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A leading industrial automation company was seeking to grow its business by offering a suite of services to existing clients and to penetrate competitive strong hold accounts with new services. The Client was already a leading product supplier to the process industry, but its growth has been limited to the growth in the industries it serves. To jump start its business, the Client decided to broaden its offering to other systems and services and to market this offering extensively to customers not previously served. It particularly wanted to concentrate on very large customers, which it believes will have the greatest return on investment.

Problem

  • The Client needed to screen key large customers to determine their satisfaction levels with existing services and suppliers.
  • The Client also needed to determine how best to approach very large customers with differing needs and applications.
  • Competition appeared very entrenched in many of the accounts.
  • The Client’s sales force was entrenched in a product selling approach.

RSR Approach and Methodology

  1. Customer Intelligence – RSR developed detailed information, both qualitative and quantitative, on customer buying behavior. RSR identified and classified the key drivers at each manufacturing site. These drivers included specifics relating to cost reductions, revenue enhancement, and meeting safety, government, and environment compliance. RSR then gathered detailed information on the customer’s installed base of products and the buying factors that led the customer to choose its suppliers. By understanding customers’ key business drivers and purchasing preferences, we were able to develop recommendations on how the Client can gain business with the customer by responding to his critical needs.
  2. Account value propositions – After profiling the major accounts, RSR prioritized the accounts in order from highest to lowest incremental potential. RSR then met with the client’s account teams, who were covering the customers that represented the highest incremental potential in order to develop specific targeted account plans. These plans included recommendations on the services needed as well as descriptions of the key “hot buttons” for each customer.

RSR Marketing Solutions conducted in-depth interviews with key operations, engineering, and marketing contacts at each customer. RSR is exceptionally capable of engaging industry experts in conversation, learning the “inside story” behind markets, customers and competitors.

Results

RSR worked in concert with the Client to develop specific account plans with the manufacturing sites that exhibited the greatest incremental growth opportunity. These account plans included the following:

  • Listing of services most needed and the key buying factors necessary to supply these services.
  • Key customer contacts to approach and their perceptions of the supplier base.
  • Areas of the plant where the Client’s services are most applicable.
  • Client action items and behaviors needed to win incremental business with the account.

With laser-focused account plans, the Clients’ sales force approached key manufacturing sites with highly differentiated value propositions, which led to significant incremental revenue gains. In addition, with many of the accounts the Client gained enough market share to displace the key competitor as the industrial automation supplier of choice at the site.

 

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