Millennials attract a lot of criticism these days as some say they’re narcissistic, entitled and sometimes lazy. Others see them as empowered, civic-minded and idealistic. No matter what your opinion is of them – there is one thing that’s simply indisputable.
They are our future buyers.
The first generation to be fully submerged into the digital world, millennials are showing us what’s possible when we can mix technology into every aspect of our lives – whether its personal or professional. By 2025, they’ll make up over 75% of the workforce. This means brands and companies need to adapt – and adapt quickly to the trends and habits these customers display.
This also means a lot for manufacturers. While the old adage of more, faster and cheaper will always have its place in our world, the buying process is already beginning to change. Millennials will soon be buying our valves, placing our orders and holding us accountable for our results.
So what are the implications for manufacturers and what does this mean for us?
Digital is still the future.
As more of the marketplace is headed towards self-serve digital commerce, business-to-business businesses are beginning to adapt to the change. There was a time when sales reps were the first point of contact, but that’s simply not the case anymore. A company’s digital presence is what today’s customer sees first and they usually won’t even engage with a sales representative until they’re more than halfway through the buying process.
Your job as a manufacturer is to provide them with the tools they need to make a decision – and to help equip your sales reps with the power to fill in the gaps. Selling to the millennial buyer is all about empowering them through the entire buying process.
These days – everything is going mobile. Manufacturing isn’t far behind. In fact, 52% of B2B purchases are made on mobile devices and more than 70% of them do their research on companies through mobile applications.
Because Millennials don’t mind working at home, there’s a lot of overlap between their work lives and their personal spaces. With the drive towards flexibility, things like purchasing and research are now done 24-7, around the clock. Being there and being accessible beyond the office – will help businesses get prospects from casual window shoppers to getting their orders on the shop floor.
Personalized experiences are where it’s
Many millennials have never lived in a world where the Internet doesn’t exist and as such – are used to dealing in digital spaces. An offshoot of that trend is that they expect personalized content and experiences. So how does something like that translate to the industrial space?
Each customer needs to be customized to – acutely. From their first phone call with your company, throughout the sales process, through the tour of your plant – everything. It’s not just as simple as closing a sale and getting an order processed. People want to be taken care of. They want to know you’re thinking about them. And they also want more control over the sales process. Manufacturers that are able to take as many impediments towards getting exactly what they want will be the ones that get ahead and stay ahead.