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7 Key Takeaways from the 2023 Growth + Profitability Summit in Stockholm 

Johanna Thörnblom< Johanna Thörnblom October 24, 2023

The best minds in pricing recently met up in Stockholm, Sweden, for our Growth + Profitability Summit, discussing tips and tricks for stepping ahead of the competition, global disruption, and our own preconceptions in ever-evolving times. In this article, Johanna Thörnblom, Field Marketing Manager at Vendavo, explores seven key takeaways from GPS 2023 and how to successfully approach organizational transformations.

The best minds in pricing recently met up in Stockholm, Sweden, for our 2023 Growth + Profitability Summit, and we had an amazing time. This year’s theme was Step Ahead, and we spent three days learning how to step ahead of the competition, global disruption, and our own preconceptions. 

The conference was filled with presentations, panels, networking opportunities, a keynote on how to overcome uncertainty given by professional adventurer and entrepreneur Renata Chlumska, and a dinner cruise featuring a three-course meal and great conversations.  

Here are some of the key takeaways from our Growth + Profitability Summit in Stockholm:  

1. Alignment is key during organizational transformation 

GPS Stockholm 2023’s first panel was moderated by Gina Bates, Chief Revenue Officer at Vendavo, and entitled “Pricing Without Walls: Tearing Down Silos to Achieve Better Results.” Panelists Kati Ilkka, Senior Pricing Manager, Fiber Foodservice at Huhtamaki; Jacob Møller Korsgaard, Pricing Director at Danfoss; and Sophie Ranson, Director of Digital Transformation at Avnet, shared their thoughts on how silos impact pricing efforts, making it difficult to achieve pricing alignment across an organization.  

The panel discussed their experiences navigating the challenges of silos in their organizations, including how to identify them, the importance of creating a culture of collaboration, data’s necessary role in decision-making, and best practices for aligning people, processes, and technologies for success. Ilkka’s key message resonated: “Speed, efficiency, and transparency. Those are the three key elements to ensuring that teams stay in alignment as you tackle organizational transformation.” 

2. Executive buy-in and stakeholder engagement are mission-critical when digitizing the commercial process 

Ranson had another important point during the “Pricing Without Walls” panel that is crucial when digitizing commercial processes and working toward successful organizational transformation projects.  

“Getting executive buy-in coupled with stakeholder engagement is necessary to ensure success as you digitize the commercial process. It’s important to bring in detractors early. Develop alignment and take small steps to keep moving,” said Ranson.  

Aligning your team helps minimize silos in everyday operations and is mission critical during times of organizational transformation. Getting your people, processes, and technology on a company-wide path toward change will be key for successful implementation and creating a culture of collaboration.  

3. Effective governance ensures successful commercial process transformation projects 

Ron Pascuzzi, Vendavo’s Chief Customer Officer, hosted his own session on “Making Every Step Count: Our Approach to Customer Success” in which he explained how Vendavo puts customer success at the forefront of everything we do. He covered the importance of customer success in driving our customers’ business growth as well as our own, real-world examples of customer success partnerships, and how our teams work together to deliver measurable results every step of the way. 

“In order to ensure successful commercial process transformation projects,you need effective governance, including a value scorecard, decision-making processes, and a plan for soliciting and acting on stakeholder participation,” said Pascuzzi. 

4. Organization-wide alignment is necessary to demonstrate value 

Vendavo Business Consultant Chris Kennedy-Sloane moderated the second panel of the Growth + Profitability Summit, entitled “Show Me the Money: Demonstrating the Value of Pricing Transformation.” Panelists Stephan Fessner, Head of Commercial Management and Processes at Dynapac, and Niklas Lindström, Pricing Manager at Xylem, discussed that transforming your pricing strategy is essential to staying competitive, but it can be tough to get stakeholders on board with that fact.  

“We support over 20 brands, so we need alignment across the organization to coordinate all the activities of the pricing teams and sales activities so we’re demonstrating value to our customers. Strong value measurement across the entire commercial process is key to delivering for the organization,” Lindstrom said. 

Your organization needs to understand the metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that are important, then measure success over time. This will help you justify the costs of the transformation efforts and consistently demonstrate value to stakeholders. 

5. The right change management and value measurement plan can streamline implementation 

Fessner had other advice for those digging deep into a pricing transformation. He focused on the importance of change management and value measurement, both of which are also important in ensuring executives and stakeholders understand the need for – and process involved in – a major pricing transformation project. Taking time to set the process up and plan are crucial.  

Change management and value measurement can be difficult in a project, but they are the most important factors to ensuring success. Please, take the time to plan and implement the change management and value measurement. It’s so important,” Fessner said 

6. When measuring value ask yourself about commercial drivers, technology, and growth areas  

Darius Fekete, Vendavo’s Director of Value Acceleration, offered his insights during an interactive strategy session entitled “Mastering the Art of Accelerating Value.” He used simulated scenarios to explain how to identify opportunities to accelerate value, unlock hidden revenue streams, and achieve sustainable growth, including by asking these three questions:  

  • What is driving commercial performance?  
  • How have we used software to support the business?  
  • What can we do better?  

These questions will help you anticipate customer needs and behaviors, develop pricing strategies that maximize value, and gain a competitive edge in the market to help your organization stay ahead of the competition.  

7. Both internal and external data matter for success 

Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models are rapidly transforming our world, and that means pricing professionals are currently faced with new possibilities and challenges. They need to be asking themselves several related questions, including: 

  • How can I be innovative and still enhance pricing strategies? 
  • What risks and benefits should we be thinking about? 
  • What is the future of pricing for B2B eCommerce and with AI? 
  • How does optimized guidance work for our organization? 

In the final panel of GPS 2023 in Stockholm, “Innovation is Key to Pricing,” moderator Robert Irwin, Senior Vice President of Business Consulting at Vendavo, and panelists Koen Hoogstoel, Global DX Strategy Manager at Yokogawa, and Maarten Moreels, Partner of Commercial Strategy and Pricing at Monitor Deloitte, discussed how to make optimized pricing decisions to drive revenue and growth – and why data matters. 

“Data is critical to our success. Combining external data with our internal data allows us to use advanced analytics to give our sales team the information they need to provide the right prices and products to customers,” said Hoogstoel 

We’re grateful to our sponsors, PAGE-37 and Monitor Deloitte, for their helping putting on such an amazing event, as well as to our customers, partners, and industry peers for attending and making GPS 2023 such a success!  

Get more information about Vendavo’s Growth + Profitability Summits in Chicago and Stockholm, or reach out to speak with our experts about how we can help with your organization’s pricing transformation and commercial excellence efforts.