Sales and R&D are natural partners

Even great products don't just sell themselves – that takes people and planning, which is why sales strategy, training and product information were key focus areas of the Annual Symphony Plus Marketing and Sales Event, which was held in Genoa, Italy, in February.

Designed to accelerate the spread of ABB`s Symphony® Plus automation products and technology to new applications and markets, the four-day event drew about 120 people from 34 countries to ABB’s Genoa offices.

Attendees found an information-rich agenda spanning the world of Symphony Plus, from overviews of power generation market trends, focus areas, technology status and progress to discussions of specific products and applications for the power generation and water industries. Presentations in both plenary and break-out sessions included in-depth analysis of market trends and needs, sales arguments and best practices.

There is an important educational component to this annual event, during which the sales team has an opportunity to get first-hand information from specialists, developers and management about market trends and the technology development roadmap, as well as an in-depth view of new products or developments in the existing automation offering. It is also an occasion for frank discussions of strategy.

From exploring the latest developments in ABB`s automation platform to sharing successes and strategies with colleagues, the event was designed to strengthen and support ABB Power Generation`s sales networks, and ensure they are connected to technology development and product management.

Two sides of the same coin

It is also a chance for R&D to give feedback on suggestions and market requirements provided by the sales team. Sales and R&D are two sides of the same coin, and need to work closely together sharing information about market desires and needs, technical feasibility and technology development. When these areas mesh, successful products are developed. A good example is the ascendance of renewable energy and distributed power generation schemes, which have very different requirements from traditional, centralized power generation and distribution. New products will soon be launched and existing offerings will continue to be enriched with dedicated functionalities to meet this changing need. This includes not only automation products, but also solutions such as integrated instrumentation, control and electrical packages.

R&D investment is essential not only for a company to remain competitive, but to make customer assets competitive so customers can win their own market challenges. (ABB invested more than $1.5 billion in R&D in 2013).


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