Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Modular Factories Begin Post COVID-19 Sales Planning

Large or small, residential or commercial, regional or nationwide; every modular factory in the world will be looking at B2B sales differently.

This new pandemic has affected the sales process in several ways. First is spending.

The modular factory’s customers will be dictating how each factory responds to the sales process. Some builders and even developers will want to continue doing business in a similar way they did before the pandemic with face to face meetings, tours of the factory and sales people calling on them at their business’ offices.

Others builders and developers will choose to change to a more hands off approach to the sales process. They like the idea of not having to make plans for visiting the factory or setting meeting dates with a sales person in their office.

Spending enters the picture simply as a cost of ramping up the digital side of sales. Everything from Zoom conferences, video sales calls, video tours of the factory and even video walkthroughs of projects under construction both in the factory and on the jobsite.

The importance of digital sales and marketing for modular factories, a segment that has grown significantly in the past few years, has radically increased since the COVID-19 crisis began. Sales leaders on average rate digital channels approximately twice as important now as they were before COVID-19.+

This shift in the importance of digital interactions is reflected in the builder’s and developer’s  behaviors with a preference for digitally enabled sales interactions jumping significantly. Look for mobile apps, social media and online business communities to show sharp increases in 2021.

While one would think that spending on sales and marketing would decrease because of COVID-19, the opposite is true for the Off-Site construction industries with spending for some to increase by as much as 25%.

Big industries in the US have moved to 75% of their sales efforts to either full or partial sales by video conferencing or phone. Only 18% of them still encourage face to face sales visits as the primary way to work with their business customers. The modular industry, one of the last to make changes, is probably getting close to those numbers also.

An amazing result of this shift is that those same big industries are reporting a 50% “less effective” sales rate while only 27% are reporting a more effective rate.

With that news comes the need to realize that not everything will be ready and perfect on day one. We’ve never before been in a situation where we have deployed so many innovative ideas into the sales process within a matter of weeks hoping everything is going to work perfectly.

In the modular construction industry, where habits and practices are changing quickly and will likely continue to do so, you need a clear view of what your builders and developers want and what steps your company can do to address their needs. 

Traditional face-to-face interactions have given way to sales and service support by videoconference, webinar, phone, human chatbot, and other means. In this remote and digital world, however, there is still a crucial role for the human touch.

Gary Fleisher, the Original Modcoach, owns the Modcoach Network consisting of Modcoach News, Modular Home Coach and Modcoach Connects.

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