You want more aftermarket business growth.
So you’ve invested more money into sales or marketing.
Maybe you’ve recruited more sales people or invested in some sales training or coaching for your team?
As you’re smart, you’ve spent more on marketing too, maybe on trade shows, new product literature or telemarketing, say?
You’ve then sat back and waited for your sales and marketing guys to work their magic and bring in the new customers, revenues and profits.
Except it doesn’t usually happen like that does it?
And it hasn’t happened this time either.
Ever wondered why not?
Aftermarket Business Growth Is Not Just About Sales Or Marketing
If you’ve ever started a business of any kind, you’ll know all too well that you can’t establish and grow a business just by focusing on sales and marketing.
That would be like opening a new restaurant and enticing customers into your premises, only to disappoint them soon after.
Where are they going to sit?
Where are the drinks and your bar licence?
Where’s the food?
Oh s**t, you’ve just remembered…you’re an awful cook!
Nobody opens a restaurant like this do they?
Not even a low end fast food restaurant.
Come to think of it, especially not a low end fast food restaurant!
Sales and Marketing Are Necessary But Not Sufficient
Whilst it’s true that you can’t grow a business properly without sales and marketing, it is also true that sales and marketing are insufficient on their own.
As well as bringing in new customers, a business has to deliver a product or a service as well.
It has to manage a supply chain of some kind.
It has to recruit and manage people with the right skills.
It needs to be able to design and improve business processes and systems.
It needs to adapt and manage change.
And so on.
Growing a business of any kind is therefore the role of the whole business and therefore requires a holistic approach.
A Holistic Approach To Aftermarket Business Growth
Growing a business involves identifying and improving all of the underlying root causes of sluggish growth.
Much like losing weight involves improving your exercise as well as your eating habits.
Failure to do this will stall, or at least slow down, your aftermarket business growth.
And for manufacturers, growing an aftermarket parts and service business is not the same as growing your manufacturing business.
Manufacturing is predominantly about products whereas aftermarket is predominantly about services.
And product capabilities are not the same as service capabilities – not even for sales and marketing!
According to our research and experience, there are 10 capability levers that a manufacturing business must focus on to maximise aftermarket growth and profitability.
Sales and marketing only covers two of them (20%).
The other eight capability levers (80%) have nothing to do with sales or marketing.
If any one or more of these ten capability levers are missing or under-developed, then it can seriously constrain your aftermarket business growth.
Aftermarket Business Growth and Capability Development
As we are talking about capability development, we also need to talk about a related aspect.
So, let’s go back to our earlier example.
Have you ever tried to get fitter or lose weight by reading a book?
Or get fitter by learning new exercises at the gym?
When you’ve finished reading or completed your skills training, were you any fitter or thinner?
The idea of reading a book or going on a training course in the hope of turning into a supermodel or Olympic athlete is not as stupid as it sounds.
It is practically the same as recruiting a new sales person to transform your aftermarket business growth.
A Capability Approach to Aftermarket Business Growth
Both examples involve trying to solve a problem or achieve a goal simply by acquiring new knowledge or skills.
The trouble is, knowledge and skills are insufficient on their own to bring about change and business growth.
Reading a book improves your knowledge but that alone will not change your physiology.
Learning new exercises with a personal trainer may improve your skills but that won’t work on its own either.
And recruiting a fancy new sales person won’t grow your business if you’ve got nothing to sell and no capability to deliver it.
Sure, they could bring in the orders, but orders will soon get cancelled when you don’t deliver as expected.
And when word of your failure gets back to your competitors, your business will find it much harder to win the sale next time.
Even more so when your fancy new sales person gets fed up and leaves to join your competitor!
Capability Gap Closure
Closing a knowledge or skills gap can work, but only if it is the one piece of the jigsaw that is missing and holding back your progress.
So relying on recruiting a fancy sales person IS the right approach IF AND ONLY IF the lack of sales expertise is your only capability gap!
But if you have capability gaps in multiple areas then things can only improve slightly, at best.
And of course, if you don’t know what your capability gaps are and you don’t have a method of identifying them quickly, any progress will be via trial and error and painfully slow.
Believe me, I’ve seen perfectly good businesses losing £millions in sales and profits and their managers losing their jobs because they (mistakenly) thought that a new sales team was the answer, when it was only part of the answer.
Don’t let that happen to you or your business!
How To Identify Your Aftermarket Capability Gaps
At Servispart Consulting, we have a capability management tool that we use to help our clients identify the capability gaps in their aftermarket business in a matter of days.
So ask yourself:
Are you relying too much on your sales and marketing team to grow your business?
Are you 100% confident that you have the other 80% of your aftermarket capabilities at full throttle?
Do you possess the knowledge, tools and aftermarket insight to objectively identify your own gaps?
How Servispart Consulting Can Help
Our core service is called Aftermarket 360™ and is specifically designed to assess your aftermarket capability strengths and weaknesses to create an aftermarket growth strategy that delivers high impact results in minimum time.
More information on how to discover your aftermarket genius and grow your aftermarket business is available here.