6 Key Takeaways from Specialty & Agro Chemicals America 2024

Sidd Gupta
Chemicals America 2024

This June, Team Nesh had a chance to travel to Savannah for Specialty & Agro Chemicals America 2024. The event is dedicated to advancing chemical manufacturing, chemical technologies, and various chemical industry services in the agrochemical and specialty chemical sectors.

Chemical companies face a complicated set of challenges these days. Uncertainty around the outcome of the 2024 presidential election makes long-term global procurement difficult for many chemical customers. The geopolitical implications of Russia and Ukraine are getting more complex as time goes on and the possibility of new sanctions looms. Regional economic frameworks like the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and other agreements that could benefit the chemical industry never seem to come to fruition — despite industry support.

Each of these geopolitical and economic challenges creates headwinds to sales growth. While at Chemicals America, we also spoke with leading chemical manufacturers regarding the urgent obstacles they face in sales, marketing, and customer experience. 

Here are my top 6 takeaways from the challenges facing the chemical industry:

Sales Reps Need New Avenues for Lead Generation

As global competition increases, sales reps need the ability to identify leads precisely when they're in the market for a new chemical product. Once they’ve identified the right leads, the right positioning for products and services is more important than ever.

Slow Procurement Cycles Hinder Deals

With the procurement cycle moving at a slower pace, sales reps need support to effectively maneuver and accelerate deal cycles that can often last up to a year and a half.

Regulatory Markets Often Complicate the Chemical Sales Cycle

From California to the EU, an ever-changing regulatory impact on the chemical market will always be a significant factor in the chemical sales cycle. Regulations often target specific products or raw materials, requiring sellers to help their customers find viable substitutes that deliver the same or better performance. Navigating the diverse ESG and trade regulations that differ significantly from region to region can be a challenge for even the most seasoned sales rep.

The Urgent Need to Preserve Expertise Amidst Retirement Wave

The clock is ticking as long-time experts in the chemical industry prepare for retirement, taking with them decades of irreplaceable technical knowledge. To avoid a knowledge crisis, chemical companies must act swiftly and implement a comprehensive plan to capture, transfer, and preserve this wealth of expertise.

Consistent Sales Positioning is Critical to Business Goals

The effectiveness of sales messaging and positioning is paramount in driving business growth. Sales and marketing leads must provide their sales reps with tools that empower them to maintain a consistent message during customer conversations. New sales reps also need better tools to ramp up productivity faster.

Scaling Growth While Controlling Costs is Mission Critical

Chemical companies face the challenge of scaling their growth drivers without increasing their SG&A expenses. The key to success will be finding solutions that drive efficiency (without eroding margins) and empower their sales reps to accomplish more — while maintaining or even enhancing their job satisfaction.

Tackling the Chemical Industry’s Challenges with Generative AI

Solutions designed for the chemical industry’s challenges like Nesh GenAI are uniquely poised to help their commercial teams tackle each of these challenges. Here are just a few ways Nesh can help:

Targeted Lead Generation

Technical sales organizations are able to align Nesh with your company’s yearly initiatives, target customers, and sales goals to leverage new avenues to lead generation and sales growth. Our Sales AI provides targeted insights on key prospects helping sales reps reach out to new customers at the right time, tailor positioning, and even expand into new business units at existing customers. 

Nesh analyzes targeted information and makes insights easily discoverable and actionable.

Competitive Research & Benchmarking

The most effective sales reps know the competitive landscape in the chemical industry is fierce. As competition increases, sales reps know their product positioning must be comprehensive — focusing on the value a product or company can provide beyond the product price. Not only do sales reps need a deep understanding of the unique selling points of their products, they also need to understand their competitive products to position themselves in customer conversations. 

Nesh Sales AI streamlines the task of collecting and analyzing this information by facilitating real-time, personalized comparisons of your products and your competitors' products. Our targeted Sales AI solutions can sift through vast quantities of data from a variety of publicly available sources such as competitor details, product summaries, and technical specifications as well as your proprietary enterprise product data to deliver comprehensive benchmarking insights quickly.

Instead of focusing on time-consuming research, technical sales representatives concentrate on strategic analysis and moving deals forward. Armed with precise and current information, sales teams can confidently emphasize the advantages of their products, presenting compelling arguments to their customers. 

Product Discovery for Challenging Customer Requirements

Whether the customer has new sustainability goals, needs to meet changing regulatory requirements, or is looking to you for new product innovations, finding the right products can be difficult — especially as many companies see their product portfolios grow. Still, no matter the number of products a sales rep is responsible for, researching, finding, and confirming a product meets your customer’s specific needs can be cumbersome and slow down sales cycles. 

And once you’ve found the right product, positioning the product to your customer can be time-consuming as their procurement team goes back and forth with their technical or engineering teams.

Nesh Sales AI solutions help technical sales reps across the entirety of this workflow from finding the right products, confirming regulatory requirements by region, sourcing application information, and quickly answering customer questions. Sales reps have the answers they need to get back to customers quickly and keep conversations flowing. No more manually combing through libraries of documents, summarizing technical data sheets (TDS) or safety data sheets (SDS), or waiting for technical experts to get back to you. 

Expert Knowledge Capture

Brain drain. Silver tsunami. Boomer Retirement Boom. Whatever you may call it, the looming retirement wave of long-time chemical experts poses a serious threat to business as usual. 

Unlike other GenAI applications that focus on unstructured data, Nesh’s Expert Knowledge Capture efficiently captures and disseminates expert knowledge to technical sales reps when they need it. Expert Knowledge Capture gives technical sales reps the insights they need in their customer conversations, improves your company’s data corpus, and frees up SMEs to focus on more complex issues and their pipeline.

Nesh also offers guided modules that work with retiring experts to capture their knowledge ahead of any planned retirement.

Discover How GenAI Can Help Your Chemical Company

We’ve designed Nesh to tackle the common challenges in the chemical industry and deliver valuable use cases that support how technical sales, services, and marketing teams operate. 

Let’s chat If these industry-wide challenges sound familiar and you’re ready to see how GenAI can help.

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