NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     March 2021

From Sales Leads to Leadership

Over the last decade companies have progressively moved away from a reactive sales strategy based on sales leads, advertising, and input from sales representatives. The pandemic has accelerated a trend toward a proactive strategy with sales leadership rather than sales leads.

During the last year companies have not received sales leads at exhibitions. Their sales representatives have not been able to make personal calls.

One option has been to rely more on third party sales leads. These leads are also being supplied to competitors. This lessens the value.  Furthermore in the ever changing digital environment sales activity has accelerated to the point that by the time a sales lead can be pursued it is too late.

Instead of paying for third party sales leads, a collaboration sales strategy  can be employed. This strategy is based on information sharing at the local sales level as well as on a national or global level. In the air, water and energy flow and treat markets every supplier fits one of the following categories.

Collaborator Classification


Sister division

The ideal group for collaboration

Unrelated products

Good if customers are the same

Complementary products

Very good from several perspectives


Lots of leverage but minor downsides

OEM customer

Problems with alienation of other OEMS

The program can be implemented top-down or bottoms-up or a combination of both. The top down approach includes weekly sharing of project information. The bottoms up approach encourages contact at the local sales level and a policy guided by this experience.

Companies with sales representatives and distributors are already collaborating. The problem is that the coordination is being done by the rep and not by the companies.

A trial was conducted for a large company with multiple divisions. All the sales people in the Colorado area were provided with project information and asked to contact the others for further insights. The participants found considerable benefit.

The advantage of collaborating with companies supplying unrelated products is the avoidance of any conflicts of interest.

Knowledge of the processes within a customer’s operation are important. Suppliers of complimentary products can strengthen the process knowledge.

Sharing with suppliers is good but only to the extent the supplier is willing to jeopardize the  relationship with other OEM customers.

Sharing sales activity with OEM customers is ideal except to the extent it could harm relationships with other OEMS.

McIlvaine has implemented a program to assist collaboration in various industries. The program for power plants is already in place. A program for the pharmaceutical industry will be launched soon.

Here is an example of the weekly Utility E Alert.  Project information is supplemented by specific activity of potential collaborators

The system also has details on tens of thousands of fossil, nuclear, biomass and geothermal, and hydro plants around the world. Coal and biomass firing is covered in the Utility Tracking System.

The gas turbine and reciprocating engine projects and markets are found in:

Bob McIlvaine can answer your questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  cell 847 226 2391.