Case Study:
Entering a New Market

The Company

Our client, a supplier of very expensive high technology solutions to industry and government customers was undergoing a dramatic sales slump. The rapid pace of change in their high technology market had allowed new competitors to provide much lower priced solutions. As our client got ready to launch their own lower priced products, they heard a rumour that an influential potential customer in one of their targeted vertical markets was about to order from one of their new low cost competitors

The Challenge

Our client hadn’t met anyone at the potential customer. Was it too late to participate? Could they fit the customer’s buying criteria?

Our first advice to our client was “Start at the top! Contact the President of the customer’s company.”

As expected, the President referred our client to the Vice-President responsible for that area of the company’s operation. The Vice-President somewhat reluctantly agreed to a one-week extension of their planned purchase and said, “Here’s our performance test. If you can meet our performance standard, submit your lowest price by the end of the week.”

The sales campaign hit a major roadblock. Our client could meet (and potentially exceed) the performance standard but they knew their price wouldn’t be lower than their competitors.

The Solution

Working with our client’s sales team and their executives, we first performed a Confronting Reality review. This review identified their customer’s real buying criteria and what customer contacts were involved in their decision.

Based on the information from the Confronting Reality review, we facilitated a Strategy Creation session wherein we aligned our client’s distinctive value with their customer’s true operational needs.

Making a decision based on the lowest price supplier to meet their performance standard could significantly hamper the customer’s business in the near future. Our client had a unique advantage in that they had a higher performance product that could substantially exceed the performance standard.

But this product had a much higher price. In addition to higher performance, our client’s products had number of distinctive features that would provide a significant improvement for the customer’s operations. A solid business case could be developed for our client’s product being more cost effective than their competitor’s product.

We helped create a new strategy and a specific action plan. First was the need to communicate our client’s distinctive value to the customer contacts and verify that the increased performance and unique features were truly valuable to the customer.

After verification of value, a business case was developed with the customer contacts to deliver to the customer executive that made the economic buying decision.

The Result

Our client received a contract for an amount 40% higher than the customer’s original budget. Winning this influential initial customer helped our client to quickly win four additional new customers in this target vertical market.

 

 

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