Exploration & Production Equipment and Services

Situation and Challenge

  • The company experienced declining demand and eroding margins for their advanced technology equipment and services to undersea oil and gas exploration and production groups
  • To enhance its competitive position, they had undertaken a number of strategic initiatives designed to improve the execution and quality of their services and products but revenues continued to slide
  • Blue Ridge Partners was asked to identify improvements in the marketing and sales functions to reverse the declining sales and margin trends

Approach

  • Conducted internal interviews with operations, sales and marketing personnel to understand current processes and perceptions; analyzed internal and market data on sales and profitability.
  • Used our The Nine Voices of the Market® methodology to gather and analyze perceptions of the company’s offerings and performance from customers (including Net Promoter Score©), prospects, competitors, industry SMEs and former employees.
  • Synthesized findings and identified critical issues impacting revenue and margin declines
    • Strategic initiative improvements were not well known to customers; their overall perceptions reflected old operational problems; the sales and project management teams had knowledge gaps and capability deficiencies that prevented closing this external awareness gap
    • The sales force had difficulty differentiating their company offerings from the competition—sales representatives were unaware of competitive differentiators and could not effectively articulate them to customers and prospects
    • With these limitations, the sales force was predisposed to sell on price and pricing seemed erratic and the standard selling approach was based on relationship selling; competitors were winning with more effective approaches appealing to buyer values – differentiated messaging, pricing-to-value, product/service bundling, etc.
  • Developed short and long term plan for implementing three key initiatives.

Impact

We recommended three key actions to improve win rates, increase market share and improve margins.

  • Immediately establish a formal program for communicating the operational transformation to the internal organization and to customers/prospects including personal visits by senior personnel, a customer advisory council and a continuing contact program to update customers and prospects.
  • Redesign the process for engaging customers and prospects including –
    • Segmenting prospects/customers based on customer and project characteristics
    • Qualifying, prioritizing and targeting opportunities based on a standardized set of criteria
    • Detecting buyer values and responding to them in customized messaging, pricing and service characteristics
    • Aligning sales force and operations resources against the opportunities
  • Develop a new pricing model providing more effective deal pricing decisions and aligning “costs to serve” with buyer values

Customers View of Competitive Landscape

Framework for Moving Forward

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