller companies do it because they need the business.  How do you think they grow?  The large companies think they have sophisticated lead gen flows through their inside sales team, or through marketing, but in reality they just have a bunch of missed sales.  Seth Godin expressed his difficulty with the B2B sales process in a recent post as well.

This is one of our biggest problems with the manufacturing world, and it’s why we’ve designed Industrial Interface specifically to put you in touch with your local sales reps on your first call.  Most engineers have no idea how many local distributors have sales engineers just 15 minutes from their office ready to bop in and help with an application that afternoon.  We’re trying to fix this.

What’s your biggest problem when sourcing new products and services?

Category: Efficiency, Engineering & Design, Industrial B2B Sales

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