Energy & Utilities

Reshaping the Go-to-Market Model: Strategies for Energy and Utilities Companies

Shift from product-centric to customer-centric strategies

It’s no secret that energy customers have more options today than ever before, as deregulation, new technologies and a greater focus on energy transformation have disrupted the industry. To stay competitive in this fast-paced environment, energy and utilities organizations must adapt their selling models to be more customer-centric and value-driven. By putting the customer at the center of their operations, companies can better understand consumer needs and preferences, tailor their products and services accordingly, and ultimately build more loyal and profitable relationships.

In this article, we explore the industry shift toward a customer-centric approach to selling and the challenges and benefits that arise when energy and utilities organizations move their focus from product-centric to customer-centric strategies.

Historic Selling Model

For years, many energy and utilities companies have used a “point solution” approach, where sellers push their specific product or service. Organizations have been structured such that product-selling units are siloed with little crossover, despite how closely related some products and services might be, and companies have not needed to consider the whole customer to execute.

This approach has often been effective in delivering targeted products and ensuring a steady revenue stream, but it has limited the ability of these companies to adapt to the changing market conditions and customer needs of the present day.

Shifting to a Customer-Centric Approach

In recent years, the industry has undergone a significant transformation, and commercial organizations have had to alter their selling approach from product-centric to customer-centric that spans across the entire customer lifecycle. Because traditional strategies alone are no longer producing long-term value, commercial units must adapt to continue driving demand for their products and services to stimulate growth.

This shift has been driven by several factors, including changing customer expectations and values. When making purchasing decisions, customers are increasingly prioritizing true partners who understand their needs and can support their long-term energy strategies – and many are willing to pay a premium for products and services that align with these values. This provides a significant opportunity for businesses to differentiate themselves in the market by value-propositioning around broader consumer interests and concerns. Sellers are no longer just taking orders; but rather they are engaging in higher-level conversations around sustainability frameworks and net-zero carbon goals, building out roadmaps as valued partners to consumers.

Furthermore, consumers now have more options to choose from, which has further increased competition within the market. One way some organizations stay ahead of their peers is by providing a broader ecosystem of solutions across the entire customer lifecycle. This means sellers must understand the wider array of consumer needs and connect the dots to a larger suite of offerings.

A more strategic and unified sales approach ultimately improves customer experience and satisfaction, subsequently driving topline growth for these commercial organizations.

Reshaping the Go-to-Customer Model & Roles

One effective way organizations can begin to reshape their go-to-customer model is to leverage market research and data analytics to better understand ideal customer preferences and behaviors. Strategically understanding what consumers are looking for can lead to the development of new products and services that are tailored to the specific needs of individual customers (e.g., energy management software solutions).

Strategic account managers are emerging as a prominent role in the industry, which is another effective way to keep consumers within an organization’s ecosystem. Strategic account managers serve as a key touchpoint for B2B consumers by connecting customers to other sellers and services within an organization, while still also selling their usual products and services. In doing so, they play a crucial role in helping customers develop a comprehensive energy strategy that aligns with their business goals and objectives, identifying areas where energy consumption can be reduced, and recommending solutions that are both cost-effective and sustainable.

Through this partnership, sellers can become familiar with their customers’ needs and engage across business units to better identify and activate expansion opportunities that best fit with their customer’s objectives.

Building Out New Capabilities

Reshaping these go-to-market strategies and roles has demanded a fundamental change in mindset and approach, with organizations needing to invest in modern technologies, processes, commercial roles and capabilities to deliver a seamless and personalized customer experience. This requires significant financial investments in new technologies and training for sellers, as well as time spent training the sellers to successfully engage in the modernized sales models.

Sellers must increase their flexibility to meet customer demands and strategically position the organization’s capabilities by forging relationships with new consumer touchpoints, such as CMOs and CFOs. Though this may be a learning curve, it is also an opportunity for sellers to be more impactful by pushing value higher up within organizations to create a more lasting partnership.

While the transition may be a significant one, the benefits of a customer-centric approach are clear, with organizations able to build stronger customer relationships and drive long-term success in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Alexander Group’s experience in the energy and utilities segment allows us to provide proven ways to reshape go-to-market strategies that yield improved results. By applying our best practices and industry insights, Alexander Group can help your organization drive growth and profitability by supporting sales model transformations to address the ever-changing dynamics of the energy and utility industry.


Learn More

For more information, please contact an Alexander Group Energy and Utilities practice lead.

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