Label Manufacturers are Raising the Bar to be More Competitive — Inadvertently Leveling the Field Once Again

Increasing label manufacturing sales in today’s complex market is no simple feat. Like many other industries, label manufacturers face stiff competition — not only around pricing but also around capabilities. For example, consumer products brands need to differentiate their products in crowded retail spaces. Every detail matters — from the clarity and crispness of the printing on the label material to the consistency and accuracy of embellishments in high-volume runs.

Integration of intelligent solutions is also key — from overt and covert security solutions that keep consumers safe from tampering to QR codes, augmented reality offerings, and more. Coupled with rising demand and expectation for labels to be made using sustainable materials and environmentally conscious production methods, label manufacturers most certainly have their hands full.

An additional layer of complexity is the fact that many label manufacturers — especially those supporting and vying for major brands in consumer products, health and beauty, and other large markets — are focusing on making improvements in these areas at the same time to compete, but in reality they’re putting similar messages and value statements out into the market.

How can business development professionals looking to increase label manufacturing sales actually achieve results in this complex selling environment?

1. Evaluate who’s doing what and when.

In the post-pandemic world, sales teams have been charged with far more than business development alone. Additional responsibilities now include account management, customer service, and even at times production support. The painful reality here is that there are only so many hours in the day, and less time spent on new business development means less new business. Consider what your sales team is responsible for, and ask whether those responsibilities are helping them move the needle or hindering them.

2. Focus on new business — not just account expansion.

Yes, growing current accounts can significantly impact revenue. The customer already knows your capabilities and your team. This is helpful in periods when new sales are hard to come by. But more business from an existing pool of companies puts greater emphasis on keeping that business. Your customer concentration becomes less diversified and thus riskier. If one of those customers leaves or cuts back, replacing that revenue will be more challenging. New business development should always be a focus for your sales team.

3. Restructure the sales process.

It’s likely that your sales team is responsible for the entirety of the sales cycle for each contact — from the earliest days of prospecting and converting them into a qualified lead to navigating the quoting process and eventually closing the deal (and beyond if item #1 is true of your organization). However, your most talented sales team members will be wasting their precious time if they’re pursuing piles of cold leads. This work is important, but how can it be managed more efficiently? Ideally, this front-end part of the sales process will be delegated to a front-end sales team that handles early prospecting and qualifying. When qualified, those leads are passed to the sales team.

4. Market to your audience holistically.

A harsh reality in the post pandemic world is that the same marketing tactics that we used before 2020 aren’t as effective today. In a short amount of time, the entire world was forced to start seeking solutions digitally, whereas before, more business was done via traditional methods like trade shows and direct outreach. These are both still essential for success today, but it’s important to utilize both an outbound and inbound approach to ensure you’re capturing as much opportunity as possible. Using both avenues puts your business in front of target prospects and accounts sooner via outbound while ensuring your business is findable online via inbound marketing solutions.

Tired of Not Getting Results? Take a New Approach to Increase Label Manufacturing Sales with Athena

If your sales team hasn’t been producing the results your business needs to achieve growth, our team is ready to assist. Every day, we work with manufactures nationwide to help them transform their marketing and sales strategy using our proven framework built on the concept of the division of labor. From label manufacturing and private labelers to co-packers and flexible packaging companies, our team is well familiar with complex selling cycles and the strategies needed to compress them and build stronger, more resilient pipelines. Learn more about the companies we’ve helped achieve revenue growth in our case studies.

Connect with us today to learn more about our approach to increasing label manufacturing sales.