How Does Cytech Systems’ Sales Champion Navigate Through the Market Downturn?

August 01, 2023

The semiconductor industry was booming two years ago, with a market demand that couldn't be met. However, The market started to cool down in the following year of 2022 and has continued to date. The shifts have posed a significant challenge for industry.

*Note: Due to privacy protection, the customer name, salesperson and component number in the following content are pseudonyms.

While some fall into the abyss, she keeps moving forward

In the semiconductor industry, where market conditions remain lackluster, many salespeople who previously rode the wave of the "shortage" now find themselves in a challenging situation, with some even considering a change in careers.

In comparison, Fiona's situation is relatively better, as the market changes have not had a significant impact on her. Her performance, which exhibited an exceptional state last year, has now reverted to a normal state this year.

"Getting orders is not as easy now. Everyone feels this change, and I'm no exception." Fiona said, market supply and demand changes prompted a shift in our approach. In the past, we received orders if there was inventory during quoting. Now, securing each order demands significant effort and time.

Q:  Have most of your customers in the past year come from newly developed customers or existing ones?"

A: "Most of my recent orders come from existing customers, with new customer orders accounting for about 20%.

The sales advantage in the chip industry lies in the potential for continuous business from a developed customer. Since chips are consumables and customers have ongoing needs, maintaining good service and reasonable prices can lead to continuous orders. 

It is the orders placed by longstanding customers that empower Fiona to navigate through challenging market conditions.

The key point is how to attract existing customers to place orders?

Not all existing customers will proactively submit orders, so Fiona spends a significant amount of time and effort in regular customer relationship maintenance. This routine effort proves its effectiveness, particularly during challenging market conditions.
One day in April, Fiona, chatted with customer A as usual, customer A remembered that they had a need for certain products. And so, the story began.

According to Fiona, customer A, an automotive components manufacturer, is from Europe. They needed to purchase a batch of Allegro original ** model chips. 

After Fiona provided a quote, the customer quickly placed an order. However, this cooperation did not go as smoothly as expected. 

Due to an unexpected situation on the supply side, goods couldn't be provided, causing Fiona to be unable to fulfill shipments to customer A.

Fiona promptly searched for these chips ordered through various channels. But this type of chip was in high demand in the market. 

Fortunately, the company she works for, Cytech Systems, spent 4-5 days mobilizing channel resources to find a source and ultimately succeeded in delivering the goods to customer A.
Throughout this process, customer A was initially frustrated about the shipping delay. However, upon learning that Fiona made every effort to source materials and advance the collaboration, customer A expressed understanding and gratitude to Fiona.

“If faced with a sudden disruption in the supply chain, most people might choose to abandon fulfilling orders. However, we take immediate action, finding alternative sources to ensure that goods are delivered to customers on time.” Fiona said.

Q: Why is it said that most people might choose to abandon fulfilling the orders?

A: Because at that time, this kind of chips were in high demand in the market, and we needed to obtain them at a higher cost and eventually provide them to customers. This approach requires sacrificing a portion of our profits, but we believe it is worthwhile because we prioritize long-term cooperation and mutual trust with our customers.

We are well aware that chip supply can be volatile, with occasional disruptions such as shortages or instances of goods being intercepted. The key lies in how to respond promptly and help customers navigate through these emergencies.

In a situation where customer orders were on the verge of cancellation, Fiona persevered in addressing the supply issue. She made dedicated efforts to identify alternative suppliers or channels, ensuring the fulfillment of orders and thereby salvaging the impression in the customer's mind.

The above customer case also reflects Cytech Systems' strong ability to mobilize supply resources and the philosophy of insisting on putting the customer at the center.

From Fiona's story, we can observe that outstanding sales professionals place a greater emphasis on risk management and long-term planning during the sales process. They do not overlook long-term development for short-term gains. Furthermore, they have the ability to thoroughly understand the customer's needs and pain points, carefully analyze market trends and competitive conditions, and formulate corresponding sales strategies.

Fiona also imparts the first secret to attracting repeat orders from old customers: the impression the customer has of you determines whether they will continue to collaborate with you in the future. 

In each previous collaboration, you should strive to make the customer feel that you are a reliable and trustworthy individual, providing them with a sense of certainty. This trust and confidence will lead customers to return for future orders.

Insights Sharing

From the overall perspective of the semiconductor industry, this downward cycle has passed its trough, but achieving a rebound still requires some time. It is widely predicted within the industry that there is a chance for a rebound by 2024.

As an IC salesperson, on a psychological level, it is important to approach the downturn in the chip market with rationality. 

We must believe that a period of decline will be followed by a peak, and what sales need to do now is self-accumulation and maintain stickiness with customers, laying the groundwork for the next peak. 

On a practical level, sales in this period are competing in terms of service. Maintaining a sincere, patient, and professional attitude is crucial. Every inquiry from a customer should be treated seriously, providing the highest quality service and solutions to win the trust of customers.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for general information and reference purposes only. The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the author of this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of Cytech Systems or official policies of Cytech Systems.

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