Denver - Berlin

Industrial Components Manufacturer Leverages New Digital Innovation to Enhance B2B Selling Experience


The maker of industrial and power control components engaged Harbor Research to identify customer pain points and challenges with the specification and purchase of their products that could be solved with new digital services.


Our client was facing rapidly changing customer needs and competitive maneuvers which were forcing power, control and automation companies to re-think their marketing, sales and channel strategies generally and address two specific challenges: the pressure to increase market coverage and the need to achieve an ever greater return on sales and marketing resources invested.

Within this context, Harbor was asked to help address their overall go-to-market strategy and design as well as highlight specific areas where they could use digital technologies to enhance the customer buying experience as well as make the experience more efficient.

Process and Outcomes

Harbor conducted internal interviews with senior leaders, field interviews with sales and marketing staff as well as developed an analysis of peer players go-to-market strategies in markets that had similar characteristics but were further evolved with new sales and channel approaches.  Based on these early steps, Harbor helped the client team focus on five critical areas:

  1. Identifying the key sales and marketing objectives for each major business segment, market segment and product thrust area.
  2. Analyzing the efficiency of their current marketing, sales and distribution approach, examining the different methods and approaches competitors and peers were utilizing  to reach the market and benchmarking the costs associated with each of these methods.
  3. Highlighting alternatives and options to address both direct sales and indirect channel partner efficiencies (distributors, systems integrators, etc.), including analyzing the mix and effectiveness of indirect channel partners
  4. Demonstrating the potential impacts of designing and implementing new digital and online eBusiness tools and processes.
  5. Identifying the combination of key maneuvers that would differentiate our client’s B2B selling and channel model.


Over 6 months, our client was able to implement and deploy several actions to address its sales and marketing effectiveness, including refining customer segmentation, identifying new channel partners, and addressing the customer selling journey and buying experience.

The results after 18 months: a 3% reduction in selling costs, a boost in indirect channel partner  efficiencies and an increase in online sales of 20% enabled by a new customer purchasing experience.


Global (top 5) Industrial Control Components Manufacturer


Validate Growth Opportunities

Assess Growth Strategy

User Journey Mapping

Customer & Competitor Field Research

Develop Go-To-Market Strategy

June 22, 2020