One of the new trends that is affecting the B2B world for industrial automation and technology is no longer selling a solution or a product to the costumer but selling a project online.
What does ‘project selling’ mean?
Project selling means not only trying to sell the product but to being a customer’s partner during the implementation of the entire project in which the product might be used.
Let’s look at an example: Philips is one of the companies that has been most forward-thinking and is proving to be one of the best project-selling companies. In fact, the managers have observed that the period between the market launch of a product and the moment in which it was copied by the competition was getting shorter and shorter.
They therefore looked for a new business model. Success came in selling Health Care equipment.
Philips started to collaborate with facilities that purchased its technology. They offered to partner with them to set up a new Health Center, from the start-up phase through the management, support, maintenance and advice to the facility.
While Philips has benefited in terms of growth and competitiveness, the Health Center has reduced its spending on new technology by 35%.
This trend is still going slowly in Italy but more and more companies seem to be interested in this new business model and Components Engine is among the pioneers.
How to shift from selling products to selling projects
As we said, the approach from selling products to selling projects offers many advantages but implies changes in mindset, management and organizational structure:
- The sales manager has to become a hybrid figure between a project manager and an expert consultant because he or she must be able to recognize and manage more variables than just the purely commercial ones.
- The company organization must become more fluid so that each resource is able to work in a cross-functional manner and not in watertight compartments.
What are the advantages of selling projects
- Project sellers consolidate their skills by applying their knowledge directly on site, in close contact with the client and in a variety of areas.
- The strategic vision of the company improves because you have to focus on long-term costs and benefits (related to the duration of the project) and not only on the immediate ones.
- The collaboration encourages company’s creativity and inspires new ideas and product development.
To be successful, the collaboration must be based on mutual trust and transparency, which, we would like to emphasise with a bit of irony, is still considered ‘old-fashioned’ due to the hectic rhythm and rapid changes we are getting used to.