Pricing Technology can be a highly valued tool for sales. The traditional core objective of pricing technology was centred on the identification of margin leakage. The typical process was the pricing team operated the software, and then provided sales with insights. Put another way; the software served as a business intelligence support system and required considerable human intervention. From the salesperson’s vantage point, the pricing software was on the sideline.

Today, pricing technology is no longer on the sideline, “it’s in the game.” Modern pricing technology has taken on innovative approaches not just to assist pricing practitioners but to operationalize the sales community.

Let’s look at five instances of how pricing technology can be a highly valued tool for sales.

The need for speed :

Timing is everything when securing a deal. Anyone who negotiates for a living knows that time kills deals.
According to Forrester Research, 50 percent of deals are won by the vendor that responds first. If negotiations drag out, and response time lags, it usually means a deal is going to fall apart.
Analytics can now be embedded into easy-to-use workflows for efficient quote creation. Sales can use pricing software to understand pricing options within established thresholds which improves the likelihood of an auto-approval or accelerates manual approval on their quote. Faster than ever before, sales can respond to the customer and beat their competition.

The (lowest) price is (not) right:

Confidence breeds success, especially in sales. Yet, many sales professionals find themselves embroiled in competitive deals they feel they can only win by cutting price to the floor. The adoption of pricing software can help salespeople avoid this trap.

Thanks to advanced price science that leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence, today’s pricing software can proactively recommend optimal target prices down to the line item level of detail.

These recommendations are supported by data-driven insights that establish confidence in the price recommendation as “winnable.” With just one click, a salesperson can see the price recommendation and the supporting information to then confidently proceed with more effective negotiation. The harmful “race-to-the-floor” is thus eliminated when building quotes and managing long-term agreements.

Make your numbers:

Many salespeople are not incentivised on margin which is somewhat of a paradox when considering corporate financial goals. However, almost all salespeople are compensated for revenue attainment.
That said, according to research by American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP), Top Sales World, and the Association of Professional Sales (APS), only 58.4% of U.S. sales reps attain their quota. That mean’s 45% of salespeople don’t make their quota!
Fortunately, today’s pricing software can now tightly couple a price change with quota attainment. As the adage goes, knowledge is power! Sales can easily understand how pricing impacts their quota attainment. Put another way; sales can view a pricing solution as a mechanism to improve quota attainment.

Learn and Track the Customer:

Understanding customer behavior is crucial for customer retention and ongoing sales. How can sales stay on top of every customer’s buying behavior, understand any change and still have time to dedicate to new prospects? Luckily, customer buying behavior can be identified in the data and easily flagged for sales.

Thanks to machine learning and AI techniques for pattern recognition, pricing technology notifies the salesperson when the customer’s buying behavior changes so that sales can be increasingly proactive. For example, when a customer gets a discount for promised volume, and the volume does not materialize, account managers will receive a noncompliance notification.

Also, sales can utilize this real-time information to adapt, serve, and exceed in satisfying their customers which reduces customer attrition.

Steer desired customer behavior:

The use of back-end, off-invoice, customer discounts is a best practice approach to steer desired customer behavior that can generate incremental sales. However, many companies struggle with back-end customer discount programs due to lack of visibility and labor-intensive administration. This commonly causes pricing teams to strategically offer fewer off-invoice discounts that are also artificially simplified to reduce administrative burden.
Modern pricing software that integrates pricing processes with back-end customer discounts eliminates these constraints. For example, the commercial team will benefit from visibility to back-end customer discounts when quoting and approving a deal. Otherwise, true deal margin cannot be determined. Additionally, sales and pricing can creatively expand back-end customer discount structures that include more complexity tailored to customer needs. This improves the ability to influence positive customer behavior. Instead of hoping for the best and reacting to the customer, modern pricing software empowers the commercial team to take charge of how their customers benefit from deals

Traditional pricing technology served as primarily a source of business intelligence for pricing practitioners, but lacked clear, measurable pricing actions for sales. Today’s software offers intelligence with a simple, yet effective design that enables optimized price recommendations that salespeople can trust. This shift has turned pricing software into the newest sales MVP.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. This philosophy has served as a design driver at Vistaar since inception. We believe that this driving principle is what has moved pricing software from the sideline and into the game for sales. To know how Vistaar can help your drive profitable sales for you, contact us today.

Rakesh Devnani

About Rakesh Devnani

Rakesh leads global pricing initiatives for some of Vistaar’s most strategic customers. He brings deep experience executing global pricing transformation projects across Consumer Goods, Commodities, Industrial Manufacturing and Retail industry verticals.

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