This is a relatively stable market where product innovation takes time to realise. Therefore growth through innovation has to be led by increasing the flexibility, creativity and responsiveness of the seller/customer relationship. We work with our clients to establish world class sales and negotiation skills and processes across your sales and service operations.
The Energy & Chemicals markets face some unique challenges. Opportunities for product development can be limited or non-existent, if a customer requires a particular chemical compound that’s exactly what they expect to get. Even where innovation is possible its usually a slow process, pushing the boundaries of scientific or chemical innovation takes time. So unlike manufacturing, where product innovation will lead a push to growth, this market must find its innovation elsewhere.
On the up-side the market is remarkably stable, barriers to entry at the primary production level are high. So, with the exception of mergers and acquisitions, the competitive scenario is usually well known to all. Similarly, the customer base also enjoys a relatively settled landscape. Demands for energy, raw materials and pre-cursers do change, but rarely overnight. Indeed the biggest shift in this market – the drive to renewables, is a shift that will be measured in years if not decades. So, markets are known, customers’ needs are understood and, often, relationships with all potential key customers already exist.
So how, in the midst of such stability, can quick innovations be achieved?
Fortunately you have an infinitely flexible resource at your disposal – your people, and in particular your sales operations. By adopting new approaches, re-evaluating what your customers value, aligning your sales and marketing activities and re-presenting your solutions, you can create an innovative, flexible and responsive face to the customer that can adapt to changing customer requirements immediately.
How Huthwaite International can help your business
Achieving the above requires one vital ingredient that might not be readily available; a sales operation that not only understands the technical nature of your products, but has the flexibility and skills to respond to, and help create, new customer demands.
The stability that exists within this market can create its own inertia, sellers are uncomfortable with change because “we’ve always done it that way and it worked before”. We work with our clients to address this issue by not just delivering training, but ensuring a mind-set and climate exists that breaks down reticence or cynicism and replaces them with enthusiasm and confidence in new-found (or rediscovered) skills.
We also seek to widen your customer touch points in a purposeful way by working with your service operations (who probably have the most customer contact of all) to ensure they contribute all they can to creating sales value for your organisation.
Finally, we ensure this hard won advantage remains within your business by helping you develop the high level negotiation skills you need to arrive at the optimum agreement for both you and your customers.