Cal-Chip Connected Devices recently conducted a study across all its suppliers to get a pulse on what their needs are for 2021. Here is a run-down of some of the results of the survey.
More Transparency and Customer Profiles
According to the data, suppliers are asking for more transparency from their distribution partners. For example, suppliers would like monthly reporting from their distribution partners indicating the number of orders received and, more specifically, who is buying which devices, why they are buying them, when, and where.
Suppliers also want more customer insight. They requested a heatmap so suppliers can clearly see the concentration of high-volume customers. This will aid them in their prospecting efforts. Customer success stories were another area suppliers would like assistance with developing and promoting their IoT solutions.
Most interviewed felt that contact names and the company data would be most useful for suppliers. Any information gathered on the use case would be highly valuable. Suppliers are asking their distributors to share that information on a monthly strategy call. Those queried said that the partnership between them and their distributors and manufacturers is considered “a joint effort” that will benefit both sides. Knowing the names of the companies that are buying and what they’re buying will help the suppliers support companies looking to secure more business from suppliers themselves. One supplier gave an example where they might have contacts with other companies to help the supplier launch a more coordinated effort to win over the organization. Or they might identify that a buyer is in a certain industry for which they have other products that tend to sell well.
Offering information on marketing campaign results was among the top requests from suppliers. It would be enormously beneficial if a distributor could provide suppliers with effective marketing analytics, including clicks, impressions, and ROI perspectives. Those results would clearly indicate how suppliers craft and launch future marketing communications campaigns.
Suppliers said they would be focused on developing robust marketing plans and promoting case studies linked to various products highlighting the partners involved and how that partnership contributed to the success. Others said they would be focused on their messaging platform and how they are considered a ‘problem solver’ in their industry and the difference between being perceived as a solution provider versus a hardware provider. Perhaps even more important is the need to emphasize the benefits to the end-user. Other areas of focus include getting onboarded into the IoT ecosystem. Some suppliers have completed the technical side and are now ready in 2022 to promote it through marketing.
Some hired new team members back in the fall to help prospects and boost their customer base. They said they now have more resources going into the new year to increase customer engagement with the new sales managers they’ve recently hired. Most are cultivating their existing partnerships and exploring new ones. They are creating new sales kits, exploring different lead development, more PoC based kits, adding webinars, and participating in sale site give away promotions. A majority said they have plans to ramp up their provisioning services.
One supplier expects to realign into new vertical markets and is expecting exciting trends to continue. Another is looking to expand their presence in the U.S. and E.U. markets. Yet others said they’ll continue to foster sound connections with their ‘bread and butter accounts and expand into new markets. They see the ‘smart home’ market as one of the more immediate pathways to growth. Advancements in indoor/outdoor asset tracking and Wi-Fi IoT product lines to cover indoor and outdoor home solutions will also be a focus. This is good news since one of the industry’s leaders that manufacture high-performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors give devices the ability to provide real-time data and analytics for suppliers. Some other areas positioned for growth in 2022 include cold chain, IoT plug-n-play, and display tables and solutions involved with those.
Suppliers would like their distribution partners to help support their social media initiatives and participate in joint marketing and public relations efforts. They want to be very strategic with their distribution partners, working with them on new product launches, gaining support from an operational standpoint, and cultivating leads, along with meeting sales goals. Clear, ongoing, and open communication between the distribution partners and their suppliers ranked the top three requests.