Change Management For Pricing Optimization Initiatives

April 28, 2015 Eric Petty

If your company is struggling with highly variable discounting as a result of one-size-fits-all pricing, take heart. Even the largest, most sophisticated companies need to rethink their pricing strategy and adapt to the realities of today’s competitive marketplace.

There are many advantages to moving from one-size-fits-all pricing to segmenting your customers by geography, industry or deal size, but you need some way to manage the increased complexity. Spreadsheets and price lists won’t cut it anymore. Pricing optimization software allows you to automate much of the process by analyzing different market segments and creating rules that help guide and empower your sales team.

Implementing a new pricing strategy and software is a major catalyst for growth, but it also requires significant changes within your organization — and that’s where many implementations run into obstacles.

In terms of change management, the main challenge is to engage the sales team and other employees who are likely to be most affected by the new pricing technology. Most barriers to adopting new pricing solutions aren’t due to the technology but to poor management of the learning and change process.

This is where change management comes in: It helps to accelerate the adoption process, reduce resistance to change and facilitate organizational transformation.

Here are some key tactics to use when introducing a new pricing strategy:

  • Start planning for change early: A carefully planned change management program stacks the odds in your favor, helping to ensure a successful implementation.
  • Communicate often through multiple channels: Everything starts with communicating the goals you want to achieve with pricing optimization. An email, for example, is seldom effective on its own. For sales reps, face-to-face communication is preferable. And don’t be afraid to reinforce the message through multiple channels. In successful change management, communication isn’t a “one-and-done” task.
  • Engage your sales team in participating and contributing to future goals: People support what they help to create. Empower employees from all levels by involving them in the initiative and sharing appropriate responsibilities.
  • Call on influential individuals to facilitate communication between stakeholders: Effective communication is often misunderstood as a series of formal messages sent by company leaders. In fact, less formal communications from influential employees (regardless of their formal positions) are often equally if not more effective in supporting change.
  • Implement formal and informal leadership: Visible, active sponsorship of the pricing strategy by executives and informal leaders contributes to more adaptive and resourceful behavior during periods of change.

Change management should be considered in any project that is poised to transform your business, such as implementing a new pricing strategy or optimization software. Implementing pricing optimization technology provides deep, rich analysis on priority deals, without getting tied up in emailing spreadsheets back and forth. When you’re trying to put together deals with multiple cost structures or contract levels, pricing technology reduces the complexity and streamlines the sales process.

While these changes offer major opportunities for growth, they also require your organization to adapt to new approaches and new technologies. By resisting the temptation to cut corners on change management, you avoid many obstacles in your implementation.

Are you ready to learn more about how pricing strategy and data science could help your organization in reducing discounting and driving revenue? Download our complimentary e-book, “4 Steps To Stop Out-Of-Control Discounting.

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