To flourish in this highly complex market, sales teams need to capture every possible socket with solution selling, identify additional addressable opportunities, ensure clear understanding of customer needs and improve forecast accuracy for improved pipeline and product planning. If the sales team can achieve this feat, they will enhance their customer base and gain superior visibility into the channel. The complexities of the industry, demand that semiconductor companies move towards a CRM modernization strategy that is not only tailored to their particular requirements but is also geared to effectively support their salesforce in the future
The Case for Salesforce Transformation in the Semiconductor Industry
When we talk about the semiconductor sales funnel, there is always a constant flux about who the end customer is. Additionally, the growing research, testing, and compliance requirements significantly stretch the sales pipeline to as long as 8-10 years. For instance, if a company manufactures (computer) chips used in a medical device, those medical devices have to go through a rigorous testing cycle of approx. 8 – 10 years.
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Semiconductor companies need to track these tests and track the chips in those tests to know their pipeline and arrive at the potential forecast for the next few years. In addition such long cycles mean potential changes in stakeholders as well as sales churn during the sales cycle. This needs not only continuous efforts around relationship management but also poses a challenge in terms of keeping track of all activities, data and prospect information. Keeping tabs on such long-term projects is often done through a combination of software, spreadsheets, and other disparate tools that aren't integrated well with each other.
New-age technology tools like a good CRM, though, can help capture the entire sales process, no matter how long or complex. They can also reflect the client history and suggest the next steps for the salesperson.. There are immense possibilities of group selling and gaining insights from various locations to help the sales representatives get more business. With a strong CRM in place, companies can build on features such as guided sales processes, incorporate machine learning, and utilize data from across the entire tech stack for integrated analytics and reporting.
The Rescue Act by Technology: Use Cases
The deployment of the right technology tools can empower semiconductor companies to increase top-line revenue by capturing every socket through solution selling, improving sales effectiveness, and reducing sales costs. These tools also assist companies in global price and quotation management.
Customer Segmentation for a focused sales approach
With a high portion of supplier-addressable market (SAM) being left out, there is a need for sales teams to focus on the right customers and opportunities. This is where customer segmentation can play a critical role in helping release sales bandwidth for exploring newer opportunities. Semiconductor companies should segment their customers (and their divisions in case of large customers) into multiple tiers based on revenue and margins as well as current and potential wallet share focusing most on the ones with high revenue, margin and highest potential to gain wallet share and ensuring the highly penetrated ones with high revenue/margins are maintained with a good level of interaction and service as well.
A robust salesforce monitors the entire business with a complete view of the total pipeline. It also aids in forecasting for complex sales teams, which is especially the case with semiconductor manufacturers. Sales teams can leverage artificial intelligence (AI) tools to make forecasts highly accurate. Factors such as forecast type, adjustments, time, and currency help in determining the near-accurate forecast.
Overlay Splits, in this case, can facilitate crediting the right amounts to sales overlays by revenue, contract value, and more. Sales forecasting helps organizations gain confidence in their services, and accurate sales forecasting enables business leaders to flourish in this highly competitive market.
Customers can take quite long, , moving through the funnel in the semiconductor industry because the projects and products are invariably technically complex and usually spread across different locations and time zones, involving several key decision-makers.
The long sales cycle involving multiople dvisions necessitates not only a complete tracking of all activities and submissions but also a strong collaboration between sales, marketing, technical teams. The sales and marketing alliance,, can reinforce value message at the correct points during the process ensuring the prospect is kept in the loop on key differentialtors, value adds and even new developments showcasing the long term viability.