Companies approach price excellence in a messy way, especially when implementing a new piece of technology.
Almost 80% of companies that have focused on price excellence, sales effectiveness, and analytics say they’ve seen less than half of their desired benefits actually come to fruition. This isn’t for lack of trying, but is rather due to their methods and approach being fundamentally flawed. It’s like eating a cake without utensils, as explained in this video of a session on “Defining Pricing and Selling Excellence” from Vendavo Fall GPS featuring experts from Vendavo, Deloitte, and Yokogawa.
How to Think of This Challenge?
Deloitte encourages their clients to not just focus on the enablers — the technology and the executives giving the green light for a price excellence initiative — but to also emphasize the processes and holistic approach that it will take to ultimately reach those pricing excellence goals. After all, this ultimately makes your executive alignment and your use of the technology even stronger.
They define the price excellence journey as a cross between tools implementation and a broader business transformation.
Koen Hoogstoel, Global Digital Experience Strategy Manager at Yokogawa, noted it was of utmost importance to his firm to involve stakeholders from different parts of the organization during his company’s recent adoption of a price excellence solution. “We didn’t ask IT to implement it and watch from the sidelines — instead it was a good collaborative effort [between several teams].”
Start a Revolution, Not Evolution, for Price Excellence
This approach is important because successful firms start by looking at their desired key capabilities and user requirements, and figure out the best way to revolutionize their entire way of working to get there. “Revolution, not evolution… Dare to find your north star and drive towards it,” says Hans Demeyere, Director, Commercial Excellence, Deloitte.
“You need executive sponsorship in order to achieve revolution. You cannot push from the bottom.”
Hans went on to explain that by involving many collaborators from the start, and approaching the C-Suite with a holistic Change Management plan, you’re more likely to gain the support needed to carry out your revolutionary goal: “You need executive sponsorship in order to achieve revolution. You cannot push from the bottom.”
This is not just a technical implementation of a new piece of software, but a strategic shift in the way a firm conceptualizes the work they’re doing in the present moment, and precisely how they want it to change. Therefore, it’s extremely important to take a careful and measured approach.
Crawl, Stand, Walk, Run, Fly
Many pricing excellence projects don’t survive the initial discovery phase because they try to sprint before learning to walk. That’s why projects at the organization level must have time to develop gradually, as Hans Demeyere explained.
- Successful firms learn to crawl by addressing one project, in one region at the start. How do we work? How does this technology work? Are we a good match within this context?
- From there they stand, by expanding to the broader product portfolio, introducing it to other regions, and thinking deeply about the common pain points within different product groups and across BUs. How is each group approaching pricing and how can we unify under a similar framework?
- Learning to walk means implementing urgent product features in a meaningful way, and thinking about what comes next.
- By the time you run, you’ll be globalizing the offering and expanding the scope to more product features.
- And when it’s time to fly, you’ll have completed the transformation, but always keeping an eye on what can be improved, both in the way you interact with this new piece of technology, and in your organization’s broader strategic thinking about price excellence in general. This stage is the definition of price excellence in action.
Price excellence is a multi-legged journey, not a direct flight. For more tips on how to navigate the challenges the journey is sure to present, make sure to check out the full panel discussion from Vendavo, Deloitte, and Yokogawa.