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One of the most overlooked aspects of having a great partnership with your PCB vendors is making sure that your salespeople know each other. That’s right—your company’s salespeople should formally get to know each other and work closely with your PCB vendor’s sales team, or at least their sales manager.
Salespeople, more than anyone else, know where a given company is going. They have significant insight into the company’s future. They develop business projections and forecasts. They also know what business is coming, how much, when, and from what kind of companies.
By sharing this information with your PCB partner, you will let them know what is coming and prepare them for being able to handle it as well. They can also guide you on their technology, including what is and is not possible, as well as tell you how to develop products with PCBs that are the most efficient and economical to produce.
If you have spent the time and effort of reading this column, and if you have created a truly trusting partnership with your PCB vendor, then you are ready to exchange this kind of information with them. The benefits will be invaluable.
Here are six key reasons to develop a partnership between your sales team and your PCB vendor’s team.
1. They Are From the Same Tribe
A salesperson is a salesperson. They understand each other. They face the same challenges and successes. They can empathize with one another to the point of knowing how to help each other out.
2. They Speak the Same Language
The world of a salesperson is one of prospecting, generating leads, making cold calls, proposing account plans, forecasting, and problem solving. They know how hard their jobs are and what it takes to be successful.
3. They Can Educate Each Other
Your salespeople can educate their salespeople about your technology. They can show them what it takes for them to successfully sell their products, what your customers demand in terms of technology and service, and give you some insight into what they need to succeed. To be successful in the PCB business, we have to make our customers successful, and the best way to do that is to learn from your salespeople.
By the same token, their salespeople can educate your salespeople about their business, customers, what their customers need, and what it takes for them to be successful. They can share information about their customers’ needs in terms of service, for example. Do they need a certain technology or quality certification or JIT training? The PCB vendor can help with that.
4. They Can Develop a Strategy for Your Success
They can develop a roadmap of what your needs are both today and tomorrow. When your salesperson is in front of a customer, it behooves them to know all that they can about your product, down to the components that make up that product. If they can speak intelligently about the PCBs that are part of their end product, they will be that much more valuable to their customers.
If your PCB vendor has a better understanding of what your customers’ needs are, they can work with your salesperson, suggesting some technology efficiencies that will help with a successful account strategy. Additionally, your PCB vendor can help your salesperson with new projects and capabilities, advising them of what is and is not possible in terms of their PCB technology capabilities.
5. They Can Share Projections
Their sales team can share projections of where their business is going in terms of technology, quality, customers, and dollars, and yours can do the same. By letting your PCB vendor on where things are going in the future, you will help prepare them and their company for handling those needs.
This is especially valuable when it comes to new high-technology products where new processes are going to have to be developed and new equipment purchased. If your PCB vendor has a clear vision of your company’s future and what it is going to take for you to succeed in that future, they will be prepared to help you succeed in the future.
6. They Can Increase Intra-Company Communications
They can greatly increase communications between your two companies. Salespeople are traditionally superior communicators. They are also the most collaborative people in any company. To put salespeople from two companies together almost certainly means that those two groups will be on the same page.
Anaya Vardya is president and CEO of American Standard Circuits; co-author of The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to… Fundamentals of RF/Microwave PCBs and Flex and Rigid-Flex Fundamentals; and author of Thermal Management: A Fabricator's Perspective. Visit I-007eBooks.com to download these and other free, educational titles. He also co-authored “Fundamentals of Printed Circuit Board Technologies.”