Effective Strategies for Selling to MRO Companies

Selling to MRO companies
Want to Improve Your Team's Sales Performance?

Think about the equipment you need to do your job…

A computer to find leads, update CRM software, and send emails. A cell phone to call prospects and capture lead information in the field. A vehicle to get you to and from sales meetings.

The truth is, most of us take our tools for granted. We assume they’ll always be there, exactly when we need them. But this isn’t always the case, which is why MRO companies exist.

In this article we talk about selling to MRO companies. You’ll learn what MRO stands for, what these businesses do, and how to increase MRO sales for your department.


What Is MRO?

MRO stands for maintenance, repair, and operations.

Companies in this field are in charge of maintaining facilities. This includes the physical upkeep of buildings and making sure the various machines inside these buildings function correctly.

MRO companies might clean bathrooms, fix printers, or maintain industrial equipment. It really depends on the MRO company in question and the needs of their specific customers.


Understanding MRO Companies

Businesses in a variety of industries need MRO services. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a company that couldn’t benefit from them. Here are a few examples to illustrate the point:



Construction companies need MRO services to repair and maintain the machinery, vehicles, and tools they use to build structures. They might also require MRO services to ensure HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems run the way they should while on a job site.



Manufacturing companies need MRO services to repair and maintain production equipment. In fact, MRO is absolutely essential in this industry. Without them, it becomes much more difficult for manufacturers to keep operations on track and to stock necessary materials.


Energy and Utilities

Companies in the energy and utilities field (think power generation plants, oil companies, and utilities providers) need MRO services, too. Those that provide these services are asked to repair and maintain turbines, boilers, transformers, and pipelines.


Facilities Management

Some MRO companies focus exclusively on building maintenance. As such, they repair lighting fixtures, plumbing systems, HVAC equipment, elevators, etc. Their customers tend to be big and complex operations, like large office buildings, hospitals, and hotels.


Transportation and Logistics

The transportation and logistics industry also requires MRO services. The companies that provide them often repair and maintain vehicles (or planes) for trucking fleets, shipping lines, airlines and railways.


Types of MRO Companies

As you can see, many different businesses need MRO services. Because of this, there are a variety of MRO companies out there. Here are a few of the most popular ones:

  • Infrastructure: These MRO companies repair and maintain physical facilities. They might sweep floors, fix leaky pipes, repair HVAC systems, etc.
  • Production Equipment: These MRO companies repair and maintain the equipment businesses use to create and distribute their products and/or services.
  • Material Handling: These MRO companies maintain tools that help businesses move, store, and otherwise handle materials. Shelves, conveyor belts, and forklifts all apply.
  • Tooling and Consumables: These MRO companies make sure businesses have the tools and consumables they need to do their jobs. Consumables may include engine oil for a machine, ink for a printer, thread for a sewing machine—the list goes on.


Why Selling to MRO Companies is Different

You may have tons of experience as a salesperson, but MRO sales is almost certainly different from what you’re used to. That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful in this field. You just have to understand and adjust to these differences. Here’s what you need to know:


Understanding Fragmented Markets

You need a deep knowledge on a variety of products and services to sell to MRO companies. After all, you might have to sell tools, safety equipment, and repair services on the same day. This also means you’ll need to maintain a large network of vendors and to study each of their offerings. As most sellers are experts on just a few products/services, this is a big change.


Customizing Solutions for Varied Needs

You’ll also have to cater to the diverse needs of most MRO companies. You won’t sell one product or service. You’ll sell a smattering of mismatched products and services that fit each of your customer’s unique requirements. This requires active listening skills and attention to detail—skills that benefit all sellers, but are essential when selling to MRO companies.


Understanding Critical Procurement Processes

Margins are relatively thin in this industry, which is why most MRO companies are so price sensitive. Just because you’ve had a customer for years doesn’t mean they’ll continue to buy from you. If they find a better price than you can offer, they’ll likely take it. So, effective MRO sales requires strong procurement skills and the use of non-traditional customer loyalty tactics.


Adapting to Low-Cost, High-Volume Sales

Are you used to selling high-cost items at low volume? Selling to MRO companies requires a different approach. You’ll spend most of your time selling low-cost items, which means you’ll need to drive a high volume of sales to meet your revenue numbers. Most of the items you sell won’t be mission-critical either, so you’ll need to really polish your sales skills to close deals.


Tailoring Your Sales for MRO Companies

So, how should you adjust your sales strategy when selling to MRO companies? Here are four tips to help you connect with the right people and find success:


Identifying Decision Makers

Want to make more MRO sales? Find out who’s in charge of buying decisions at each MRO company you talk to; then do what it takes to engage this professional in a sales conversation. That way you don’t waste time talking to low-level employees who can’t make purchases.

To find decision-makers, study your main contact with each of your current customers. What job titles do they have? Now see if you can find a similar position at the new company you want to sell to. If all else fails, simply ask someone at the company who is in charge of procurement.


Adapting Your Value Proposition

As mentioned earlier, every MRO company has different needs. The sellers that succeed in this market are able to adapt their value propositions to the specific company they’re talking to.

For example, you might offer a cost-conscious prospect a better-than-ever price. But what about the customer who needs a solution immediately? They probably care about speed of delivery more than cost of goods. Catering your pitch to each potential customer will drive more sales.


Building Long-Term Relationships

Customer loyalty is almost non-existent when selling to MRO companies. Margins are thin and customers generally gravitate to the best price—unless you build stellar relationships.

The best way to generate repeat purchases is to connect with customers on a deep level and give them an amazing buying experience. This will make them think, “As long as pricing is close, I’m going to keep buying from them because I enjoy the process.”


Leveraging Technology

Finally, use the latest technology to your advantage.

Tools like SPOTIO will help you find quality leads, schedule sales meetings, optimize sales routes between prospects, and communicate with potential customers via email and text. Just as important, SPOTIO can be used to track sales with MRO companies and build reports.

Interested in learning more about SPOTIO? Get the inside scoop on everything our platform can do for you and/or your sales reps here. We’re confident you’ll like what you see!


Case Study: Success Stories Selling to MRO Companies

SPOTIO simplifies the MRO sales process.

Case in point: Dent Mechanic Group, an auto-body hail repair shop based in Dallas, Texas, uses our software to connect with better prospects, track efforts, and close more deals.

Moreover, the Dent Mechanic Group leadership team says their sales reps have doubled their productivity levels since investing in SPOTIO. How is that possible? SPOTIO allows said reps to schedule their days and plan routes between potential customers more effectively.

At the end of the day, business is about revenue. SPOTIO helps Dent Mechanic Group track their efforts to learn how much revenue each sales makes for the company. The results have been astounding: since using SPOTIO, Dent Mechanic Group has doubled revenue!


Make Selling to MRO Companies Easy With SPOTIO

Are you in MRO sales? Then you know that selling to MRO companies is different from selling to companies in other industries. You need to understand the fragmented market, customize your solutions, streamline procurement, and adapt to a low-cost, high volume sales landscape.

Fortunately, the tips we shared in this article will help you do these things. Once you learn to identify the right decision makers, adjust your value proposition to suit each prospect, build long-term relationships with customers, and leverage the right technology you’ll succeed.

Speaking of technology, have you tried SPOTIO yet? Our platform was specifically designed for field sales reps, like many of the hardworking professionals in MRO sales.

Sign up for a free demo of SPOTIO today to learn more about our industry-leading features!