FOSS
Integrating CUSTOMER INSIGHT throughout the company

We had a need to get some insight and guidance on pricing and the right approach to it – since we were launching a new important global product into multiple segments.

However, the interesting part was when you started challenging us: “Pricing and features of your new solutions are of course interesting – however, what if we take a step back and get more insight about our customers about what they actually do?”

— Pricing and features of your new solutions are of course interesting – however, what if we take a step back and get more INSIGHT about our CUSTOMERS about what they ACTUALLY do?

Peter Juel Christensen,
FOSS Global Market Manager

Nicholas, Managing Director and Partner, ag analytics:
When we started the project, the main goal was to understand more about pricing. Can you explain, how we ended up scoping the project?

Peter Juel Christensen, Global Market Manager, FOSS:
When we started working with ag analytics, our focus was indeed on pricing. We were about to launch a new product into multiple segments and needed guidance on how to price the product. Our initial focus on product features and pricing turned out to shift quickly, as you challenged us to take a step back and get more insight about our customers and what they actually do. For example, what the customers do every day at their work, what challenges they meet while doing their job and what they wish could be done differently. We talked to customers in Europe, USA and China and got a tremendous amount of new insight and understanding about these people who make decisions that lay behind our business. This insight is linked to the solutions we develop and the features we provide to our customers, of which price is of course an important part. However, taking a step away from pricing talk enabled us to broaden out; to gain real customer insight.

Nicholas Malcolm, ag analytics:
What would you say are the most important decisions where customer insight has supported you?

Peter Juel Christensen, FOSS:
One of the most significant changes we are experiencing in our organization, is moving away from talking about the features of our products and solutions only. Instead, we try to understand what jobs there are to be done and what gains and pain relievers there are out there for our customers. We want to understand what priorities our customers have. Many companies have a tendency to focus on communicating the new features of their products to the customers from the company’s point of view. With our new insights, we instead try to understand what the most important things for our customer’s every day work are. You will be experiencing a clear difference in our communication; we will be talking to our customers in a different way.

— I think one of the really significant changes that we will see and are seeing more of in our organization, is that we will move away from talking a lot about the features of our products and solutions. Instead, we will be talking about what jobs there are to be done, what gains and pain relievers there are out there for our customers – what priorities our customers have.

Peter Juel Christensen,
FOSS Global Market Manager

We talk about the wrong things


I think it was very clear that the internal perception on price is that price is really important. If you ask around in this building, and in this company, a lot of people would rank price as a really important factor, when our customers make decisions about what solutions to acquire. However, it was clear when we asked our customers, that price is much, much less important for them.

Nicholas Malcolm, ag analytics:
What have we learned from the projects, talking to all these customers?

Peter Juel Christensen, FOSS:
The internal perception of price is that it is important. If you ask people in our company, what factors they think are important when customers make decisions about what solutions to acquire, a lot of them would rank price high. However, if you ask our customers, it turns out price is much less important. The ability to have the right products, the right services and being able to deliver on services and promises are much more important factors affecting their choice of a supplier. There is absolutely a somewhat disconnect between the internal understanding about the priorities of our customers, and what the priorities of our customers actually are. In my opinion, this unfortunately means that we tend to talk about the wrong things. Going into a customer dialogue, you are usually prepared to have a discussion about price. However, it is much more important to be prepared to talk about how you deliver on the promises and services around your product.

— However, it was clear when we asked our customers, that price is much, much less important for them. The ability to have the right products, the right services and the ability to deliver on these services and promises are much, much more important for their decision of choosing a supplier. There is absolutely a somewhat disconnect between the internal understanding about the priorities of our customers, and what the priorities of our customers actually are.

Peter Juel Christensen,
FOSS Global Market Manager

We now have confidence in our business decisions

First of all it is important to understand that FOSS is a fact-based and data-driven organization. This means that whenever you want to get your argumentation through, it is very good to have them substantiated with some data and facts.

Nicholas Malcolm, ag analytics:
How have you been able to communicate the conclusions and the messages from this go to market research throughout the organization?

Peter Juel Christensen, FOSS:
FOSS is a fact-based and data-driven organization. This means, that whenever you want to get argumentation through, it is very good to have it substantiated with data and facts. Having a very significant global qualitative and quantitative analysis, helps me get my message across. There is also a lot of interest within our organization to hear about these kinds of analyses – I am being asked by colleagues to come and present outcomes. For the management team, it is imperative to have these kinds of analyses to make the right decisions. Overall, there is a very big interest to learn about these analyses and their outcomes within our organization – because they are fact-based and data-driven.

Nicholas Malcolm, ag analytics:
How would you describe the differences between the corporate management or the salesman, who is going out to visit these new customers with this new product. How do they respond to the data and the customer insight?

Peter Juel Christensen, FOSS:
The corporate management and the salesman respond similarly to the customer insights, but for different reasons. For the management it is about being confident in making the right decisions, because these decisions create the route for the whole organization. For the salesperson it is about having confidence in what he or she is selling. If presenting customer insight as the key driver for product innovation increases the confidence level of the sales organization, there is in my opinion a much higher likelihood of success in sales. I am sure that a sales organization that is confident with the innovation process, sells a lot easier than when this is not the case.

Nicholas Malcolm, ag analytics:
You used the word “excited” before. How do you excite the sales organization?

Peter Juel Christensen, FOSS:
One of the key reasons for a successful introduction of an innovation or market launch is excitement. Creating excitement about what you are doing, what you ask the sales organization to sell and the service department to service, will bring you a long way in securing a successful market launch. The confidence and the excitement are built around the feeling that the right decisions have been made. Having the right solutions, the right products, the right services, the right decisions on pricing, the right communication and being able to mobilize the organization in the right way, creates confidence and excitement in the organization.

— The confidence and the excitement is built around the feeling that the right decisions have been made. That we have the right solution, the right product, the right services, the right decision on pricing, the right communication and that we are able to mobilize the organization in the right way. This is how you create confidence and excitement in the organization.

Peter Juel Christensen,
FOSS Global Market Manager

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