October 10, 2012
In the my last post, Forget Pricing – Focus on Profit! (Part 1), I talked about the evolution of pricing and its origins in the BI space. The result of this BI pedigree is there is an almost religious analytics first approach in pricing project. In other words, the focus is squarly on finding “holes” in your pricing data after the fact, rather than ensuring sales profitability on the front lines, at the “moment of truth.”
See anything wrong with this picture?
Turing the Nail on its Head
Isn’t delivering pricing guidance to the field the most important part of this equation? Isn’t ensuring every deal is closed profitably a better approach than finding unprofitable deals in your data after the fact? Shouldn’t the focus be on empowering the front lines of your business to be more effective rather than giving your analysts another tool to manage?
So what if the first action of your pricing project was to stem the bleeding on the front lines by delivering profitability guidelines to salespeople at the moment of truth? And what if this guidance was delivered to salespeople in an extremely simple and intuitive way via their iPad? And what if this guidance enabled the “edge” of your business to be more effective during negotiation?
These are the question we asked ourselves at Vendavo when we built the Vendavo 8.1 Enterprise Profitability Suite. With this in mind, we complete re-imagined what a pricing project should be about.
To start with, your pricing project shouldn’t be a pricing project at all. It should be a profitability project.
Profitable Selling First
Our approach at Vendavo is to put the spotlight on profitability selling. This is precisely why we built Vendavo Sales Negotiator for iPad and Salesforce.com. Vendavo Sales Negotiator is the result of countless hours of usability research and Sales ride-alongs; it was built for Sales professional, not the deal desk.
This approach is a clear departure from the analytics first approach to pricing. Instead, our focus is on making each salesperson more effective during the negotiation to ensure they are able to consistently capture more value. We do this by enabling the rep to review sales history and target prices before meeting with the customer, negotiate confidently with deal metrics and recommendations, and close more deals by getting the right price in front of the customers faster than the competition.
Monitoring & Refining Execution
As a result, analytics is less about finding holes after the fact, and more about keeping pulse on the health of your business in real time, and being able to quickly adjust. We’ve added self-service dashboards and guided analytics to enable anyone on your profit team (made up of Sales, Marketing & Finance), to generate simple reports that provide real time, actionable information, and incrementally refine execution, which in aggregate amounts to significant profitability gains.
– Edward Gorenshtyen