Traditionally industrial companies have relied on “sales engineers” or “reps” who were in general very experienced and capable people who could seek out new business and service existing customers – but it was always expensive to find good ones then to pay and to support them. This latter part – the cost – was a major problem since there was not much by way of an alternative – although many companies managed to achieve either direct catalogue sales they often retained some sales people “on the road”. The internet has taken this trend further with the possibility to find-and-service customers using only online marketing backed up with office based telesales with the occasional site visit as required from the office based staff – so greatly reducing costs.
A simple comparison demonstrates:
Estimate true cost of sales engineer @ between £50K to £80K pa
Cost of PR and directory management circa £10Kpa
Cost of Social Media, blogging, video uploads £5K to £10Kpa
Cost of Advertising – circa £5K to £12Kpa
Cost of Exhibitions – circa £6K to £12Kpa
Cost of video production circa £3K pa
Total cost of marketing £29K to £45Kpa
This does not mean that sales engineers are no longer needed – there are many instances where an application specification or delivery problem can only be sorted out by a skilled person on site. However it does mean that these valuable people can be better focused on what they do best – and it opens up the possibility that a company can start up and grow to quite a fair size before in-house resources are stretched to the point of needing full time outside sales engineers. Likewise medium sized companies are then able to be selective about employing very good people who work closely with a full marketing and office based support staff greatly enhancing return on resources – and interestingly enabling the sales engineers to do what they enjoy best.
Contact us to see what we can do for you.