The Client:

An international manufacturer and market leader of premium and high-performance building products and systems.

The Project:

In today’s world of changing communications and time-scarce decision makers, our client recognised that the traditional sales methods, used for many decades, may no longer be appropriate. They wanted to conduct research into how best to engage with specifiers. This would inform their sales team engagement and in particular the approach taken by field-based personnel.

The Objectives:

To obtain feedback from potential and current customers, establishing their current and future requirements for methods of engagement with the business. Research findings would inform a communications approach that would allow them to:

  • Remain ahead of competition
  • Anticipate change
  • Achieve a culture of customer satisfaction within the organisation
  • Improve the work/life balance of field-based personnel
  • Obtain input for business planning

The Methodology:

A key strength Competitive Advantage brought to this project was a knowledge of best practice of the key elements of a specification sales approach.

We were also able to draw on findings from the Construction Media Index, as well as other reports published. Furthermore the team at Competitive Advantage has practical experience of specification selling, as well as extensive experience delivering specification sales training. This meant we understood the challenges faced by the organisation when engaging with customers and could suggest areas to investigate.

Having developed a questionnaire in conjunction with the client’s team, we compiled a list of target respondents drawn from a mix of existing customers and others currently working on relevant projects. The interview quota comprised architects, quantity surveyors, main contractors and specialist sub-contractors. With interviews being conducted over a 3 week period.

Interviews were conducted by one of our team of experienced researchers, all of whom have many years’ experience of interviewing all categories of construction industry decision maker. This industry knowledge means they understand technical terms used and many of the issues raised. As a quality control measure a sample of respondents were re-validated by a second researcher, in line with the Interviewer Quality Control Scheme to ensure the accuracy of recorded responses.

Reporting was in an easy to understand format, including tables, infographics and a management summary of the research findings, providing a comprehensive overview of the findings.

The Benefits:

As a result of this project our client has a better understanding of how, when and why their customers wish to deal with them. Not only today but in the future. With these insights they can start to organise their marketing, technical and sales functions to engage in a more customer friendly manner, with the necessary back-office support to ensure organisational efficiency.

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