When compared to their peers in similar industries, transportation and specialty vehicle manufacturers are excelling at automating some of the most crucial selling strategies and critical links in the overall sales process. Looking to find out why transportation and specialty vehicle manufacturers are attaining higher sales effectiveness than comparable industries, worldwide software provider, Cincom Systems (http://www.cincom.com/acquire) recently completed a national survey of sales and IT executives (http://www.cincom.com/vehicle).
Of those surveyed, 70% have basic systems in place for tracking opportunities and responding to them, including following defined processes for nurturing and escalating sales leads through their channel partners. This is approximately 17% above the composite benchmark of comparable industries.
“The greatest compliment any manufacturer can give a customer is to really listen to what their requirements, needs, preferences and unmet needs are during the bidding, estimating and quoting process,” says Louis Columbus, co-author of the report. “Being able to give customers the freedom to define just exactly how they want their specialty vehicles configured through the use of automated systems is turning this class of manufacturer into the leading trusted advisors of their industry.”
RFQ Most Likely Automated
When it comes to handling the request for quote (RFQ) cycle, transportation and specialty vehicle manufacturers are the most likely of those surveyed to use an automated workflow system (20%), where opportunities are captured in a system to classify, organize and escalate them.
“Manufacturers attaining best practices in managing the RFQ cycle don’t leave accuracy or product quality to chance,” continues Columbus. “These manufacturers are exceptionally thorough in how they manage RFQ development, scheduling and product delivery to make sure that customers’ expectations are met and exceeded often.
“The bottom line from this report is that exceeding customer expectations on a regular basis is the best strategy to compete in a tough economic climate – and using automated RFQ systems and processes is an accelerator to getting there,” says Columbus.
Yet a Large Gap Exists
Despite the use of best practices in the top echelons of the industry, 50% of those surveyed manually track RFQs or track them in separate systems. A technique that can, says Columbus, “leave the door open for competitors when accuracy or product reliability drops as a result of not capturing customers’ needs thoroughly enough.”
While 50% report that the status of sales opportunities is tracked by process mapping the majority of the time (21% higher than composite benchmark), another 40% admitted to tracking sales opportunities informally via email.
“If you want to see sales intensity, go on a sales call with a transportation and specialty vehicle manufacturer sales rep or distributor. Every sales call counts. Regardless if a bus or a fire truck or any other emergency vehicle is being specified, the discussion invariably turns to making the vehicles as responsive as possible at saving lives – and that is the best ROI of all,” says Columbus.
For a copy of Cincom’s “2009 Transportation and Specialty Vehicle Industry Survey Report,” visit http://www.cincom.com/vehicle.
For over 40 years, Cincom’s problem-solving software, services and people have helped thousands of companies all over the world grow and manage their businesses. For more information about Cincom’s products and services, contact Cincom at 1-800-2CINCOM (USA only), send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the company’s website at www.cincom.com.
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2009 Transportation and Specialty Vehicle Industry Survey Report