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**We've transcribed the full audio interview below:Why is this an important topic that should be considered? J.S.: This topic is so important since most companies that embrace pricing focus on price setting, but that is just half the battle. Price execution is the other 50%. The best price setting does you little good if sales can’t successfully negotiation the price. So it is imperative that pricing work closely with sales to support or guide them in the execution. I continue to see weak execution skills in virtually every business I work with; from highly experienced sales professionals and leaders through pricing leaders & professionals. Unfortunately, so many pricing groups think the execution is the sole responsibility of the sales force and thus they don’t think they need to (or should) get involved. This could not be further from the truth. The pricing group must be the champion for better pricing and that extends through helping to build the pricing skills of the sales force. Furthermore, a pricing person can’t be a valued partner of sales if they don’t understand price execution and have skills to coach or guide sales in difficult price drop or price increase situations. What are some of the biggest challenges to price execution? J.S.: The two tough challenges are 1. how to manage situations where there is high pressure to drop your price and 2. how to successfully manage situations where you are increasing the price. In both of these situations, the customer is pushing hard for the lower price (or lower increase) and competitors are potentially positioning to ‘take your share”. Most salespeople don’t know how to assess their pricing power in these situations and thus they often drop the price far too frequently and much more than they need to. They don’t know how to manage aggressive competitors. In the end, their actions often lead to more price aggressive customers and price aggressive competitors; making their jobs more difficult. What are a few of the key reasons that companies have such low success with their price increases? J.S.: Most companies only achieve about 30% of their price increase targets. It doesn’t need to be that low and with good skills, they can greatly improve (double or triple their success). There are a number of reasons why companies have such low success, and unfortunately no silver bullet to fix these issues; it takes a combination of skills to turn things around. But, the top two high-level reasons for low success are 1) mindset and 2) execution skills. Mindset gets into things like the culture being so volume focused that they are afraid to risk any volume loss, to sales not having the courage and conviction to really ‘sell’ their price increase. The lack of courage and conviction often stems from their lack of strong price execution skills. Once you enhance the skills the mindset shifts occur and your performance greatly improves. What was your experience when you ran DuPont’s Marketing and Pricing Group? Was execution a key issue? J.S.: Absolutely! Nearly every business believed that had highly experienced salespeople who had repeatedly tried to improve price but their highly competitive environment made it too difficult to raise (or sometimes even hold) price without losing their volume. They and their leaders were amazed at their success when they started to use best practices for pricing execution. They learned (then demonstrated) that their own actions & behaviors could influence the market in a very positive way. What makes this workshop unique or different from other workshops on pricing execution? J.S.: When I ran DuPont’s Corporate Pricing, I evaluated numerous externally available pricing and negotiation courses looking for the best course to train our sales and pricing professionals. This course combines some of the best of these courses but I have also added several powerful modules and exercises (and modified others) to make it more practical, easy to understand and quite relevant to the sales force. I want folks confident to immediately start using their new knowledge to make better pricing decisions. What approaches do you use in this workshop? J.S.: Think fun and practical. This course is loaded with games, exercises and real-life examples that focus on very practical advice. Advice that can be immediately applied. There are take-home tools to help reinforce the key messages and improve price drop decisions. It is fast-paced and fun, but most of all practical. Have you offered this course in the past? If so, what was the participant’s response? J.S.: Yes, I have offered this course, or a similar version, a number of times. Typically I am offering internally to a company’s sales & pricing groups but this is the first time that I am offering it at the Spring Pricing Workshops & Conference - (#PPSCHI18). I have always gotten outstanding feedback for this course, in fact, a few experienced sales leaders have even said it was the best course of their career.
**You can hear directly from Joanne Smith during the Spring Pricing Workshops and Conference event in Chicago, IL 2018!
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View event coverage on our Social Media platforms! Click the images to view:An Announcement To Conference Attendees: Thank you for attending - we hope that you downloaded the Conference Event APP for more interaction! Within the app are the Keynote and Breakout Session slides & presentation notes. To access:
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"The Rise and Impact of Pricing Excellence In The Communications, Media, & Financial Service Industries"
When it comes to pricing, companies across diverse service industries share common challenges as well as universal truths. Communications, Media, and Financial Services companies have become increasingly focused on optimizing pricing decisions and revenue management processes to drive innovation and maximize profitability. In this session, learn about the basis of pricing decisions, such as customer value and willingness to pay, and how your business can “creatively borrow” pricing strategies from different industries to succeed.
Attendees will gain knowledge on the pricing strategies exclusive to these industries from a leading, global expert.Interested in attending? We have an exclusive discount code for the first 10 readers that email after reading this post! Simply send an email to Meagan@PricingSociety.com, mention this blog post and reading about Kevin Mitchell's upcoming presentation, and we'll make sure you receive a special PPS discount to the ACCELERATE Conference!* Join PPS this May in Illinois during the 27th Annual Spring Pricing Workshops and Conference! Registration is open and rooms are going fast! Continue reading
In this #PricingPodcast expert Lydia DiLiello shares how to increase revenue and profit generation from CPQ (Configure Price Quotes) investments. Learn how to master this pricing strategy for your business.
"How to Monetize Your CPQ Investment" with Lydia DiLiello!
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About Lydia: Lydia Di Liello is the founder and principal of Capital Pricing Consultants L.L.C. a Revenue Management consultancy dedicated to improving profitability for its clients. She brings more than 22 years of global revenue management, pricing expertise and business leadership experience to her clients.Spending her corporate career in B2B, Di Liello’s experience working in 16 countries with global Fortune 500 companies and mid-size privately held firms provides a breadth of knowledge and an understanding of the unique challenges her clients face. Her leadership roles have included manufacturing, pricing and procurement. Di Liello earned her MBA from The Youngstown State University and is a prominent member of the Professional Pricing Society Board of Advisors and regularly presents at Conferences. She also frequently contributes to pricing industry publications including The Pricing Advisor, Pricing Brew and The Journal of Professional Pricing.
To learn more about CPQ, sales strategies, as well as hear more from Lydia in-person, join us in Miami, FL May 2-5th at the 28th Annual Spring Pricing Workshops & Conference! Lydia will host the CPP Workshop "Pricing & Selling: Strategies and Tactics to Win With 21st Century Procurement."
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What is a Configured Price Quote - CPQ - anyway?!
Lets chat CPQ!Question: So, what is CPQ?! Answer: CPQ traditionally refers to software that supports Configuration, Pricing and Quoting of custom products. Question: What are additional ways to define CPQ and the business process? Answer: Other names for CPQ include "Quote To Cash", "Opportunity To Order", "Quote To Sell", "Lead To Win", "Contact to Conversion." Question: How is CPQ bigger than "just software?" How can companies best incorporate sales strategies? Answer: CPQ is no longer "just software." Historically, CPQ was created to solely as software, but progressive definitions include dynamics of Change Management, Business Processes, and Policy development. These additions change the thought process around CPQ making it an essential part of a successful global, multi-channel selling strategy. CPQ grants companies full control over which partners, groups, or channels can access certain pricing or product information, with role-based access, discount locks, and portals, allowing a greater management of revenue, discount offers, or pricing and shipping fees. CPQ software and strategies also allow businesses to manage different strategies for multiple channels and geographies by providing full visibility into sales trends and channel effectiveness. This allows executives to course-correct when needed. Question: How does CPQ affect today’s Pricers? Answer: CPQ affects not only Pricing but also Finance, Sales, Customer Service, and Operations. It touches every part of an organization in both breadth and depth. The expanded definition includes Change Management, Business Processes and Policy Development, all critically important. Sales leaders want to follow a product's life throughout the entire organization. From the point of initial customer contact, all the way to the end - a closed sale with a happy customer.
For more information about CPQ strategies that will better impact your business, contact Lydia directly with questions and comments!
To learn more about CPQ, sales strategies, as well as hear more from Lydia in-person, join us in San Diego, California this fall for the 29th Annual Fall Pricing Workshops & Conference!Continue reading
Laura Preslan - General Manager, Microsoft CorporationPricing expert Laura Preslan will deliver the Keynote:
"Using Influence Versus Authority For Better Pricing Decisions"The pricing industry is filled with cross-organization, cross-team, cross-company communication and decision-making, often blurring the roles the of authority. Progress can still be achieved however, if key strategies are learned to increase pricing influence within the organization. Laura will share proven strategies, how to find supporters and break down real-world business examples for Conference attendees to maximize success within their organizations. About Laura: Laura Preslan has 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, pricing, consulting, technology implementation, industry analysis, and team leadership. She has worked at Microsoft for nine years. Prior to Microsoft, she was a Senior Manager at Deloitte Consulting’s pricing practice and was a VP of Research at AMR Research. She graduated from Brown University and is a member of the PPS Board of Advisors.
Mark Burton - Principal, KPMGIndustry leader Mark Burton will deliver the Keynote Presentation:
"The Four Disciplines of Breakout Pricing"Learn how the leaders in pricing consistently apply four disciplines that connect target markets to customers. Attendees will gain the tools to drive strategic, financial alignment ensuring that pricing supports the business goals, and ways to turn attention to the customers. Burton will share ways to develop expert-level pricing skills that ensure success throughout sales organization. About Mark: Mark Burton is a Principal in the Strategy Consulting Practice at KPMG and leader of their pricing practice, where he develops cutting-edge pricing strategies across diverse sets of clients and industries. A recognized thought leader with 20 years experience developing and implementing pricing strategy and transformations, Burton has an MBA in Business from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Union College. Burton is an author with experience spanning several industries including manufactured products and parts, high technology components and devices, business and outsourced services, software and data services, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and distribution.
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