Our way of working
Pragmatic and from a customer perspective
The strength of John D. Eisenfelt lies in the pragmatic and proven approach to achieve results quickly, together with your people. Our method is to educate, working together and do it yourself. The starting point for all our programmes is to achieve growth for your organization. This may be by converting the potential in the customer base into additional revenue growth, creating opportunities, or shortening the sales cycle of opportunities, etc.
Focusing on the customer greatly determines the success of a marketing and sales organization. For decades, this has been propagated as the starting point for commercial policy. Practice, however, is obstinate. Most organizations are still product-oriented in their thinking and acting. As a result of rapid changes, increasing competition and pressure on margins, the power of the supply side has shifted to the demand side: the customer.
To maintain and develop a sustainable position with customers, transforming your marketing and sales organization is a must. It is essential to always be one step ahead of the customer and the competitor and to remain so during the buying process of customers. To shape this mind shift John D. Eisenfelt uses the following success factors:
1. Thinking and acting Outside-in
In thinking and acting from the outside in as an organization, the customer and the environment are central. This creates the basis for maintaining and obtaining an optimal connection with your customers. After all, responding quickly and with the right propositions to changes in customers becomes second nature. Examples of outside-in approaches are:
- Asking the right questions instead of sending information
- Communicating value for the customer instead of the 'features' and 'functions' of your products and service
For the implementation of outside-in thinking and acting, defining the buying process, behaviour and the (future) customer demand, including the expectations of your customers individually, is decisive. This applies to the strategy, organization and management of marketing and sales as well as the culture and behaviour, the development of new concepts, value propositions and your method of selling and delivering.
2. Value creation
Translating your portfolio and organization into terms of value is essential. The (future) issues of the customer are the starting point. In addition, the actual delivery of this value is just as crucial. In business-to-consumer marketing, this is very common: not the product but the experience or end value is central. What makes them happy? What in your concept, product or service attracts them? Which elements in your organization ensure that customers are bound and stay bound? These days, these questions also need to be asked in a B2B environment. So it is important to find out, together with the customer, which issues are current and which expectations they have of you as a supplier.
The basis for value creation is actually and demonstrably solving critical problems and meeting (emotional) expectations. In addition, your organization needs to have a distinctive proposition compared to the competition. Good cooperation between marketing, sales and delivery is of great importance here. After all, each discipline has knowledge and experience in defining and solving customer issues from its own perspective.
Sharing knowledge and experience of marketing, sales and delivery not only leads to balanced and distinctive value propositions for customers, but also to more positive energy, customer focus and motivated employees.
3. Continuous innovation
To make sure that your revenue and profit grow you need to focus on the (potential) customers that can contribute most to this goal. This means that you will have to make choices. Identify your strategic customers, develop the value propositions they need. The value you deliver, the distinctiveness of your offerings will decide your revenue growth and profitability.
Value propositions become commodities much faster than in the past due to swift changes in available technology and markets that can get disrupted overnight.
Continuous innovation and the capability to swiftly develop and market new propositions are mandatory requirements to get sustainable growth.
4. Emotional connection
Building emotional relationships with customers matters. The customer’s decision making process is not only influenced by the value you are offering, it is also influenced by your emotional connection with the customer and the personal relationships with customer staff. Dependent on the characteristics of your proposition, you need to develop relationships on operational, tactical and strategic levels in the customer organization. Personal affinity and chemistry play a role. Researching business and personal interests of decision makers and influencers and aligning your approach with these interests are also important to obtain a preferred supplier position or even the position of a strategic partner. Having a position like that increases your chances of closing deals enormously and makes sure you get an early warning of any hick-ups during the selling process.