TREATMENT EQUIPMENT VENDORS
What You Do:
As a treatment equipment vendor, your marketing efforts are directed towards supporting your sales team with new product and tradeshow collateral. You're in-the-field sales professionals, often independent manufacturing reps working with a line card of principals, are the lifeblood of your business, finding out about new projects, responding to bids and networking locally with operators, engineers and consultants. Much of your work involves creating product videos and new tradeshow graphics for the growing number of local and national events your sales team wants you to participate in.
What You Face:
The problem is that despite your product marketing efforts, you are constantly being squeezed on price. The municipal bidding process often mandates multiple quotes and too often the vendor selection comes down to the cheapest option to get the job done. Or worse, you know going into the bidding process that you’re going to lose out to a rival who has a legacy relationship with the customer. The industrial market is only marginally better. You continue to match your competitors’ offerings in the market with little perceptible differentiation for customers. Cost-down methodologies often leads to “good enough” decision-making, cutting into profit margins.
How We Help:
At Water Online, we use a brand publishing approach to help you differentiate your company around expertise and technical leadership. As readers engage with your content portfolio, they realize that you are a company that knows what you are talking about. Our content presentation model means that when bidding on jobs, contractors and operators recognize your brand as a product they want to work with and your company as a best-in-breed reliable vendor, elevating you over the competition when all else is viewed as equal.
TREATMENT EQUIPMENT VENDORS ARTICLES
Why Relying Heavily On Sales Reps Is A Big Mistake
If you are a treatment equipment vendor grappling for stronger growth numbers, it is important to diversify how you approach the market, how you reach prospects, and how you build awareness of your products. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, one of the best ways to do this is by providing content directly to the water and wastewater market that educates them generally about their needs, rather than promotes the specifics of your latest pump.
Take Advantage Of BABA’s Transformational Opportunity
In 2021 the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IJJA - aka, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law - BIL), was passed which provides an unprecedented level of federal investment in American water infrastructure. BIL provides broad eligibilities for drinking water and clean water projects through Clean Water State Revolving Funds (CWSRF).
In its Decision Memorandum, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it is honored to play a leadership role in implementing these provisions and is proud of its nearly decade of successful implementation of American Iron and Steel provisions in its SRF programs. Through these efforts, EPA will support efforts to catalyze domestic manufacturing, resilient supply chains, and good jobs – while successfully delivering a wide range of infrastructure projects.
Alongside BIL and CWSRF is the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA) act, which establishes strong and permanent domestic sourcing requirements across all federal financial assistance programs. The basic requirement being that 55% of all iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials must be domestically produced for a project to receive and used federal funding.
Be Ready For The Coming Wave Of Industry Growth
To capitalize on this projected growth, treatment equipment vendors must take a different approach to marketing and fostering prospects. They must take an approach that makes them stand out as thought leaders and trusted vendors in a very noisy and crowded vendor space. One way to do this is by moving away from reliance on product-centric outbound marketing efforts to affect the bid process at the end of the sales cycle to building brand awareness, recognition, and trust in the minds of customers ahead of the bid process.
Ride The Coming Wave Of Industry Growth
Many treatment equipment vendors put great effort into developing quality products, designing informative spec sheets, showcasing new products at trade shows, and incentivizing independent sales reps to introduce their products to utilities. And yet, growth seems to flatline. Win a few bids, lose a few customers, status quo. Well, according to two independent market reports, all that is about to change – for better or for worse – with the projected 4% to 6% expansion of the market.
5 Ways To Meet Your Sales Rep’s Needs
Many manufacturers in the water and wastewater industry contract independent sales reps to bring their products to market. Rep firms provide the local connections, project awareness and ability to build proposals across multiple vendors that equipment suppliers can’t create alone. Because sales consultants work with multiple principals, it’s imperative to maintain a productive and healthy relationship with your sales network or risk losing their focus on repping your product line over other product lines they can prioritize. Here are your Sales reps' 5 requirements of a Grade-A principal.
Aren’t Utilities And Vendors Wanting The Same Thing?
I was recently at a conference that featured a series of panels containing senior managers from large water and wastewater utilities. In attendance were many representatives of manufacturers and solution providers eager to have said utilities adopt their products. A number of the panelists were asked what they look for in a vendor.