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Based on your experience, in what ways can we build up and update value proposition for the customer?

First of all, we should remember the definition of a value proposition. It is a value of a product, service etc. which a company promises to deliver to a customer solving his problems and challenges. As customer expectations and market demands are changing rapidly the value of a product needs to be adapted continuously. Thus, we need to be in very close contact to our customers to understand their needs and develop custom-tailored products. At BP we are selling fuels via retail stations and lubricants under our brand Castrol to different customers. Reacting on the current challenge to reduce carbon emissions we produce the Edge Professional range of Castrol lubricants since 2014 carbon neutral. This is a new value of our products we promise to our customers.

What are the internal challenges that arise when delivering this value proposition?

Delivering a strong value proposition to customers is only possible if you have strong internal processes in place which are fully aligned with the value proposition you are delivering and promising to customers.
BP with its well known brands has certainly a strong track record in advancing low carbon and developing products and services that help drivers reduce their emissions. We have led the way in the market with the introduction of the world’s first carbon neutral oil for the wind industry (Castrol Optigear), franchise workshops and OEMs (Castrol Professional) and commercial vehicles (Castrol VECTON).
The safe management of the environment is embedded in BP values, but the value of sustainability has still to be embedded in all processes in the company. We are on the right way. BP’s Advancing Low Carbon accreditation programme, gives the framework sharing best practice and encouraging every part of our business to pursue lower carbon opportunities covering not only BP and Castrol products, but also operations, investments and ventures.

Can you mention 3 ways to develop a proper separate approach for every strategic account?

The general focus should be on proactively driving value for the customer; values the customer may not even know today. These values can be only discovered by asking the right questions, creating new ideas, putting the right resources in place and getting the support of all stakeholders. All these elements should end up in an account plan for every strategic account in your company.
The way to develop a proper approach for every strategic account depends heavily on the relation with the customer and the challenges you identify. The following 3 situations are different, and you need to choose different ways to get into the pool position: 

“The customer is price incentive, but also open for new businesses and value streams.” You need to create a competitive offer on the core product, identify new business opportunities with the customer and engage different channels of your company and consider cooperation’s with other market players who can add what you cannot offer (total prospect management). Here you need an innovate way to develop this strategic account. 

“The meeting with the customer went well until it came to technical questions and restraints. The customer is ready for new technical solutions but needs reliability and deliveries in time.” You need to have your technicians on board, offer for example a free of charge trial or pilot (investment in customer) ensuring in time deliveries with reliable processes and digitalized solutions (customer service and supply chain are key elements and enablers). 

“It’s a challenge to identify who is taking decisions in the customers company; there are too many contacts.” You need to identify first the organizational structure of your customer, decision makers, influencers etc. (CRM) If then necessary, involve your top management into relationship building and identify the strongest relationship lead in your company who should take over this account.

Why is it considered important to have good relationships with the customers’ headquarters?

The customers headquarters are important as they are often involved into purchasing decisions, for scaling (getting a general worldwide supplier etc.) and escalating of general questions if necessary. In companies with global activities purchasing decisions are often taken at a headquarters level. If you are already working with one subsidiary it is important to have good relations to the headquarters; next time you will then participate in the worldwide tender and provided your performance is good you will increase your chances to win (scaling).

What would you like to achieve by attending the 2nd Edition Strategic Account Management conference?

I am very interested in exchanging opinions, views, taking the perspective of different industries and companies. The automotive industry, but also the energy sector is in a transformation process. We at BP are seeing possibilities everywhere whether we are investing in the e-mobility (BP Chargemaster), in the solar energy production (Lightsource BP) or digitizing our processes. To cope with current challenges, it is key to exchange best practices with different businesses and industries.

About the Conference:

Our Strategic Account Management annual conference will enable you to discuss main challenges and solutions in a VUCA world. In the context of constant disruption, strategic account management is going through a fundamental transformation, and our learning platform offers you a unique opportunity to benchmark and network with your peers, to learn from practical case studies and direct engagement with top professionals in the area. Our practical case studies and interactive sessions will bring into focus key topics such as how to manage strategic accounts in a VUCA world, the best strategies in negotiations with powerful distributors, how to work on the value proposition for your customer and empower professionals in SAM. This marcus evans conference will explore the inherent misalignments of objectives in your relations with key clients and how to deal with them, how to achieve complex global sales with the right local involvement and how to achieve the right communication strategy overall.

Copyright © 2019 Marcus Evans. All rights reserved.

About the Speaker:

Kai Reichert has been Auto Business Development Manager in BP Europa SE, Hamburg responsible for Germany, Austria and Switzerland since October 2018.
His career in automotive industry has started in 2006. Holding a number of appointments, from Head of Sales in MAN Russia to the Managing Director in FRAIKIN RUS, Mr. Reichert has accumulated an extensive experience and deep understanding of the automotive industry with focus on sales, service and financial solutions. Mr. Reichert has graduated from The Hamburg University with a degree in Law and has an MBA degree of Open University. Kai has an extensive knowledge of the automotive market, acquired during his 14 years in the automotive industry. Prior to joining BP Europa SE, Kai Reichert has held several executive positions with top automotive companies.

How to Build up and Update Your Value Proposition?

An interview with Kai Reichert from BP

Speakers Include 
  • Siemens
  • DB Schenker 
  • Vodafone
  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • Philips 
  • Honeywell 
  • Vestas
  • Medtronic
  • AstraZeneca
  • Linde AG
Previous Attendees Include 
  • Allianz
  • BBC
  • Coca Cola
  • Deloitte
  • DHL
  • Goodyear Dunlop Tires
  • Maersk Line
  • Novartis
  • Philips Electronics
  • Rabobank
  • Roche
  • Syngenta 

For more information, please contact: 
Alexia Mavronicola

Kai Reichert, Auto Business Development Manager 
at BP, Central Europe

Ahead of the 2nd Edition Strategic Account Management we spoke with Kai Reichert, Auto Business Development Manager 
at BP, Central Europe

To view the Conference Agenda, click HERE!

To receive more information contact Alexia Mavronicola at