Sucess Story 1

Acting instead of reacting:
Sales negotiation management at a leading global automotive supplier group

Background & objectives

Despite a solid position within the market, an international tier one automotive supplier found itself under growing pressure in various sales negotiations.

This prompted a decision to professionalise its management of customer negotiations, thereby increasing transparency and identifying best-practice approaches. At the same time, the often protracted negotiation processes were to be shortened.

How we went about this

With the sales negotiations within each business division as our starting point, we undertook a portfolio analysis. This involved analysing all key stakeholders at management level and selecting relevant customer negotiations.

A negotiations check helped us identify the primary fields of activity. The Group’s negotiation management was subjected to a systematic importance/performance evaluation that took into account information and appraisals relating to all individuals (directly or indirectly) involved in negotiations.

Based on the results of the negotiations check, a phase-specific toolbox was designed and deployed in conjunction with the client.

The outcome?

  1. Negotiation closure: in the short term, two of the three sales negotiations selected for relevance reached a successful conclusion. However, it wasn’t just the negotiating efficiency that saw improvement but most importantly the satisfaction of the negotiators and the speed of the process.

  2. Negotiation database: in addition, the client introduced a negotiation database to ensure a professional form of negotiation management in the long term; this database systematically bundled in-house negotiating know-how on a continuous basis, which was made available to all those with strategic and operative responsibilities.

  3. Negotiations manager: the new role of Negotiations Manager was created, the holders of which were to take responsibility for negotiations in the business units of the respective business divisions.

Success Story 2

Bottom-up instead of top-down:
Customer-centric change management

Background & objectives

An FMCG was in the midst of a company-wide transition which, following the establishment of new strategic goals (‘focus on the customer’, ‘digital transformation’, etc.), was also to implement new structures. The main aim was to identify potential for networking the different departments and enable them to work together to optimise process management.

The outcome for marketing and market research: new areas of responsibility, with new tasks and objectives designed to enhance the top-down approach with a bottom-up corrective.  

How we went about this

A 2-day workshop revolving around strong customer centricity and interdepartmental cooperation was held to do the following:

The corporate goals were broken down into the respective business areas and evaluated for urgency and relevance (strategy mapping):

  • What does the digital transformation mean for the end customers and hence for my department?
  • Which objectives emerge for my department, based on the strategy?
  • Which objectives must we pursue to do justice to the strategy?
  • What is their relevance?

Current and future projects capable of contributing to the departmental targets (project screening & project canvas) were identified:

  • What projects could we set up to reach our goals together?
  • Which ‘old habits’ do we need to break in the process?

New agile networks with which to achieve the goals were identified and put in place (network analysis and design):

  • Which (formal and informal) interdepartmental networks and areas of cooperation already exist?
  • What form might interdepartmental teams or the respective projects take?

The outcome?

The workshop generated the following outcome:

  • Top-down and bottom-up goals were consolidated
  • New collaborative processes were established
  • Five new interdepartmental initiatives were started, each contributing to greater customer proximity and optimised internal processes. It was possible to implement three of these initiatives straight after the workshop; the other two are under development. 
  • Away from formal structures, the revamped departments have enjoyed an informal rapprochement.

Success Story 3

From mono to stereo: Optimised delivery after process appraisal against the background of the customer journey

Background & objectives

Following the reorganisation of its carrier and delivery methods (e.g. fixed delivery times, return to warehouse after three failed attempts, no depositing of consignments with the neighbour, etc.), a mail-order company found itself confronted with a high rate of complaints.

This prompted a move to optimise the entire delivery process to achieve a better customer experience. 

How we went about this

Pre-work: All relevant stakeholders (from the call centre to logistics down to marketing) undertook a critical appraisal of the current process: from registration, ordering and delivery down to a possible complaint and return of goods.

Process matrix: We transferred the results to a comprehensive process matrix.

Workshop: In the course of a 2-day workshop, this process …

  • … underwent critical appraisal involving all stakeholders
  • … was evaluated in terms of the customer experience (input, in particular from the call centre and from market research) 
  • … and possible gaps in and problems with the process were identified. 

On Day 2, the pinpointed gaps & problems were prioritized and solutions for an improved delivery process drafted (idea canvas). 

The outcome?

The workshop generated the following outcome:

  1. Two IT systems were successfully implemented. This gave rise to a visible decline in complaints.

  2. Critical appraisal of the overall delivery process (incl. initial registration) highlighted hitherto unidentified problems with the correct logging of customer data.

  3. Minor tweaks to the registration process (changing the wireframe for address entry) were enough to substantially optimise data quality for all subsequent customer processes!