Maybe the first addition to the Valkre blog written over the Atlantic as I’m on my way back from a great week in Paris where I spoke at SAMA’s Pan European Conference. First off, many thanks to SAMA. It was a great show and dinner on Monday night was fantastic. A special thank you goes out to my new friends from Motorola who graciously included me in their dinner plans as well. I hope to see you soon…maybe in Hawaii. Anyway, here are just a few highlights from my session entitled ‘Winning With Customers’…
There were about 35 folks in the room representing pharma, computers, corporate apartment leasing, event planning, medical devices, chemicals, and a whole host of others. There were folks from Canada, India, Germany and more. We kicked it off with a simple survey so here is all you need to know about them:
- Every one of them feels that know how they make their customers more money than their competitors
- Only about 10 of them felt they could quantify the amount of money they make their customers
- Only 1 gent in the crowd felt he could quantify the advantage, had a path to improving upon it, and incorporated it into an account plan
Seems like pretty basic stuff, but time and time again, the largest B2B companies in the world have a hard time understanding and executing against the very reason they are in business: make their customers more money.
After a bit of a dog and pony show, we got into it and tried to quantify their impact on their customer’s bottom line using our metric, the DVP, or Differential Value Proposition. Two cool things happened here. First, the group had to critically think about how they made their customers more money today and struggled quite a bit with it at first…so much for that first bullet above as it was obvious the group was a little over confident. The cool part wasn’t that it was hard, but that the group was into it and really dug in to learn more. Here is a little picture of the group and I in action…notice everyone with their heads down doing some serious thinking. Great job everyone.
The second cool thing was that after initial struggles, you could see light bulbs going off everywhere. All of a sudden the group was pondering what hospitals do with a little extra bed capacity…how does joint planning benefit a strategic account…how does this differ segment by segment…how can this be used to ‘hunt’ prospects? The group learned pretty quickly that a little economic rigor can advance your thinking pretty quickly. In the end, most everyone was able to quantify their DVP in about an hour so. The lowest DVP% was 1%, the highest was 104%. Go here if you want to know a little more what that means.
The rest of the trip was fantastic. I tried to become an expert in Mixte sandwiches with jambon (ham) and fromage (cheese)…with the winning café being right by the north entrance to the Luxembourg Gardens. My lovely wife joined in the festivities and got a chance to see most of the sites…with St. Severin church in the Latin Quarter being our favorite (although I think we interrupted a funeral). Sorry about that.