Enable Your Sales Team in the Industrial Customer Journey

Vice President of Marketing Communications for Emerson, Kerry Nedic, Shares How to Mobile Your Sales Team in the Industrial Customer Journey with Great Content and Coordination.


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How do you enable sales in the industrial buyer’s journey?

Just emulate Kerry Nedic.

Kerry Nedic is the Vice President of Marketing Communications for Emerson’s Discrete & Industrial group of businesses.  Emerson, a global leader in engineering and manufacturing, is a Fortune 500 company that saw $17.4 billion in global sales in 2018.

With Emerson for 17 years, Nedic has taken on various responsibilities including pricing management, data governance, customer support, and digital customer experience. She represents three business unit for Emerson, manages 60 global team members, and oversees 10 Emerson product brands.

On top of that, Nedic serves several key stakeholders – including Emerson’s marketing and sales leaders. (Who, of course, have different goals and desires.)

That’s… a lot.

But Nedic does it, and she does it well!

How does she do it?

At the Industrial Marketing Summit on September 6, 2019, Nedic discusses what she’s learned about the broad range of marketing expectations, working with the sales team, and connecting the dots to provide a better customer experience. She directed her session specifically at marketing communications leaders who are trying to enable their sales team through the industrial buyer’s journey.

Let’s dive in.

Short on time? Here’s the highlight real:

  • The broad range of expectations of service and support from the industrial customer requires creative management of limited resources.
  • To be the most effective, you’ve got to plan and change behaviors.
  • How to help the sales team understand the part they play in the digitally transforming customer journey.


18 Tips from Real Industrial Marketers


This Should Be Easy, Right?

Let’s say you have your content marketing strategy and sales enablement plan done – final, documented, and agreed upon by your whole marketing team. Now you just have to execute that strategy, and more leads and sales will pop out the other side. Easy-peasy. You don’t need anyone else to execute your vision.

(Hint: It doesn’t work like that.)

Without getting your whole revenue team (that’s marketing and sales) on board, achieving your revenue goals won’t happen.

You need to reframe how the rest of your company views marketing and marketing’s role in the company, Nedic says. Here are some challenges industrial marketers face:

challenges for industrial marketers in sales enablement through the industrial customer journey, kerry nedic


Marketing – still viewed as a service

“Being a marketer at an engineering company, we have historically always been treated as a service,” says Nedic.

Marketers don’t just make brochures, add catalog pages, and organize trade shows. Marketers get pulled into HR, sales pitches and slide decks, requests for images and documents… which the sales person needs in 10 minutes…


Sales and Marketing are not always aligned

“Maybe on a singular set of business objectives they’re aligned, but how they’re going to get there and tactically execute to get there might be totally different,” says Nedic

Sales and Marketing alignment is more than just your revenue goals, she says. The actions both teams take to get there matters. The teams need to be in sync. That means transparency between departments, constructive feedback, and continuous communication loop.


The pace of change in industrial business is slow

Emerson is over 125 years old. They have products that are over 100 years old. Product changes don’t happen as fast because the products we sell are built to last. This sets us apart from other B2B businesses, so some of the trends and advice that work for them don’t work for us.

“We’re not totally redoing our products every month. We’re a little bit slower than that,” says Nedic. “But, it’s changing: Industrial Internet of Things, smart connected products… we’re ramping-up even a little bit, and that’s a challenge for us as marketers.

The industrial customer journey has also changed, and we have to adapt to new buying behaviors from our customers, she adds.


Even GREAT teams can’t do it all

“You have some sales guys who are a little bit intimidated. They still have an idea about how things should be done, and they aren’t really sure where they fit in when we start going straight to customers through our digital means,” says Nedic.

“I have a fantastic team, great people, but we can’t do it all,” Nedic says. “This is why we need to have partners.”

Industrial marketers must rely on partners who understand them and their business to do the tasks that their internal team doesn’t have the time for or skills in to execute. These tasks include writing blog content and press releases, managing social content or distributor partnerships, and providing 3D CAD models.

But that costs money. And coordination.

The life of the industrial marketer is not that easy after all. You know this. Thankfully, Nedic shares how she tackles these challenges in her company.


18 Tips from Real Industrial Marketers

understanding the variances in your buyers and your sales team

Understand Generational Differences in Behaviors – for Your Customers and Your Sales Team

Everyone in industrial marketing is talking about the younger generation of engineers. They’re changing the industrial customer journey as we have known it. So, how do you build relationships with them as the older generation retires?

Nedic did her own research to compare the differences between Millennial, Gen X, and Boomer engineers. While she didn’t uncover anything “earth-shattering” about their different behaviors and buying preferences, she did find an underlying issue with these generalizations.

“The problem with this is there are differences in behaviors but we can’t pigeonhole people,” says Nedic. “We’ve got to recognize that we have this variety in our customer base.”

So as industrial marketers, we have to understand and provide value to all these different customers… but that’s not where it ends.

“The problem with this is there are differences in behaviors but we can’t pigeonhole people,” says Nedic. “We’ve got to recognize that we have this variety in our customer base.”

So as industrial marketers, we have to understand and provide value to all these different customers… but that’s not where it ends.

“The real challenge is: We have that same variety in our salesforce and how they feel comfortable presenting material to our customers and using tools,” says Nedic.

Industrial marketers have to work with a variety of salespeople to support them when reaching a variety of customers. That creates an enormous amount of work for marketers – we have to be everywhere our sales team is and everywhere our customers are.

So how do marketers get it all out there?


kerry nedic: sales enablement strategy in the industrial customer journey

How to Make It Easier for Your Sale Team

Start the conversation with the sales team sooner, Nedic says. Understand what the sales team is trying to do beforehand, and find ways to support them with valuable content that fits their goal and process.

This means for some campaigns, you make a video for your sales rep. Sometimes, it means a series of social posts. (TIP: Your sales team will say yes to everything. They don’t need everything. So don’t give them everything.)

“Our job and our responsibility is to understand who they’re trying to reach, what they’re trying to achieve, and then what is the best content to help them get there,” says Nedic.

In doing so, your sales team wins. Content focused on buyer enablement allows sales to focus on high-value interactions.

Here is Nedic’s sales enablement strategy:

  • Foster alignment with your sales team.
  • Show them the data.
  • Keep them informed.
  • Give them the tools.


In Conclusion: Bring Your Sales Team into the Industrial Customer Journey

Industrial marketers have a lot of challenges ahead. But we don’t have to conquer these challenges alone.

Getting your sales team on board and working with them to enable your buyers will pay-off in the long-game. Listen to your sales team, be active in your joint objectives, and be the content expert for your sales team to bring in the win.


Check out the Industrial Marketing Summit 2019 page to recap the whole event and watch the videos of the other speaker presentations.


Access the full videos from the Summit here.


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Adam Beck

Director of Marketing at CADENAS PARTsolutions | A Marketing graduate from the Miami University, Farmer School of Business in Oxford Ohio, Adam has years of experience in marketing and design for a variety of industries.