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Types of Content Manufacturing Sales Reps Actually Want [2021]

Are you in a position where you need to help manufacturing sales reps be successful?

You are trying to deliver what they’re asking for but still getting little traction.

What you want to know is what content are your manufacturing reps really looking for?

You have hundreds, perhaps thousands, or millions of individual products and SKUs to sell.

You can’t seem to get your sellers’ attention, and they are ignoring all of the great content you are distributing to them.

This article will share our insights that will demonstrate what your sellers are looking for so you are prepared to meet their needs.

The makeup of our dataset

We took a close look at approximately 35,000 individuals that qualify as manufacturers’ reps, dealers, distributors, OEMs, etc.

Our goal?

To better understand their content consumption behaviors to educate the content creators in the businesses we support to create more impactful content that their teams would use.

Here’s what we learned:

People are looking for content on new products

New product information tends to get viewed and shared 76.2% more times than older, standard products.

By new products, we are including any piece of sales collateral created to support a new product release by a specific manufacturer, including presentations, videos, PDF brochures, product catalog pages, specs and details pages, and pricing.

In particular, three types of sales collateral are highly sought after by manufacturers’ sales reps for new products:

Product Pages that contain pricing, catalog numbers (SKUs), detailed charts, and images of the product are popular. In other words, details that can be used to create quotes.

Competitive Intelligence – including short videos, side by side comparisons, battle cards, ideal customer types, and ‘Us versus Them’ PowerPoints are sought after.

Short, informative videos – typically less than 90 seconds in length, showing installations, quick guides, in-action movement, and interactive looks inside the technology are impactful and a type of content everyone is looking to use.

Interestingly, PDF brochures and one-page fliers appear to get less interactivity from manufacturer’s reps though this is more of an observation than a rigorously proven data point.

So what does that mean? During the first three to four months after a new product release, reps search for ways to learn more and add them to their bag. It’s as simple as that.

Manufacturing reps want pricing information

For the most part, pricing documents, excel sheets, and individual product pages with pricing information tend to get the lion’s share of views (not necessarily sends/shares) in sales enablement tools.

Examples include:
Pricing Guide
Product Pricing Overview and Sizing Chart
Dealer Pricing Worksheet

In fact, in most cases, the top viewed item had the word Price or Pricing in the title. Many times pricing guides come close to outperforming all other content in the system.

This fact does not mean that other pieces of sales collateral are not valued and used. It merely says that manufacturers’ reps need pricing details, and making it easy to find will get more of your products sold.

While most sales leaders are trying to get their teams to sell value, not price, the pricing information still reigns supreme in terms of needs for most manufacturing reps.

Conclusion

You have a couple of options when it comes to manufacturing reps’ success.

You could train them to sell a new way, much more focused on value over price. While this is important, this change in approach can be slow to adopt and requires much training, coaching, and reinforcement. You must do it, of course, but you must also tackle the challenge of giving them the information they are actually looking for right now.

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