Engaging market challenges to improve growth and ensure profitability
In recent years the B2B energy market underwent a dramatic increase in competition. The European energy liberalization lowered entry barriers and effectively created new market players. On top of that the recent economic crisis has heightened customer awareness for energy costs. Both changes require suppliers to focus on process flexibility and product differentiation to ensure lasting growth and profitable margins.
Together with the client, we approached the challenge focusing on client retention and acquisition. We quickly decided to tackle three topics.
First, we analyzed inefficiencies in the sales process. Next we improved overall operational excellence in contract processing. Finally we launched a program to decrease lead-to-contract time and increase closing rates. Each of these subjects was addressed in a holistic manner, focusing on both short-term and long-term improvements.
We led a change management exercise resulting in a new organizational structure with clearly defined roles and responsibilities and a renewed focus on product pricing and presentation. We devoted specific attention to innovative market solutions and customer satisfaction, and with that boosted employee motivation.
We helped reorganize the product portfolio, redefine the client segments and rethink the rules regarding custom contracts. The sales team now manages to target the high margin segments and maximize profitability per contract. An analysis of the lead-to-contract process showed potential for double-digit revenue gains. Results and insights of the process were used to define the business requirements for long-term system improvements. We rapidly developed an easy-to-use prototype of a sales tool in order for our client to immediately improve operational efficiency.
In order to bring structure in the B2B Product Portfolio and to clarify the lead-to-contract process, the existing B2B products were benchmarked against our market knowledge. We organized several cross-departmental consultation rounds to generate a single product overview. The analysis of the lead-to-contract process required intense collaboration between Marketing, Sales and Operations departments. Profitable results from the use of our prototype confirmed the final, long-term business case, paving the way for the operational implementation phase. To successfully manage this transformation we chose a step-by-step approach and presided a weekly Steering Committee. We gathered all stakeholders to uncover and discuss problems, set priorities and ensure a close follow-up of the actions defined. Our management of the information flow helped gain buy-in and we advised in structuring the reallocation of resources.
We utilized specific business knowledge on B2B sales and organizational alignment together with specific skills such as project management and prototype development. As a project integrator, we achieved a high level of collaboration between all stakeholders involved. A strong internal review process assured quality results, a core value at irex Consuting. The client expressed satisfaction about the quality of the delivered content and the chosen holistic approach. The collaboration with irex Consulting was expanded via other projects, nurturing our ambition to build long-lasting partnerships.