Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) Companies Are in a Tricky Spot

While some industries are seeing supply chains stabilize, others are noticing demand plateauing and even decreasing. The reasons for both are well known: the supply chain challenges of the past year coupled with the rising inflation of today. Electronics manufacturing service (EMS) providers, by the nature of their industry, are somewhere in the middle — underscoring the importance of a new approach to EMS marketing and sales.

For some time now, upstream suppliers (such as superconductor manufacturers) have experienced setbacks with their materials and products. For EMS companies, this led to delayed orders — whether PCBAs, board-level components, medical devices, or industrial box builds. This combined with an already lengthy sales cycle means EMS companies are in more difficult positions than ever — to say nothing of any labor challenges.

The Sales Challenge

The pressure is on (and has been on) for sales professionals to do more with less in a variety of ways. EMS companies — just like those in other industries — have had to consider what’s really in their wheelhouse in order to keep moving forward. Today, companies can no longer afford opportunities that bring in lower revenue, take too long to qualify, or require too much upfront time or resource investment in order to move forward.

Additionally, sales teams themselves are in flux as employees seek out new career opportunities, increasing the burden on those that remain to move the needle. Fewer resources mean less time to identify, attract, qualify, nurture, and convert the right opportunities. It’s a complex situation, but fortunately, it’s one that can be tackled with a front-end EMS marketing and sales program.

How a Front-End EMS Marketing and Sales Program Helps

  • It takes the front-end work off your team’s plate — The front-end sales process involves a broad range of identification, development, outreach, and nurturing in order to qualify a prospect and move them forward in your sales process. This is time-consuming, multi-faceted work. While automation helps, your EMS marketing and sales teams should be spending more time working sales-ready prospects and doing all they can to get those opportunities to the finish line. The front-end work is best left to your front-end partner to manage (more benefits on this shortly).
  • It builds a stronger, more qualified pipeline — While EMS sales cycles are extensive and supplier lead times can’t always be circumvented, what matters is that your pipeline is being filled with truly qualified opportunities. More in the top of the funnel is fine, but if only a sliver of those moves forward (meaning an equally smaller sliver is likely to close), what was the point? Your front-end team will diligently work on these opportunities to ensure what ends up in your sales team’s hands is ready to go.
  • It extends the capabilities of your current team — Fewer marketing and sales team members mean less outreach and progress in closing new deals. Rather than invest time in finding and hiring new talent right now, you can outsource your EMS marketing and sales efforts to a third-party agency that specializes in electronics manufacturing. You gain the advantage of a full team tackling marketing and sales efforts for much less than the cost of a single EMS salesperson.
  • It combines outbound and inbound marketing approaches — Outbound marketing is the push of a marketing program. It covers a variety of outreach efforts designed to build awareness and get your organization in front of people. Inbound marketing is the pull of the program, positioning your organization where your target audience is already looking and working in order to capture interest, nurture, and convert. Using a holistic approach, both strategies are used to support the sales side of the program.
  • It keeps current sales teams productive and accountable — A key component of a program like this is sales coordination. In addition to actively marketing your EMS business in multiple channels, your team members meet with your sales team consistently and frequently to understand where qualified leads are in the quoting/estimating/closing processes. This is crucial for fine-tuning the program, identifying opportunities to continually nurture leads, and moving more and more leads to close.
  • It focuses on what you need to grow — It’s likely that your portfolio of offerings has condensed from what it was two years ago, or even just one year ago. As a result, you’ve had to prioritize what drives revenue and repeat business. Your EMS marketing and sales program partner will build a structured, proven process to promote and sell only those capabilities and make an impact where it matters most.

This is Just the Beginning — Learn More About a Tailored EMS Marketing and Sales Program for Your Business

At Athena SWC, our team works with EMS organizations to increase revenue, streamline sales processes, and build their presence in their respective markets and regions. Using a structured front-end approach, our team has been able to achieve significant results for our EMS clients, ranging from millions in closed deals, pipelines with millions in strong deal values, greater market presence, and more productive sales teams. Check out some of our case studies here.

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