Provide a Robust Practice System

By Linda Monroe
August 18, 2015

This post is part of our “How to Be a Better Pricing Strategist” series, in which we asked top thought leaders and industry experts in the pricing field: “What is the best advice you could give a fellow pricing strategist?” Read all the responses here.

When introducing users to a new pricing process, it is essential that you provide a robust practice system. Users need to be able to practice the new process using pricing situations they encounter every day. The practice system needs to include realistic data; the same customers, materials, list prices and historic data that the users normally engage. You don’t have to have all the data, just make sure the data you provide reflects the environment the user works in.

Having a practice system that mirrors their existing world enables them to truly learn the new process – think of it as a place where users can get a lab experience. If your university experience only included lectures and textbook, how well would you have learned? Everyone needs to be able to experience and try the new process.

READ MORE: The Process of Improving Data Quality

Once you provide a viable practice system, make sure each user owns their learning. Just like mom and dad couldn’t ensure you graduated, as trainers, you can’t teach someone who doesn’t choose to learn. Make sure each user sees his responsibility in learning to be ready for go-live in a new pricing process.

Give users homework and tests. Ensure that they do the work necessary to learn. Maybe go so far as to say, “Users who fail the certification, don’t get a sign on to the new system.” Give users an opportunity to retake the test, but require they pass. This seems harsh, but it guarantees a level of competence in the new process.

In all of it, never forget the power of positive feedback and encouragement. Users of all ages and experience thrive when they hear someone say “good job” or “thanks for your efforts today.” Pile on the praise. It goes a long way in helping users overcome anxiety and stress.

To read more expert tips and advice, take a look at our Pricing Best Practices SlideBook here.

  • practice system , pricing , pricing process , pricing strategist

    Linda Monroe

    Linda Monroe has been with Analog Devices for the nearly 20 years. She started at ADI running the America’s quote center then moved into distribution operations. She played a key role when ADI implemented Vendavo Deal Manager in 2014. Currently, Linda is the Contract Center Manager. In this role, she leads a pricing analytic team that facilitates success in annual price negotiations at customers. Linda received her Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Clarkson University.