Value selling for European chemicals Co

This organisation was facing a challenging and very mature market. Although volumes were up, this was due to acquisitions rather than organic growth. Volumes from existing customers were stable and repeat business was becoming extremely cost-focused and competitive. Frustratingly, while demanding ever better pricing, customers were increasingly asking for specialist support for key projects. This led to the key question of how to provide value beyond features and attributes of the product. In short, the sales team needed integrated value propositions.

We supported this client through a review of their customer segmentation, to help them move from a product-focused model to a needs-based segmentation approach.


  • Client: Chemicals supply
  • Location: Northern Europe
  • Date: 2018
  • Category: Sales Effectiveness & Channel Strategy

The challenge was to validate the selected approach to segmentation and really explore potential new value-adding activities and services that would be appreciated by their customers with additional fees or higher pricing.

A validation exercise was conducted via indepth, needs-focused customer interviews. These interviews were carefully planned to include all stakeholders across the customer's manufacturing facilities, not just the procurement departments. • Interviews were conducted by the client's staff, guided by BIC consultants • BIC delivered interview training to those involved in the project and those who would be able to use the interview approach at a later date • Additional workshops were conducted with project participants to validate and challenge the findings • Finally, workshops to create the final value propositions were conducted, including representatives of all business functions that had a role to play in supporting the customer. These included manufacturing, logistics, customer service and finance During the process, it was discovered increasing needs for improved plant utlisation, streamlined inbound logistics and project expertise. The client was able to meet all of these previously unconsidered needs due to the unique combination of product and resources but had not been able to charge a premium for them, as there was no clear proposition to communicate the value.

Much improved share of wallet across strategically important customers; improved margins; closer alignment of our client's business functions with those of their customers; more transparency / more predictability in demand; and forecast accuracy improvements.