Achieve corporate success through industry experience

We create sustainable added value by measurably increasing the market orientation, turnover and profitability of your company. To do so, we focus on our core competencies: Strategy, sales and pricing both internationally as well sector-specifically Every industry functions differently and has its own success factors. That is why we work in nine specialized industry competence centers. Our strategies are goal-oriented; our solutions proven in practice. The implementation of and support through periods of change are part of our DNA.

Market strategy: Reach market success with a clear vision

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Which market segments will be the most attractive for the company’s development in the next three to five years? Does our product and service portfolio fit the requirements of our customers? Which strategies do we pursue to optimize the customer or product lifetime value and how do these affect new business and after-sales? How can we generate and market additional customer value with our data history and application knowledge?

We regularly put these and other fundamental questions to the test in order to ensure the successful development of your company. The market strategy bundles central thrusts and provides custom approaches.

In the overall corporate strategy, the growth strategy is of essential importance. It defines future fields of activity and determines success in a changing market environment. We will find the right balance in the portfolio of market segments in terms of growth potential, economic stability, competitive intensity, etc. on the basis of market, trend and attractiveness analyses. We align the strategy and organization of your company with the market requirements and consider all market-related functions and success factors for scaling.

The core objective of the go-to-market strategy is the creation and expansion of competitive advantages in the development of a market. The focus on promising market and customer segments and the optimal positioning of the product range vis-à-vis the competition form the foundation for sustainable growth. The competitive strategy can focus on individual products, the entire company or a portfolio of companies or investments. Customer requirements along the journey play a key role in this.

Only those who know the requirements and effects on the customer’s success and are able to assess their own performance against the competition will prevail in the long term. This strategy demands experiences, cleverness and creativity.

The strategic questions of brand management often revolve around access to further market potential through the (re-)positioning of existing or acquired brands. We measure the development of this market potential by means of customer surveys. That way we can precisely describe and quantify the customer requirements and the current positioning of our customers. In addition to the accessible market potential based on today’s positioning (brand reach), these two perspectives also offer an opportunity to gain additional potential through concrete changes in brand management (adaptation of the brand core, acquisitions, etc.). We accompany our customers throughout the entire process – from the selection of a method in the market analysis to the derivation of measures, prioritizations and implementation.

For business models with a pronounced after-sales service, the question arises as to the driving force in the company. New business secures the “installed base” and utilization of the capacity. The service business often makes a significant contribution to corporate profits and is less volatile.

Both areas are mutually dependent on each other. What role does service business play in relation to new business? Should the new and the service business be organized under one umbrella and one management? What influence does the service’s performance have on success in new business? We accompany companies in their development from product manufacturers to integrated solution providers. In addition, we know which factors lead to success on their path to becoming service champions.

The path from measuring a data point to creating additional customer value is long and should be associated with inconvenient questions. Particularly in B2B, the focus of digitization continues to be on value chains and production processes. On the market side, there is often a lack of viable concepts to generate added customer value and translate it into a mature monetization model.

In this context, a clear focus on the end customer is indispensable and, especially in multi-level sales, leads to fundamental questions regarding the joint value creation in order to transfer integrated solutions into a viable (digital) business model. The design and use of platforms plays a decisive role in this context. In connection with the business model review, it is also a matter of an early market assessment of the disruption potential for the existing business and the development of strategic measures to sustainably strengthen the market position vis-à-vis (potential) competitors.

Sales Excellence: greater performance for your sales

Which sales goals are we pursuing and which strategy is the right one? Which customer segments are we developing with which portfolio? How do you design professional (key) account or dealer management? What sales channels do we use to reach our customers and what opportunities and risks do these entail?

Which roles do we need along our sales processes and how can productivity be controlled without conflict in different business models? We answer these and other key questions with our tried and tested Sales Excellence approach to measurably increase your market success.

In the course of digitalization, further challenges are added: how does one sell digital products, how should digital distribution be set up? We are familiar with the different challenges in classical and digital sales and accompany our customers through all stages down to the measurement of success in everyday life.

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The starting point of every sales strategy is the target per market segment. Depending on whether the focus is rather on increasing market shares or, for example, on optimizing profitability, different strategies result in market development with regard to target segments, value propositions, channel management, positioning, portfolio, etc. However, a sales strategy is only as good as the activities employed in its implementation. A good strategic concept is quite frequently weakened by reactivity and opportunism in the day-to-day business. As a result, the focus and ultimately the productivity of sales organizations is lost.

We want to attach particular importance to the platform as part of our sales strategy. Due to the increasing digitalization of the product portfolio and the possibility to create additional customer benefits via data intelligence and network effects, platform sales represent the central link between the digital business model (strategy), the sales strategy (sales) and the revenue model (pricing). We are very familiar with the dynamics and functioning of international platforms and the strategic options that companies have to deal with them. We can also offer our support and expertise when setting up your own platform solutions on the market, if your market position allows for this.

Our thought process starts with the market and customer requirements. Depending on the business model and the required amount of explanation of the products and solutions, the necessary process steps and interfaces between the roles involved vary to achieve successful sales work. The final process descriptions serve as the basis for the implementation in CRM systems and the definition of key performance indicators across the sales funnel levels.

The sales process is embedded in the customer journey and is also closely intermeshed with the strategic branding and market intelligence roles. A detailed understanding of the various steps and levels in the sales process is crucial to subsequently design the sales structure and organization.

The considerations in the sales process (e.g.: “Which role do we need for which task?”) are worked out in the organization. This covers the various required functions, the structure (line, matrix, etc.), the job descriptions and interfaces to other functions, as well as the determination of staffing levels and evaluation of sales efficiency via benchmarking.

The revision of sales processes often requires new functions and skills in the team. We have exact knowledge of the requirements from the most diverse sales processes, develop tailor-made content and teach these internationally.

Which sales channels suit the customer’s requirements, the product portfolio and the company’s own expectations in terms of sales efficiency? How do customer requirements change with the increasing digitization of information? How do you position direct and indirect channels (on- and offline) to each other? What type of platform distribution makes the most sense?

The development in e-commerce opens up further opportunities for growth yet major challenges as well. Data quality, access to user data and price control between old and new worlds must be dealt with swiftly and professionally in order not to permanently weaken one’s competitiveness.

When do differentiated interactions with different customers make the most sense? Which customer categories and segments does sales work entail? Key accounts often differ from “normal” accounts only in size – the strategic perspective of key account management (medium to long-term risk management in incoming orders) is often not considered. Guiding questions are regularly put to the test in dealer management, too: How is the trade level justified in the business model and what opportunities and risks does this entail? What share of turnover do the most important dealers have and what is the distribution of power between manufacturer and the trade level? Which dealers are still suitable distribution partners? We know the challenges in account and dealer management from different perspectives and have many years of expertise in the conception and implementation of suitable solutions.

Key Account Management (KAM) can rarely guarantee risk-free hedging of future incoming orders. Key accounts are often determined solely on the basis of their turnover size. A distinction between large and small customers is rarely made. Professional key account management has a considerably longer reach and pursues a holistic approach in order to exploit the full potential available.

The range of different delivery and payment terms of customers in a company grows over time. Conversely, the consistency in the price and condition structure decreases. Due to the increasing transparency between customers and sales channels, this can quickly lead to a significant competitive disadvantage. This often results in sustained price erosion for core products.

How can the price fairness towards customers as well as the benefit in the design of the conditions system be significantly increased in a relaunch? We know where starting points lie and design the interface for sales management of direct and indirect channels with strategic foresight.

Which key figures should be considered globally, uniformly and regularly in the sales process? Which measures increase sales productivity to the desired level? What do the necessary escalation processes look like? We can steer growth in line with a strategy internationally on the basis of precisely tailored key figures and dashboards.

We also support our customers in the selection and detailed requirement description of a CRM system. Thanks to our many years of experience, we have benchmarks for a wide range of business models and sales levels.

When implementing incentive systems, errors often lead to significant limitations in sales performance. An incentive system to offer bonus payments to employees must be properly developed in order to offer an advantage over the pure fixed salary. “You get what you measure” is justified as a motto.

We know the peculiarities of sales work – both when selling standardized products and when selling solutions that require a lot of explanation in a team’s approach. Based on this, we have developed a toolbox for configuring precisely fitting incentive systems and for answering all essential modeling questions.

Pricing Excellence: guide to professional price management

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Pricing is demonstrably the strongest management tool to increase corporate profitability. However, pricing fitness in many companies is at a critical level. This is becoming a serious problem, especially due to the increasing product comparability, the increasing (price) transparency and the growing activity in online business. Hardly any other topic offers such an abundance of figures, data and facts, but also requires customer understanding, empathy and communication skills.

Thanks to our years of experience in international price management, we know exactly what the challenges and success factors are and offer suitable solutions for different business models. We accompany our clients from the strategy development to the international implementation through all the dimensions of Pricing Excellence.

Companies often lack the coordination between their price and sales strategy, so that sales often hardly has any clearly communicated targets (e.g. by country and product group). In saturated markets, this causes problems with the prioritization between relative market share and relative profitability. To begin with, we therefore focus on a clear, measurable objective.

The price strategy then sets the main guidelines for the design of price management in order to achieve the target. Which methods should be used to price products and solutions? Is a gross or a net price system more sensible? How often and according to which processes should prices be adjusted? How should products be priced beyond their life cycle? These and other questions must be answered conclusively in order to enable a conceptual development and implementation. In recent years, we have continuously built up and optimized our tried and tested set of fundamental decisions.

The so-called “price waterfall” is the central framework for international price modelling. It describes all essential steps from the initial costs to the net price and what should happen on the way regarding differentiation and methodology. In general, a price waterfall can be formed and traversed in different ways, depending on the different distribution levels and pricing governance of the pricing strategy. As a central control instrument, it forms the basic framework for measuring success along defined key figures. Which basis for calculation is used to determine prices? How do you determine mark-up factors that are based on value? What criteria apply to customer-related price differentiation? What responsibility does headquarters have in international price management, and what tasks are distributed regionally?

We develop individual international price models and support companies in implementing a meaningful differentiation of products, countries, industries, segments and individual customers, thus significantly improving consistency and the profit situation.

Hardly any other topic in price management is explored as little as the pricing organization’s design. Despite its significance for a company’s profitability, a specialized pricing team is still the exception rather than the rule. The topic contains a multitude of different tasks and roles for the organizational anchoring.

We are familiar with the necessary areas of responsibility in an international context and know what staffing levels and skills are required to reliably master the set pricing processes. Cooperation between headquarters and national companies plays a key role, in particular. Depending on the level of development of our customers and the given market conditions, we develop efficient and clearly defined organizational structures to meet the requirements of recurring pricing processes.

We assume our customer’s perspective in order to understand the customer benefits of the respective products, systematically evaluate them and translate these into price statements. In customer benefit pricing, pricing methods are custom-adapted to the business model and framework conditions in order to tap the willingness to pay as effectively and sustainably as possible – regardless of new business or service business.

Depending on the general conditions of the product, the basis for calculation may consist of market prices, benefit estimates or cost information. Rarely is there a one-method-fits-all approach. Flexibility and the combination of different approaches often achieve the best results.

These days, professional international price management of larger product portfolios can hardly be designed without a corresponding software solution. We have therefore developed our own pricing software (PRIMA), which combines data management, a method spectrum and price controlling and consistently makes it available to international teams and includes live data from ERP systems.

PRIMA is used in many well-known international companies and is continuously developed further in order to always be one step ahead of the requirements in price management.

The price implementation starts with the kick-off. The internal acceptance and understanding of the approach must be ensured before the results of a pricing initiative are communicated to customers. Sales-related functions should be part of the project team right from the start, because price management demands objectivity.

Everyone has a different opinion about “what is appropriate” or “what we can expose our customers to”. This is followed by implementation techniques for the target price and the approach to customer communication. Depending on the type of customer and shopping basket analysis, a distinction should be made between active and passive, customized and standardized.

Compared to purchasing, sales is often in a worse position in terms of negotiating fitness and value argumentation. Selling via the price is easy, selling via added value and unique selling propositions is promising, but difficult. That requires a robust training, regular practice and experience.

Especially data-driven products, software solutions etc. require a different approach to sales than “classical” tangible products. We teach value selling and negotiation skills internationally and support our clients in the preparation of major deals.

A substantial pricing initiative must be executed in a precise manner and carried out by experienced specialists. The effects of a price adjustment can be clearly quantified. Our software solutions and pricing tools enable recurring price analyses across all relevant dimensions of the business model as well as the transparent simulation of price adjustments to all essential key performance indicators in a dashboard. Automated test and data cleaning algorithms guarantee high data validity and reliability of our analysis and simulation results. We ensure the highest process efficiency and data conformity via direct interfaces to our customers’ ERP systems. Regular management reports that include the essential key figures considerably reduce the manual effort.

We answer the core question of price control: What proportion of the inflation surcharge (per country) is included in the net price? Where in the price waterfall is the margin lost? How do the shopping basket analyses for countries, customer segments and individual customers change before and after the price adjustment? We often accompany our clients through the phase that contains the measurement of success (up to 12 months after the price adjustment).

Customer & market insights: international analysis of sales markets

Do you know your market potential and the satisfaction of your customers? Without sound market information, no good management decisions can be made. Strategy development without market data is like crossing the Atlantic without a GPS system and compass. We quantify market potentials and identify market trends, analyze competitors and evaluate the attractiveness of markets. We measure customer satisfaction and loyalty and optimize relevant customer contact points by measuring the satisfaction on a case-by-case basis.

Using our own research center, we can collect market data from both secondary sources and primary data. Our know-how in the field of survey methods and data analysis enables numerous evaluation methods. With more than 750 international research projects, we also have numerous benchmarks and comparisons at our disposal.

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We analyze international markets holistically and point out potentials and hurdles for market success. Do you want to quantify the size of a market or better understand its future development? Are you planning to enter a new market segment or penetrate an existing target group? We develop market models for you to determine market volume and market potential. We assess the attractiveness of international markets on the basis of the competitive situation, accessibility and future trends. We determine the most suitable research methods for you and identify the information sources that are most-suited to you. We translate data into information that is useful for your decision-making.

The economic success of your company is significantly influenced by your customers’ satisfaction. Satisfied customers are not only more loyal, they even buy more regularly, pay higher prices and recommend your company to others. Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are therefore among the central control parameters of market-oriented companies. Are you in a position to excite your customers with your offer and service?  Depending on your objectives, we work with you to define the most appropriate method and procedure for measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Market-based or market-oriented pricing is becoming increasingly important. Especially in highly competitive markets, market prices, i.e. competitive prices, have to be taken into account when setting your own prices. However, in non-transparent B2B markets, especially in the capital goods industry, market prices are often not available at the push of a button. Systematic market price research delivers the necessary results. We will support you by applying relevant methods to create price transparency in your target markets – also internationally. In doing so, we use classical methods such as desk research and mystery shopping as well as innovative, software-supported approaches such as price crawlers.

We gather information on the market and competitors. In addition to static information, we also model the action or reaction of customers. In addition, we develop strategies in which we show which information about which competitors must be procured in which form and where.

Markets and customer demands are changing. Only those who identify trends in time and accurately can successfully design strategies. We support companies in innovation processes and provide impulses for product development. With our approach of market-oriented innovation management, we examine which trends and innovations are accepted and have potential for sales. Yet our approach is not limited to research: We turn the way of thinking in the innovation process around and give recommendations on how flop rates can be minimized with market-side impulses and how to increase the chances of successful growth.

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Without our employees, we would not be what we are today: one of the best consulting firms for strategy, sales and pricing. If you are also passionate about these topics and are an expert in your field, apply and start your career with us!

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