Picanol has been a pioneer in the global textile industry for over eighty years and is currently the largest manufacturer of weaving machines worldwide. They develop, produce, and sell high-tech weaving machines based on airjet and gripper technology.

As the company operates in a B2B market with a complex and technical product, its historical focus has been on sales based on features. Sales conversations typically revolved around explaining features, benefits, and engaging in price negotiations or dealing with potential buyers who had already progressed significantly in the customer journey.

Prospect Inflow

The company realized that it was missing out on many opportunities because prospects were largely ignored earlier in the customer journey.

“For a long time, our sales organization relied a bit too much on gut feeling,” says Kurt Lamkowski, Worldwide Sales Manager at Picanol.

“This often resulted in us not doing the right things at the right time. For example, we frequently discussed product features and prices while our prospects were not yet convinced of the value of our solution.”

This changed when the company encountered the concept of the Perpetos Buying Clock® around 2010. This method departs from the idea of a linear customer journey and, instead, uses the intuitive analogy of the clock to determine the exact buying phase of the customer. Sellers can use the method to easily determine buying readiness and link it to the most effective strategic actions.

Since then, Picanol’s sales team has increasingly adopted this methodology. After great success in Europe, the organization introduced the concept globally (including in Brazil, India, and China). Karel Detienne, Sales Team Manager at Picanol, played a crucial role in the global rollout and firmly believes in its value:

“The Buying Clock® encourages sellers to think more critically about the customer’s buying phase. For example, if a customer is at 5 o’clock, in the terminology of the Buying Clock®, you need a different sales conversation than when dealing with a prospect at 10 o’clock.”

“For the first time, we have an intuitive, universal language to discuss our sales efforts across continents and business departments,” says Karel Detienne. Additionally, we use the method to get a clear picture of the pipeline, in CRM reports, in conversations with the marketing department, and even in our marketing campaigns. By changing just a few fields in our CRM, we can also report more efficiently and take strategic actions.

“It is also an invaluable tool for time management. It helps our sales team spend time on the right activities. The more experienced team members now also receive formal recognition for what they have been doing intuitively for years,” says Kurt Lamkowski.

The strength of the Buying Clock® is that everyone can use it and still remain true to their cultural habits and communication styles, despite regional differences.

Fruitful Collaboration

The fact that Picanol has been a loyal customer of Perpetos for over ten years has several reasons. The mix of learning methods has certainly borne results. For instance, there are opportunities for sales managers to monitor the progress of their trainees, evaluate them, and identify gaps in their knowledge.

“The Perpetos team consists of experienced professionals who have all faced the challenges of B2B sales themselves,” says Kurt Lamkowski. “As a result, they have a deep understanding and grasp of how our business works and what the typical challenges of our sellers are. Their training approach is very comprehensive and varied, and each learning form contributes to building knowledge and experience.”

The pragmatic approach of the Perpetos team ensures that this knowledge can be applied to real-life customer situations and conversations.

About kristien oeyen

Kristien guides your marketing team out of the labyrinth of product-oriented communication. She enables companies to work with messages that deal directly with the challenges that their customers are typically faced with. Don’t hesitate to contact Kristien for free expert advice: kristien.oeyen@perpetos.com

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