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22 JUN

How to Achieve Organizational Alignment for Aftermarket Sales Success

by Kris Harrington

Alignment and collaboration between parts sales, marketing, product, and field service teams is an essential factor in aftermarket success for OEMs. All too often these departments gravitate into silos, with each team competing against the other, ultimately hindering growth within the aftermarket.

So how can you break down these silos and align your organization to improve the customer experience and an upward trend in revenue generation? Here are a few ideas that may help.

Rewrite the Mission Statement

OEMs traditionally see themselves primarily as equipment suppliers, not as service providers. Even though that perception is shifting, your company may not have re-crafted its mission statement to reflect the importance of aftermarket growth.

Any activity which can generate 50% or more of a company’s overall revenue, should be considered worthy of inclusion in the corporate vision and therefore, worthy of a place in its mission statement.

A strong mission statement helps to unite all organizational members in a drive to meet common objectives, providing strategic direction for the entire enterprise. So if necessary, your company should revise its mission statement to include the vision of aftermarket success and differentiation through proactive product lifecycle support.

Select the Right Performance Metrics

Strategic objectives and performance goals must also reflect the importance of aftermarket success. This in turn drives a need for key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure results and steer efforts in the right direction.

Take a look at your aftermarket success measurements and ask yourself and your colleagues the following questions:

– Do our metrics cut across teams and departments to measure sales and service performance effectively?
– Are any of our KPIs likely to encourage conflict and competition among teams?
– Does our KPI suite comprise customer-focused metrics or does it predominantly focus on internal activity?

While it’s important to quantify performance internally, customer-focused metrics can be better used to transcend silos and unite new product sales, parts sales, and field service teams in creating value for the customers they serve.

On the other hand, functional KPIs can increase the risk that teams and departments will behave in a way that’s detrimental to cross functional effectiveness. In this case, performance measures might hinder progress, rather than drive customer satisfaction and aftermarket success.

Clear Category Management

Category management is a concept manufacturers employ to segment their aftermarket parts business into distinct areas. Most of us already break our parts down internally by categories because it’s an easy way for us to look across our inventory.

However, we need to engage the entire OEM team to grow and gain market share, so we need to think a little more strategically and add additional categories. Each of these areas is defined by a set of factors to ensure that similar types of parts are grouped and can be marketed according to their specific attributes, such as:

– Application expertise
– Strategic product initiatives
– Feedback from regions/customers
– Drive for innovation and launching of new product (in collaboration with the support group)

Having a clear strategy in place for category management means that all of the departments focused within the aftermarket (e.g. marketing, sales, product, aftermarket managers, etc.) are on the same page when it comes to achieving market share, while tapping into market potential.

Collaborate with Technology

Gaining team alignment for aftermarket success can be easier with the right business tools in place. Collaboration software helps teams work together to meet shared objectives, while analytics applications can provide data and dashboards to track customer-centric metrics and performance indicators.

For instance, in a previous blog post, we highlighted that manufacturers are adopting the SMAC stack (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud) to gain real-time insights into customer information and equipment status, enabling them to respond faster and improve service levels.

In addition to this, select a CRM (customer relationship management) system that will help with the following:

– Forecast future bookings and sales by region to enhance selling capabilities
– Identify market trends by region, market segment and product
– Enable market segmentation analysis to help with positioning

Final Thoughts

Breaking down organizational silos is never easy. However, today’s technology can greatly facilitate efforts to do so, especially when combined with a clear vision and a top-down approach to alignment.

GenAlpha provides the business technology to help OEMs achieve aftermarket success. To learn more about how you can create a winning aftermarket strategy or to request a free demo, please feel free to contact us.

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