Recession Buster #4: Invest in Customer Value Management
There is no doubt that the time has come for companies to take a serious look at the customer value management (CVM) process, methodology, and tools. It has never been a better time to get started. And the reason is simple: do it or get churned out!
Your customers are doing the same analysis that you are doing. They want to improve net retention and avoid churn. As a result, any vendor who visits them or speaks to them about increased net retention rate or churn reduction will be placed on top of the list of SaaS solutions to keep investing in.
As you reinforce your customer value proposition as explained in the first Recession Buster blog, you must modify your value models, your value drivers, and your business value assessments to reflect the current business environment. It is a matter of credibility in front of the customer and showing that you care about their financial health. I am a strong believer in this approach. Your company might be cutting somewhere else. They have no choice. You need to convince your executives to take some of the savings and make a strategic investment in customer value management. The best defense is a calculated offense.
In times of recession, volatility, and disruption, investing in CVM is a bold and smart move. At the same time, it is unrealistic to think that you can get started with CVM technology and process while your company is reducing headcount and cutting support budgets to protect cash. So, what is the solution? Consider the following points:
- Select an end-to-end CVM platform. Replace your existing partial or legacy platform (such as a homemade solution or simple ROI calculator) with a powerful and integrated platform that will manage the process holistically and remove the need to manage things in various places or manually.
- Challenge the providers of CVM solutions to make sure they are fully integrated into the go-to-market digital stack. More integration means faster time to value for your sellers and faster adoption into your established processes. That in turn means great sales velocity.
- Invest in a CVM platform that can automate and bring power to the rest of your go-to-market engine. Focus all your attention on customer economic impact across the board. I believe that a great CVM platform can boost the monetization power of your entire go-to-market technology.
- Ask your CVM vendor if they can provide turnkey solutions and services to avoid having to hire value engineers while getting you in motion in less than 60 days. DecisionLink provides a turn-key CVM solution called ValueCloud® Ignite that is a tremendous value creator for any business wishing to start quickly.
- Focus on adoption and ask for support from your vendor’s customer success team. The faster your team can embrace CVM and use the platform, the faster you will deliver superior returns to your customer base. For this, DecisionLink offers an adoption guarantee.
My experience in customer value management shows that strategic investments in the right platform can boost a company's financial results tremendously. The impact for customers on their ROI, net retention rate, average selling price, and discount avoidance is phenomenal. Only the strong and bold survive. Cutting costs is not good enough. Make bold moves to disrupt your competition!
Dr. Stephan Liozu (www.stephanliozu.com) is the Founder of Value Innoruption Advisors (www.valueinnoruption.com), a consulting boutique specializing in industrial pricing, digital business, and value models, and value-based pricing. Stephan has 30 years of experience in the industrial and manufacturing sectors with companies like Owens Corning, Saint-Gobain, Freudenberg, and Thales. He holds a Ph.D. In Management from Case Western Reserve University, and has written several books, including Dollarizing Differentiation Value (2016) and Value Mindset (2017).