This is the last in a series of articles brought to you by Robert White - CEO of Lucidus Ltd dealing with the subject of 'Value' in the sales process.
In this installment, we present the feedback that one of our customers had when demonstrating the Lucidus approach to value sales.
As part of the process for implementing the Customer Value Module, one of our clients (a large U.S. multinational in the Medical Equipment sector) recently visited five prospective customers to test their reactions to it. Prior to sharing the Customer Value Module approach they were each asked for their views on traditional sales approaches. The Customer Value Module approach was then deployed and they were asked for their thoughts on it.
What follows is the verbatim reaction of those clients.
We have included them, not merely because they speak favourably of the Customer Value Module, but because their observations shine a useful light on what senior executives actually think about the process of complex acquisitions and also they seem to support the accuracy of our analysis of the problem.
Here's the reaction of the Baylor hospital network. Their view of traditional approaches is very clear; the approaches exclude the customer's perspective and view of true financial and performance impacts and leaves them very sceptical.
Here's what they actually have to say.
"Almost every approach we see from the capital solution suppliers is from their perspective and the result is always the same - buy our solution".
"Their models rarely translated into an accurate reimbursement scenario.
" We are generally very sceptical of their models".
The view of the Customer Value Module on the other hand was very positive and here's what they had to say about that:
"Does a great job of looking at derivated impacts, upstream and downstream, into both costs and revenues generated by the solution."
"We'd love to look at this approach on all major investments."
"We will endorse all relevant functions within the hospital to support this exercise."
"I'd like to use this model to look at our entire network of labs."
There are perhaps four quite striking things that emerge from this reaction:
The reaction of UT South Western Hospitals is similar. The view of traditional approaches is sceptical and again points up the bias and inadequacies in the traditional approach.
Here's what they had to say:
"Most suppliers' economic models are selling models, not a true economic value model."
"We are always sceptical of their models and frankly we don't trust them."
The view of the Customer Value Module is a little more positive and again we see a defensive barrier coming down as confidence in the approach rises with an offer to support the vendor in discussions with senior management.
Again here's what they have to say:
"Totally unique approach."
"I will support your evaluation effort with senior management."
"The Customer Value Module here is completely collaborative and what a true partnership should look like. It's lip service with most suppliers."
Again we see the scepticism coming through very strongly from the Harris Methodist Hospital Network. Some good insight here into what senior executives actually want.
Here's what they have to say about the traditional vendor approaches:
"More than 95% of supplier models are counterproductive, we have to deconstruct them."
"We always find assumptions that are always favourable to their outcome."
"They have a narrow view of the solution which does not consider upstream, downstream and lateral constraints."
"No supplier ever comes back to measure actual results verses pro forma."
"There's a real disconnect between what is promised and what we get."
"Frankly we are tired of the gimmicks and the games."
"We want to see the good and the bad but suppliers only present the good. We know they know what can go wrong but we never hear about that"
And from the Customer Value Module point of view it's well received. Here's what they had to say:
"Totally different approach. We like this very much."
"Generic facility pre- populated option is extremely helpful."
" I wish all our suppliers took this approach"
So what they like is the generic pre- populated simulator. It's seen to be very helpful because it deals with the complexity and demands only a small amount of information before yielding useful results.
From the Navigent Medical History Practice, again we see strong scepticism for the traditional approach.
"Most suppliers' models are pretty worthless."
" Their models are all heavily biased no matter how they try to camouflage that fact."
But again the Customer Value Module is well received.
Here's what they had to say:
"Great approach, we could use this".
"The transparent decision logic available for every value calculation is extremely helpful. and while clients won't look at each one of several hundred, knowing that they can at any time will build a total credibility"
"Each value driver is defined in the client's terminology and not the seller's. Very unique."
So the Customer Value Module process is helping them to better understand their environment and the simulator uses their language, not the vendor's. And the comprehensive nature of the simulator gives them confidence that the results produced might actually be worth something.
And finally, Methodist Hospitals, who have clearly suffered at the hands of traditional sales methods. Here's what they had to say about them:
"We don't believe supplier models in general, we know the results are biased."
"We always build our own models and although they may not be as comprehensive as we would like, at least we believe the answers we get"
The Customer Value Module does not overcome the scepticism but they do see greater utility. The Customer Value Module results would provide an additional useful data point and the ability to track value is very useful. Here's what they have to say:
"Very unique and comprehensive approach."
"We probably will still build our own model but we would use and believe this model as another valid data point."
"Adding in the actual value delivered is outstanding."
So that brings us to the end of the feedback from the market and indeed brings us to the end of this series of articles. If you have found them useful and want to know more, then please feel free to look around the web site or to get in touch with us.
Thank you for your time.