Sales

A great product can arguably sell itself, but with so many different technologies, increasing competition and varying applications the skill of the sales team within additive manufacturing is hugely important to the success of an organisation. Firstly they have to build relationships with potential customers and partners. They have to understand the need of the customer and then provide a solution that enables them to achieve their goals with AM technology.

There are typically two types of sales model adopted within additive manufacturing: Direct Sales and Indirect Sales, although most businesses will adopt a hybrid model involving both. Direct Sales will involve dealing directly with the end customer whether that is in Aerospace, Automotive, Medical etc. A Business Development or Sales Professional working within direct sales selling into one of these industries may have a background in the industry. Indirect Sales involves developing relationships with key partners such as distributors or resellers. An Indirect Sales professional might be known as a Channel Manager, and as well as recruiting and training partners will also support them closing deals with customers.

MARKETING

Developing a good product is one thing and having a good sales team in place to sell it is another but of equal importance is ensuring that product is positioned correctly, targeted towards the right end user and is supported with marketing material to help sell the features and benefits.

The marketing team play an early role in new product development initially by identifying key gaps within the market that new technology could service. Once a new product has been created they will be responsible for developing the go-to-market strategy alongside Sales and Business Development and will then implement the marketing plans to support the strategy. The marketing team will build campaigns to expand market share, generate demand and pipeline for the sales team, organise and represent the company at fairs and events and create brand awareness in the AM market through Social Media and PR. Marketing professionals within AM should have a very good knowledge of the competitive landscape and should successfully position the company in the AM industry.

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