Opportunity Abounds — But Are You Ready for It?

As a folding carton manufacturer, you’ve likely already taken note of the increased demand prevalent in the market today. Folding carton sales and other factors are all contributing to strong growth, with the total value of U.S. carton shipments expected to reach $13.3 billion in 2026 — up significantly from $9.5 billion in 2021.

Why Is the Market Poised for Growth?

There are a number of economic factors contributing to the expansion of folding carton sales and production across the country, just some of which include:

  • Consumer spending is expected to grow steadily from 2021 to 2026
  • Producers are moving away from plastic packaging for greater sustainability
  • Companies continuing to reshore operations to avoid supply/logistics issues

With this much opportunity available today, it’s critical to ramp up folding carton sales and marketing to ensure you’re capturing as much market share as possible. However, you won’t be alone in that effort — you’re likely already facing significant competition from other folding carton manufacturers, particularly with customers putting large, recurring orders out for bid. And while price does matter, customers today are looking for partners that go beyond simply meeting their required packaging specs and order quantities.

They want solutions providers. They want to work with organizations that help them make meaningful progress toward their sustainability goals. They want packaging solutions that provide higher levels of differentiation. They want partners that are going to help them with their folding carton and packaging needs and provide innovative recommendations that improve quality without unnecessary expense.

You know you can solve their challenges and provide this level of service and guidance. You have distinct capabilities, advantages, and tools that give you a leg up on the competition. But here’s where most manufacturers struggle with growing their folding carton sales: they often lack the talent, tools, and time to build and execute a new strategy.

This is where the value of an outsourced business development solution comes into play. You might hesitate at the thought of outsourcing one of the most important functions in your organization, but there are a number of strategic reasons why it’s the better move.

How Outsourcing Business Development Efforts Can Positively Impact Your Folding Carton Sales

Instant Talent

Outsourcing business development activities — particularly on the front end of the sales process — solves one of the most pressing challenges manufacturers face today: a lack of in-house talent to build and execute revitalized sales and marketing efforts. By outsourcing, you gain instance access to professionals with deep experience in everything from outbound sales, inbound marketing, web development, account strategy, and more.

Technology Assets

While you might already have a CRM in place, is it being used to the fullest extent possible? Is intelligent marketing automation, lead tracking, and reporting set up? Related to the above, do you have experienced team members actively using and monitoring data as sales and marketing efforts progress? With a third-party partner, you gain access to the advanced tooling you need to build a streamlined, structured program for revenue growth.

Compressed Time to Impact

Every marketing and sales effort must show results quickly to maximize ROI and start making an impact on the bottom line. If you were to build out the infrastructure and team needed, it could take anywhere from several months to more than a year to stand everything up, get people trained and productive, and start seeing results. But when you outsource, everything you need to hit the ground running and start building out your pipeline with qualified opportunities is already available.

The Cost Factor

Consider everything we’ve covered thus far. People. Technology. Time. There is a cost to your business associated with all of these. Getting the right people in-house will take you deep into the six figures (possibly more depending on the scope of the effort). Marketing automation and sales management tools can be expensive without guidance on the right levels needed for the business. And the more time spent on these efforts without targeting, engaging, nurturing, and converting prospects is more money wasted. By outsourcing, you gain access to all these elements and get them up and running faster — for vastly less than the cost to handle it all in-house.

Let’s Build a Folding Carton Sales Strategy That Delivers the Results You’re Looking For

Athena has partnered with numerous folding carton manufacturers to help them achieve significant results via our structured, front-end sales approach. Unlike traditional selling methods, which are often outdated and ineffective in today’s complex selling environments, our approach has been proven to help our clients build their database with the most ideal prospects, engage them and overcome barriers, and convert them into qualified opportunities that are ready to buy.

In addition to the benefits outlined above, this model enables your existing sales and marketing teams to focus on what they do best, without having to deal with additional responsibilities or lower-value tasks that prevent them from closing deals. Sales teams become more accountable, productive, and results-driven — enabling you to hit your revenue and growth goals.

Learn more about this process and how it can help you accelerate momentum in a private overview with our team. Get in touch with us today to get started.