With the COVID-19 international outbreak, we want you to know our top initiatives remain strong with the continuance of high-level support, including great respect for the many unforeseen challenges our customers may be facing. We are committed to joining you in this unknown journey, not only as your business partner, but person-to-person.
Here at DataSync (the company behind Flywheel), we continue to monitor the situation closely and are following expert advice by having our team work remotely and securely. Our face-to-face internal and external meetings have been postponed and moved to virtual. But it’s business as usual – we’re focused on continuing to serve our customers and add value to our product.
Be assured we are continually monitoring our Flywheel cloud solutions for uptime & stability. Our Support team remains available and easily accessible to help navigate you through any changes or adjustments your users may encounter.
Thank you for your continued trust in Flywheel. We sincerely hope you, your employees, and families stay safe and healthy during this unprecedented situation.
If you need any help with Flywheel visit our Support page to submit a ticket, and we’ll jump on it right away!
Trade show season is upon us. However, Trade shows can be a grind – after a long day at the show making connections, do you dread the evenings making sure you catalog business cards and begin follow up?
However, Trade Shows can be a grind – after a long day of making connections, do you dread an evening of data entry? We’ve all spent too much time cataloging business cards and copy-pasting email content. However, Trade Shows can be a grind – after a long day of making connections do you dread an evening of cataloging business cards and typing email introductions?
You aren’t alone. Over 75% of leads found at trade shows never receive more than one follow-up communication. Unfortunately, the average lead needs many messages before they act. That’s a lot of opportunity to leave on the table after such a big financial and time investment.
There is finally a better way. Flywheel Marketing allows you collect leads via a tablet app, or by simply taking photos of business cards. Then we handle personalized communication automatically – Flywheel can drip out a series of emails with value-added info on your product. If someone opens your email or goes to your site, we can automatically schedule follow-up by an individual salesperson.
Is setting all this up a lot of work? Hardly – we can take you from having(?) no plan to an automated one quickly. We have trade show templates that provide web forms, contact segments, and email templates– we only need to drop in your product messaging and style. Our app is also turn-key – Flywheel’s “managed” option puts you in the driver’s seat while we handle the setup and maintenance.
Our team can automate trade show follow-up in just a week or two – in time for the next trade show this spring.
Ready to look at Flywheel trade show marketing? For a limited time, when you sign up for Flywheel, you’ll receive 50 personalized stickers with your company logo for your next event.
Book a time now to improve your trade show experience!
2020 is a new year and a new decade. The old way of hiring people in order to increase sales is over, and the era of using technology and automation to grow is here. Before you add someone new in sales, find out how technology can help you leverage your existing resources. Marketing applications have evolved to a point where they can give you a huge advantage in the marketplace without requiring you to hire new staff or ramp up your spending.
The key here is personalized automation. Let’s break this down – Automation uses technology to process those repeatable tasks that are normally done by someone on staff. Personalization means tailoring your message based on what your customer or prospect has done, is interested in, and where they are at in the process. Furthermore, personalizing means initiating follow up from a person, not a marketing email.
Here’s an example – it’s trade show season. Rather than trying to remember to follow up with everyone you meet, you can use an app to follow up with a personalized message to individuals – without lifting a finger. You can use your phone to scan their business card, and all the follow up messages are automatically queued up, delivered, and if they open your email or go to your website your sales team will be notified for further engagement. Pretty amazing.
What is the result of doing this? According to an extensive survey done by GetResponse, the biggest benefit is time savings – allowing your team to do more in less time:
How do companies get that benefit? By segmenting and personalizing your message. This survey done by Liana Technologies illustrates this advantage:
Once you have the right message into the hands of the right prospect, automation can also help your salespeople get follow up done. In our experience working with manufacturers and ag companies, it takes at least 3-5 “touches” for a prospect to become a customer. Most companies find that selling something new to an existing customer is less time intensive (maybe 1-3 touches), but getting outreach done is still a challenge. Using automation can ensure that each of your touchpoints happens every time! We believe that the revolution is just now picking up speed in using these tools to help companies. Studies show that the wave has gained steam – well over 60% of companies are already using these tools. Here’s a chart from back in 2015 that shows where things are heading:
If you haven’t implemented the tools listed, now is the time to begin your search. Using automation and digital communication tools for sales and marketing is a simple way you can grow substantially without ramping your costs up significantly.
How to Begin
We recommend the following first steps to improving automation in sales/marketing:
Start with the process – If you haven’t done a process map recently, take some time to diagram your current marketing/sales process.
Identify repeatable steps – From trade show follow up to opportunity management, identify areas in your process that are manual and could be candidates for automation.
Look at what’s available – Spend some time to look online at what marketing, CRM, and other tools are available to help improve the process. Talking to your existing providers is a great start as well – your ERP/accounting system vendor may also have suggestions. You can also drop us a line and we’ll assist with helping you through the process.
Identify and automate low-hanging fruit – Find whatever process is costing you the most time and begin automating it. Simple is best – it is often the little things that make a big difference.
Measure & improve – continuous improvement is a key tenant to really getting the most out of your automation investment. Tools and capabilities change, and so will your team.
Are you ready for the impact of the deepening china trade war?
According to experts, we are now at the “pain threshold” for widespread impact:
The next round of tariffs could be the tipping point into crisis, according to a China specialist at Europe’s biggest asset manager.
“This is where the pain threshold is,” Qinwei Wang, a senior economist at Amundi in London, said in reference to the Trump administration’s consideration of 25% duties on the remaining $300-billion or so of Chinese imports not yet affected by tariff hikes. There would be a chain reaction, “and everyone will suffer. A global recession is a real risk,” he said.
Anchalee Worrachate - Bloomberg
How can you prepare?
Manufacturers who proactively engage with their market (customers, prospects, and dealers) effectively have a key advantage: first mover. If you have the right tools and processes to address your market, you have a key sustainable advantage. If you don’t other manufacturers who can properly address customer and reseller concerns will begin to take market share from you.
The enemy of commerce is uncertainty. If your customers are unsure of how you will react to the impact of tariffs, they will go where that certainty exists.
What you can do.
Take control of the message – Use marketing (email is the least expensive) to proactively stay in touch with customers. Even your message is “nothing is changing for us at this time” – that is a positive.
Get in front of customers consistently – Don’t want for customers to ask you, get in front of each of them. Schedule out a special touchpoint for all customers and make sure you salespeople touch each customer at least once in the next month.
Build an ongoing communication plan – By creating ongoing, customized communication with customers you’ll be able to stay ahead of other competitors in the messaging game. We recommend using automation to do this – segment your customers on what product/service they purchase from you and tailoring the message to them.
Flywheel provides both automation and a sales/marketing methodology based on industry best practices to assist manufacturers in effective customer communication and engagment.
We offer a complimentary tool to help you identify sales/marketing processes that you could streamline/automate using process maps. Learn more about this service and book a sessions here.
Are you wasting time and money on sales? In today’s competitive climate, manufacturers need to focus on more than just streamlining production. Getting efficient and productive in sales and marketing is key to optimizing the overall business. In fact, front-office expenses account for more than 40% of the cost of operating the overall business.
That means there’s a lot to be gained by optimizing sales processes.
If you’re interested in optimizing your sales process, watch the webinar below on how another manufacturer gained a six-figure advantage in less than 90 days using “Lean” methodology and automation to achieve results.
Interested in optimizing your sales process?
Consider taking our 15-minute Sales Efficiency Assessment. It will help you identify steps in your process that could be optimized or automated.
Ready to begin?
After the assessment we’ll send you a customized 15-page report on our findings and score you vs. top performers and peers.
Ready to start eliminating waste in sales and marketing? Once you’ve identified high-level business goals to improve efficiency, we recommend doing a Value Stream Map.
What is a Value Stream Map (VSM)? It’s a process mapping tool used by leading manufacturers to understand how you deliver value to the customer. In Sales/Marketing, this applies to how you communicate with customers prior to the order, and during cross/upsell activities. A good Value Stream Map will help you identify specific areas of waste as outlined in the 8 Wastes of Lean Sales & Marketing. Specifically, a VSM will help you improve the following:
Cycle time – how much time it takes a person to complete a task.
Process time – how long it takes to… (deliver a quote, for example)
Duplication – what kinds of work/tasks are being re-done and could therefore be eliminated.
Accuracy – how often a task is completed 100% correctly the first time.
Here’s how a VSM is built:
Before you can eliminate waste, it’s important to clearly understand how your company currently operates. By creating a Current State Map, your team can visualize how processes are actually being performed. It’s a critical point of departure – before improvements can be measured, the current way must be understood fully.
This is the fun part – set your team free to think about how they would like to operate – free of the constraints of the systems/processes you have in place today. It’s important to set a time horizon on the future state – for example, 1 year or 3 years from now. This goal helps drive the improvement plan.
Once you’ve identified your Future State clearly, it’s important to build a management-supported plan to eliminate waste in sales/marketing. We recommend going after the “low-hanging fruit” – processes that are currently wasteful and could be eliminated or automated. Flywheel is a tool that is often used to grab low hanging fruit and automate it – often times right out of the box.
Where should I begin?
If you’d like to do your own value stream map, there are great resources online like this one that can guide you through the process.
For many manufacturers, working with your local MEP (here in South Dakota we recommend Manufacturing Technology Solutions) to build the map with your team. There’s a lot of value in bringing someone in who has experience with the process to help guide your conversation.
Ready to start eliminating waste?
We offer a complimentary Lean Sales & Marketing Consultation to help start the conversation. Click below to schedule a time!