Industry Insights: Addressing The Root Problem in B2B Sales in the Global Electronics Market


Despite being well into 2021, the global electronics value chain is still feeling the effects of the year prior. With the concept of “normal” turned on its head, industry leaders had to quickly shift and change strategies that had been set in stone for decades prior. Leaders are taking the opportunity to revamp legacy processes and a historical focus solely on cost, to adapt to the very real risk happening across the supply chain. 

It is here that we identify the “root of the problem,” which was exposed throughout 2020. There’s a distinct lack of agility and awareness within B2B sales and procurement. How do we address this issue in a world where we no longer have a choice to wait and see? Join us as we answer that question. 

The Mandate For Agility and Risk Management 

Looking at Deloitte’s Global 2021 Chief Procurement Officer Survey, there are a number of key takeaways that align with our own experiences and internal data. Specifically, these aspects of the results stand out: 

  • While CPOs often do well hitting savings targets, risk management continues to be an area of opportunity. A mere 18% of CPOs are formally tracking risk associated with Tier 1 suppliers, and only 15% are looking beyond this metric. 
  • High-performing CPOs are spending 15% less time on operational activities and instead focusing on transformational activities that offer higher performance in the long-term. 
  • The top echelon of organizations are 4-5 times more likely to have fully deployed digital solutions and actively invest in next-gen technologies. 

The trends here point not only to a shift in technologies, but a shift in the overall mindset when it comes to procurement. Complimentary Gartner Research from Supplyframe on the future of B2B Sales also supports this shift towards new mindsets and digital solutions.

 Both sides of the B2B sales and marketing equation are facing a mandate to transform, or risk being left behind in this next normal. 

April 2021 Design and Sourcing Activity Data From The DSI Network

Similarly to Deloitte’s findings, Supplyframe’s Design-to-Source Intelligence (DSI) Network also gathers hyper-relevant data from over 70+ web properties and over 10 million engineers and sourcing professionals to paint a clear picture of what’s happening on a global scale in regards to design activity and active cycles. 

Data from April 2021 shows unseasonably strong demand across the DSI Network. Consider these key takeaways: 

  • Prior to the pandemic, April is typically a slower month than March in regards to design and sourcing activities. Despite this, April 2021 beat seasonal trends. 
  • April 2021 data shows a 28% increase in design activities and a 43% increase in sourcing activities compared to the year prior. 
  • Design activity remained the same as March, while sourcing activity grew 1% month-over-month. 
  • Indications from the DSI Network show that design activity and sourcing demand will remain strong through Q2 and into Q3.  

From a regional perspective, our DSI Network data shows that America and EMEA regions saw a seasonal decline in design activities in April 2021, while APAC saw a rise. Design activity in China specifically grew 78% month-over-month in April, which is significantly higher than the 20% month-over-month average pre-pandemic. 

Sourcing activities saw some seasonal slow growth in April 2021, but despite this demand grew 35% over all regions from a year-over-year perspective. South Korea was one area of note here, showing a monthly growth rate of 11% (4 points higher than March). This points to continued demand growth in the country through early Q3. 

Ultimately, our DSI Network shows strong demand and signs of growth in both sourcing and design activity. Considering Deloitte’s findings above regarding the need for agility and smarter risk management, we must ask a key question at this juncture: How would access to this kind of data transform your B2B Sales and Marketing Efforts?

Addressing The Root Problem in B2B Sales and Marketing

The simple fact of the matter is that many sales and marketing teams are flying blind. The kind of data we saw in the Deloitte report points to an industry that is seeking to transform, but lacks the ability to truly do so. Similarly, the type of data from Supplyframe’s DSI Network on design and sourcing activity represents an untapped source of insight into active and emerging design cycles. 

There is a key moment in the beginning of a design cycle, where it’s possible to influence demand and apply influence to the decisions made during the sourcing and procurement process. The secret lies in a combination of relevance and timing. 

Picture this: your team has identified an emerging design cycle thanks to an uptick in demand for a certain category of part. Armed with this knowledge, sales is able to contact the relevant engineers and designers of a product and serve both relevant and valuable information that influences the ultimate design-in decision. 

The problem with such a scenario is that many teams do not have the kind of data available to them that would facilitate such a design-win. Instead, they rely on traditional methods and pre-existing business connections. 

Agility as we understand it (the ability to quickly identify and harness opportunities), is only possible through access to activity data that informs sales and marketing teams of where opportunities lie in real-time. 

With the DSI Network powering these types of insights, Supplyframe’s DesignSense Sales Intelligence solution takes this source of data and provides direct access to real-time insights that transform how sales teams identify and engage with prospective customers, bridging the gap between the information your teams need and the ability to harness it when it’s needed most. 

This leads to numerous benefits across the B2B sales process: 

  • Actively engage in opportunities and convert design-wins in real-time
  • Realize new forms of marketing through the application of contextual data and insights, parsed from the DSI Network using AI methods
  • Gain access to your customer’s digital footprint, giving your team the ability to provide a personalized and evolved customer experience

Supplyframe’s DesignSense Sales Intelligence provides the foundation for a new level of digital customer engagement, one that addresses the root problem of existing methods in B2B sales head-on, and empowers teams to capture more design-wins than ever before. 

Learn more about DesignSense at! 

Related Articles on Supplyframe Resources: 

Bradley Ramsey
Bradley Ramsey
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