If you’re selling equipment or consumables in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector, you’re likely intimately familiar with requirements to pilot or trial to prove out the value proposition of your equipment.
It’s an expensive part of your sales process and if it’s not executed appropriately, can lead to substantive cost overruns and unsuccessful sales efforts, considering the expense of deploying field based personnel to sell and hardware at customer sites.
With mobile based technology, it’s becoming easier than ever to collect and share pilot and trail data when you deploy your equipment or consumables at a customer site. Quantifying it can lead to dramatically reduced sales cycles and increased probability of a win.
Consider the power of collecting data related to reduced downtime, rework, and other issues that affect performance and throughput, and linking that value creation back to the purchase of your equipment. With the right technology, you can transform your salesforce into true solution sellers.
We’ve done this to a high degree of success with both consumables and equipment suppliers, and have aggregated large volumes of data across multiple sites while trials were being completed by channel partners.
Very few original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) have real-time access to trial related data, much less a quantified output from the trial on the value created to present to decision makers who ultimately decided whether or not to make a purchase.
Tracking data and sharing it in real-time when you run your trials is possible with a limited amount of effort and training, particularly in cases where you have channel partners selling your equipment and making a commission.
Set the Goalposts
It’s important to define success criteria before you begin a pilot and build this into your tracking efforts on site. This includes defining how long a pilot will run, what objectives define a successful pilot, and what parameters will be measured throughout the pilot to gauge movement towards meeting those objectives. Establish communication protocols and the way in which knowledge gained throughout the pilot will be disseminated amongst various parties.
Configure and Train
Mobile devices have to be configured so that it’s clear what information field based partners or on-site employees at a plant need to collect throughout the trial period. It’s important to consider the variables that indicate that your product is performing, and to consider other factory variables that need to be tracked to show a correlation between your equipment or consumable and overall improvement (downstream of your equipment). Equally as important is ensuring that the customer, and any other personnel monitoring the trial from your organization has access to a real-time view of the trial on a dashboard.
Deploy and Roll with the Punches
When partners or field based employees show up on site, the communication protocols should be reestablished in person and the data collection should begin with mobile devices. There will inevitably be events that occur, such as unplanned downtime, that affect your trial. These events can be recorded as well. In some cases, when they occur downstream of your deployment, you can potentially link to an opportunity to address the problem.
Enjoy the Remote Diagnostics
During acceptance testing by the customer or your partner, you could be receiving real-time diagnotics from the field. This is possible when you deploy a discrete, semi-automated solution with your field based personnel.
Run Consistent Pilots and Win
With an appropriately configured system and a powerful reporting engine, you’ll have all the intelligence you need to share successful pilot or trial results with plant management, procurement, and other buyers of your products. You also get the advantage of running your pilots in a consistent manner from plant to plant, at scale.
To find out more about how our customers are using SITEFLO to identify their problems and to procure solutions that live up to the promise of their value proposition, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.