Marketing Tools Heat Up Sales
Headquartered in Wentzville, MO, Unitherm Furnace is an ISO 9001 and ISO/IEC 17025 accredited manufacturer of custom thermal processing equipment, including industrial furnaces, ovens, kilns, crucibles and more. They design and build custom solutions for almost any type of heat treating process. They also rebuild, retrofit, modify and upgrade existing equipment, which enables customers to realize significant savings versus purchasing new. Unitherm Furnace is also compliant with the strict AMS250E Pyrometry-Aerospace Standard, which makes them a unique resource for laboratory and on-site calibration services for thermal processing equipment.
The company was recently acquired by new ownership, who have the goal of growing the already strong Unitherm brand. They set about the task of developing a marketing strategy for growth, but quickly found that because they serve so many different industries, it was a challenge to know where to best focus their marketing efforts. They needed help understanding their customer base and target markets.
Missouri Enterprise experts recommended a Customer Profile to help Unitherm define the basic demographics of their ideal customers. The process started by appending key information to Unitherm’s customer list, including SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) codes and descriptions, customer revenue categories and geographic distribution.
Customer sales data was also added to the list, so a dollar value could be placed on market segments. Once appended, this information was used to conduct analytics that helped Unitherm understand who their best customers are, how big they are, and where they are. Using the Customer Profile, Missouri Enterprise helped Unitherm procure a highly targeted marketing list.
“The Customer Profile really helped us understand our marketplace, so we can narrow the field and target the kinds of companies who generate the most sales and profits for us,” says Sam Eberhart, Business Administration Manager at Unitherm. “Because our products and services are highly technical, our engineering and calibration experts are heavily involved in our sales processes. So, it’s critical that we have an extremely focused marketing effort. Industrial furnaces have a significant price point, and our sales cycles are quite long, so we need to be efficient in our sales efforts.”
Armed with the information in the Customer Profile developed by the experts at Missouri Enterprise, the Unitherm sales team spends much more time speaking with potential buyers, minimizing the time it takes to identify qualified prospects, and optimizing their sales conversion rates. “The Customer Profile was the obvious place to start,” concludes Eberhart. “Now we’re focused on the path ahead. We’re not guessing…we know where to hunt for new customers.”