226. Your VP for Customer-Value-Innovation’s Questions

High-ROI, Sales-Management Calls?

You should only make calls:

  1. With top caliber reps who can: listen, take notes and follow with extra, new tasks.
  2. On three, high-leverage types of accounts.
  3. With the goal of taking all three groups – profit-core, target and big losers – to a next level by collaborating with the customers on improving how they buy.

VPs of Supply Chain Share These Objectives

Your big title will win visits with VPs for Supply Chain who can change internal, buying priorities and systems. After pleasantries, state your mission: “I’m here to see if we can collaborate on these shared objectives”:

  1. Lower your total procurement cost (TPC) for our category of spend. Our TPC model has 11 elements in it including “Price” (the only easily measured factor).
  2. Reduce downtime costs for lack of necessary goods at hand.
  3. See if less downtime may then improve your customers’ experience and retention.
  4. Reduce our total cost-to-serve for your order stream as a percent of our sales to you. These savings can then be shared with you in lower prices.
  5. Get whatever extra resources from my company to make our new, win-win ideas happen.

But, first, a few past and future questions about your buying logic:

  1. For our category of goods, what approximate percentages of spend are you giving to your top few suppliers: for what historical reasons?
  2. Have the allocations shifted in the memorable past, because of exceptional supplier improvements or failures?
  3. For the future, what improvement objectives would you like to accomplish with your best, total-value suppliers?
  4. Do you consciously pursue: a comparative, bid-buying process; or are you open to win-win, collaborative changes which allow both parties to move down their respective total buying and service-cost curves? (Like McDonalds has done with the same distributors for 64+ years!)
  5. “If you would like, I have a simple, 2-dimensional graph on which we can locate your buying strategy and direction”. (See the last 4 slides of webinar #7 in my “ecommerce 2023” series)

Customer Reactions?

Best customers and innovative, target accounts love the next-level questions and possibilities. Big losers split into sub-groups which is another blog. But, if you get 2 or 3 of these accounts to the next level for huge gains, it will make your year!  For much more skim the topics of all 12 of my webinars.

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