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What is unauthorized selling? How can businesses protect their prices and prepare their sales teams? Whitney Gibson shares tips in this #PricingPodcast.Listen to the #PricingPodcast below: About Whitney Gibson: Whitney is a partner and chair of the firm’s intellectual property and technology protection group. He focuses his practice on Internet brand and reputation issues, including online seller enforcement, internet defamation, patent and intellectual property infringement, and misleading marketing and advertising. Whitney has developed custom programs for companies confronting these issues with investigating tools and services. Please leave a comment on the #PricingPodcast episode below or on our SoundCloud account! Subscribe to the #PricingPodcast to never miss a new interview or pricing share!
Register to attend the Spring Pricing Workshops and Conference event in Chicago, IL this Summer!Click the image to view the program lineup: Continue reading
**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!
(Click the image below for registration details)
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It's time for the Annual Pricing Salary Survey!The close of one year and the start of another is when we need your participation to remain updated on the most valuable asset to the Pricing Industry, our people. PPS has been surveying the Pricing Community since 1998. These survey results are widely used to benchmark salaries, salary trends as well as job satisfaction among pricing professionals. Please take a few minutes to complete this brief, confidential and anonymous survey by January 31, 2018.
Click the image below to complete the survey!
The survey results will be published in the PPS Journal of Professional Pricing. If you are not a PPS Member, simply request a copy of the survey from us.Thank you for your time and dedication to the profession of pricing! Continue reading
Alison Yama, Senior Director with Holden Advisors, shares proven pricing strategies and case studies from wins against the competition.
Knowing your competitors is only half the battle in business. How do you compete when trying to price products? Price services? What are the winning businesses using to succeed? Pricing industry expert and Senior Director with Holden Advisors Alison Yama talked with PPS in this #PricingPodcast:
"Get Your Price and Win Against Low-Priced Competitors"
Click the image below to listen:
Alison is a Senior Director Product and Service Management. She has over two decades of marketing, sales, client, and relationship experience and currently creating thought-leading, innovative offerings to help Sales teams develop the backbone to defend value and price in the face of tough negotiations.
Prior to working with Holden Advisors, Alison was Principal of Consulting Services with Strategic Pricing Group where she lead consulting and educational services sales teams, large-scale project teams across multiple businesses, client relationship management, consultant development, and pricing content development.
The #PricingPodcast series provides a way to learn from the professionals that directly influence the pricing industry. Join us in-person this Spring during the 29th Annual Fall Pricing Workshops and Conference in Dallas, TX! Click the image for Registration Information!
Have a suggestion on who to feature during an upcoming #PricingPodcast?
Shoot an email to Meagan@Pricingsociety.com!Continue reading
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
Register TODAY for the pricing event of the season!
We'll see you in Chicago! #PPSCHIContinue reading