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Picking the Right Team for Winning Price and Margin Management

Johannes Selig< Johannes Selig January 25, 2017

You plan to kick off your project and qualify your organization for Premier League Pricing Excellence. What players should you pick for solution design and tool implementation? My customers do three “fitness checks” when they scout for subject matter experts that will deliver them a high scoring Price and Margin Management solution. They search talent in Sales, Sales support, Pricing, and the IT organization for a winning lineup that will:

  • Move forward new best practices while defending profitable pricing & deal traditions
  • Balance nimble customer focus with disciplined corporate control
  • Lead and coach early, profitable adoption.

Here are a few ways to follow their example to pick and mix your success team:

Best Practices and Tradition

Choose team members who understand the historical practices of your price setting and deal negotiation. Not everything can be answered by data, so there needs to be knowledge of the practices that utilize skillful art and gut feeling. With that said, opt for those also willing and able to evaluate, decide, and support a more scientific and analytics-driven approach to margin analysis and deal guidance. Then your team can muster a robust defense to protect what makes current sales successful. It can equally exploit opportunities and step up your game through educated activation of new best practice profit and deal analysis in your chosen pricing tools.

Nimble and Diligent

Field your best forward players. Find the lively and outspoken Sales rep full of invaluable customer and local expertise that knows how to fight for and win an individual deal. Now have your team identify the nimble future state solution that maintains the advantage of flexible frontline deal negotiation. Balance this game plan with the right amount of due diligence. Supply your team with readily available analytical insights to model your compliant and efficient corporate workflow. Set up the winning combination where Price and Margin Management simulates, prepares, and—wherever feasible—automates profitable price list and deal approval decisions so your forwards will increase their score. Finally, set it so decision makers in the rear can focus on those exceptions to the rule to avoid own goals on margin targets. In this system, corporate diligence enables your sales cycle rather than slowing it down.

Adoption Starts at Halftime

Readiness for go-live is your whistle for halftime. Many of the Sales and Pricing players on loan to your project will be needed back in their day job. Assure that your first team selection contains a few players that might stay on. Experienced after-care resolves issues during go-live without losing points for unnecessary delays. Your winning end result is the smooth and timely start of adoption for your Price and Margin Management project.

Include opinion leaders in your team selection. They will become your best roll-out and adoption champions. Their accepted advice will motivate and jump start early adopters. Once you realize the first tangible benefits, this will turn the spectators in your organization into fans of your solution. And like at major sports events, eager fans are part and parcel of a winning team. Successful adoption will continue to grow your fan base. More users in your organization will become active players in Price and Margin Management and they will also start to succeed on the new playing field.

With these metrics for selection in place, you will celebrate that the first team you chose qualified your organization to participate in Premier League Pricing Excellence. You and your team coached the whole organization to keep on improving your bottom line and you will be closing your project with just a soft final whistle for your team. Now Price and Margin Management will continue to score and constantly maintain your pricing excellence.