Is Your Pricing Like Old Faithful or Steamboat Springs?

By Jennifer Maul
August 12, 2013


I have recently returned from a summer vacation spent in the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.  I was inspired by Michael Lanza’s Before They’re Gone: A Family’s Year-Long Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks.  One of my favorite past-times is a road trip with my family in our Eurovan Camper to the woods.  The farthest we can go into those woods, all the better.

Old FaithfulSo, we launched on a 9-day adventure to two of our nation’s most treasured places and walked away in awe.  We studied wolves and spied on them from a far distance using really cool sight scopes.  We hiked 7 miles to hidden geysers that took our breath away.  We white-water rafted the Snake River.  We enjoyed the hospitality of the Teton School of Science in Jackson, WY – what an amazing school (check it out at, and we relaxed at Grant Village campground in Yellowstone.  What sits in our minds still today, though, is how active our earth is geologically.  We watched (and waited for) Old Faithful, walked the geysers of Upper Basin, Lower Basin, and West Thumb, saw Grand Prismatic Spring spout hues of blue and orange everywhere, and literally sprinted away from the very, very sulfuric smell of Dragon’s Mouth Spring.

We missed the eruption of Steamboat Geyser by just a day.  If you did not catch the news, Steamboat came to life after 8 years.  Shaul Hurwitz is a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA, and he studies Yellowstone’s geysers.  He recently said “Most geysers are non-predictable.  Those that are predictable, like Old Faithful, are quite rare.”  The sudden eruption of Steamboat and the regularity of Old Faithful got me to thinking about the analogies to B2B pricing:

  • Is your B2B pricing strategy faithful or full of leaks?  Do you leverage the power of a price waterfall to illustrate where you are leaking margin or is your strategy pent-up and ready to blow, completely unbeknownst to you?  It’s relatively simple these days to leverage a B2B price waterfall – you can stop margin leakage via this excellent business practice.
  • Is your B2B pricing strategy predictable – can you deliver the right segmented price to your sellers when they need it?  Do you have a customer and product segmentation strategy?  More so, do you know where you can push price and where you cannot?  Once you have a price waterfall in place, augment it with a segmentation model and then apply pricing science principles to your data.  Tremendous value can be gained from this.
  • Is your B2B pricing strategy behaved?  Do you have a discipline of managing price well within your company?  When is the last time you have matured that strategy?  Vendavo can help you take a fresh look at your pricing approach and make recommendations to set you on a better course.

Want to get a handle on your B2B pricing approach?  Start here and let Vendavo help you find a predictable path to better pricing.

  • geysers , old faithful , predictable , pricing , steamboat springs

    Jennifer Maul

    Jennifer holds Bachelor of Science degrees, magna cum laude, in Business Management and Management Information Systems from the University of Maryland. Follow her on Twitter: @jmaul_svp