This afternoon, our sales track attendees have been gaining a lot of valuable knowledge about "what's hot" in cobot sales and how to sell them better.
The JARVIS hall at RUC 2019 has been filled with a constant buzz of voices today. Groups of attendees on the sales track (who you can identify by the internal light blue band on their name badges) have been deep in discussion about the ins and outs of selling cobot solutions.
We live in uncertain times just now, both economically and politically. Karine Simard mentioned it during her introduction to the conference yesterday.
UR's Mathias Wiklund also mentioned it this morning during his keynote.
"We all see it. Political and economic volatility. It's changing. What is going to happen? How much headwind are we going to see? In UR, of course we see this. I think we see it on a worldwide basis. But, I think that it's an opportunity if you handle it in the correct way.
Change is a chance! I think we should see this as an opportunity."
Our sales track attendees will play an important part in helping us to drive this opportunity.
With their newly learned knowledge, they can go out into the world and help businesses to turn uncertainty into an opportunity for growth.
The cobot triangle
At the very start of RUC yesterday, Karine Simard introduced the attendees to the "Robotiq sales triangle." This is a tool that we use to maximize the chance of success for a cobot sale, both from the perspective of the salesperson and the customer. Our sales attendees will be using this triangle to, as Karine said, "pimp up their sales skills" here at RUC.
The triangle consists of (as you would imagine) three sides, each of which is equally important in any cobot sale.
Here's the triangle:
The three sides are:
- Application-product fit — Sell the products where they will work best, e.g. using the new Robotiq application kits to target specific applications.
- Business priority — Determine if automation is a priority for a customer right now and how much of a priority.
- Challenge-skills fit — We don't want to suggest a cobot solution which is far too challenging for the customer and they end up overwhelmed, but we do want to allow them to use any robotics skills already in their business.
Each of the four targeted sales workshops, which were held yesterday and today, were aimed at one or more of these sides of the triangle.
Our 4 Spectacular Sales Workshops
The sales track attendees have been doing a lot of talking over these two days! Each sales workshop involved both learning and discussion with their peers and the Robotiq team.
Here is a rundown of what they all involved.
New Tools for Growth
This session, which happened yesterday morning, gave the attendees an in-depth look at the new Robotiq products that Jean-Philippe Jobin announced yesterday.
In particular, they learned about the new applications that are now possible with our application kits, such as the External Tool Finishing Kit and the Machine Tending Kit.
Some of the applications the groups discussed were:
- CNC Machine Tending — e.g. for machine shops and auto customers.
- Assembly — e.g. for electronics and appliances, and auto customers.
- Finishing — e.g. for metal and woodworking customers.
- Packaging and palletizing — e.g. for consumer goods customers.
These are the same applications that our tech track attendees are learning to use in their hands-on workshops. They'll also come up in our Automation Challenge.
As the attendees learned during this session:
The challenge is not the robot…
...it's the cobot application.
And the know-how required to design, integrate, and operate.
Do It Yourself or With a System Integrator?
This workshop was held yesterday afternoon. It involved a panel discussion, a group discussion, and a final recap discussion. There were some very useful discussions happening all around the room — too many to keep up with!
The attendees also left this session with a handy Systems Integrator vs DIY Checklist and this useful diagram which encompasses the Lean Robotics approach:
What’s Hot, What’s Not?
Today's first sales session was all about (as the name suggests) "what's hot and what's not" in collaborative robotics right now.
But, we weren't talking "hot" in terms of the latest flashy technology. After all, the some of the other the sessions were about that!
Specifically, the groups were looking at how we can best target potential cobot customers in these uncertain and turbulent times. The attendees learned about those "pockets of growth", both in terms of applications that are currently untapped by collaborative robotics and industries which are more or less "immune" to downturns.
They also looked at some key industries for collaborative robotics, including automotive, aerospace, and electronics.
Sell More Cobot Cells, Faster
We love to give fun tasks to our attendees and this year we had a great one for the sales guys!
In this session today, we challenged them to find some "potential buyers" who were milling around here in the building! 15 members of the Robotiq team have been wearing special headbands, with dollar signs and arrows on them.
The sales participants have been given the challenge to find as many people with headbands as they can and determine whether or not they are a potential buyer.
It has been a lot of fun and has allowed attendees to test out the skills and knowledge that they have been learning in the sessions.
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Together, we can use cobots to weather the storm
Our sales attendees have been learning some vital ideas and knowledge. These will help them to improve the world, one company at a time.
As Mathias Wiklund said at the end of his keynote this morning:
"Things are changing in the market today. There is headwind.
There are certain things we can impact, there are certain things we can't. It's quite normal. But, we need to make sure we are bringing our message and our strength where it makes sense. Keeping our business going and making it more successful for tomorrow's world.
I cannot and UR cannot change what is happening in the political or the economic scenario. But, we can figure out how to play this game faster and better.
And I think we have the right products to do that. We have the right corporations. And we have the right people in this room, and beyond this room. "
Next up... the automation challenge!