Say What, You Are Still Using Excel to Manage Your Pricing?

By Chase Powell Jennifer Maul
October 7, 2013

Ok, let’s just get it on the record – using spreadsheets to manage your enterprise B2B pricing is not sustainable. If you’re reading this, you probably already suspect Excel is limiting the return you and your pricing team deliver to your company. Let’s go through some of the top reasons why:

1. Speed & Completeness: You cannot easily and quickly set prices for a complex business with multiple levels of customer and product hierarchies. Today, you have to go line by line to make a price change. And, who has time to do that with ALL the prices? You end up focusing on getting the high-volume line items right and defer analysis of the rest.  What if you could ripple a price change across your hierarchies from the highest level down in a matter of moments? Would that give you time to look at all the line items? And, what could that mean for your business in terms of more quickly reacting to raw material costs or a competitor’s price change?

2. Accuracy: You cannot easily integrate your Excel price list into your ERP system. Manually keying in changes is fraught with risk of error. What if you could automatically update your ERP system moments after you rippled a price change through your complex hierarchies, instantly ensuring the correct price is available for newly placed orders?

3. Deal Approvals: You simply cannot manage a deal quote process or even a deal desk using Excel and email. We all know the pitfalls of email-based approval processes, with long arguments about deal profitability, who needs to approve, my data vs. your data, “sharpening our pencils” because the deal is “strategic.” What if you were all looking at the same data, with agreed metrics, and clear ownership by decision-makers – all executed in a centralized repository? Even better, what if that data armed your sales people to negotiate confidently and win each deal at higher margins?

4. Price Optimization: You cannot easily incorporate “pricing science” math into your data by yourself, and even if you could create the world’s best macros, it would not be sustainable because models change with new segmentation approaches, updated competitor price list information, or supply and demand information. What if you could easily change your segmentation model in your B2B pricing approach through a simple user interface and then could model the impact of that change before you “took it live?”

5. Process Control: You cannot easily manage the policies and programs required for great price setting or deal negotiation in Excel. When a policy changes, how do you manage that change for everyone in the organization who uses that spreadsheet on a daily basis? Imagine having one repository of global price setting policies in an enterprise software solution that your teams and peers accessed instead of emailing a “please use this version #22” spreadsheet. Imagine how much simpler your work life would be.

Of course, the list could go on. You probably could add a couple of your own! So, why are you still using Excel? Breaking away from Excel is easier than you might think. B2B enterprise pricing software has come a long way in recent years, becoming a must-have technology at leading Fortune 500 companies. Learn more about how we can help you at

  • B2B Pricing , deal approvals , ERP system integration , excel , Price Optimization , pricing , pricing science , process control , spreadsheets

    Chase Powell Jennifer Maul

    Chase Powell is the Director of Business Development and is responsible for managing relationships with Vendavo's partners. He is a 16 year veteran of B2B Pricing Strategy and Sales Operations Management, with deep expertise in the High Tech and Semiconductor industries. Prior to joining Vendavo, Chase ran pricing at Intel Corporation, developing pricing strategies and driving negotiations. He previously ran microprocessor pricing and sales operations for Intel Asia in Hong Kong, and developed global factory capacity build, and inventory strategies for all Intel processors. After earning his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Relations at Pomona College, Chase served as an officer in the US Army, leading various units in the US and Korea. Jennifer Maul serves as our Senior Vice President of Global Sales and is responsible for lifetime customer relationships, customer success, and growing the customer base. Jennifer joined Vendavo in March 2004, where she first served as Senior Vice President of Global Services and in July, 2008, became Vendavo’s Chief Customer Officer. Prior to joining Vendavo, she was Senior Vice President of Customer Operations at SCI Solutions, an enterprise software company, building her team from start to full-scale operations, and delivering implementation tools and methodologies that led the company to a #5 top customer service ranking among 150 technology vendors. Jennifer has also held senior management, engineering, and support positions at Eclipsys Corporation and Sunquest Information Systems. 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