5 Tips on Saving Your Teams from Zombie Pricers: Even Halloween’s not a good time for a zombie-approach to pricing.

During October, there is always the danger that the zombie wandering the office isn’t just an overzealous co-worker getting an early jump on a Halloween costume, but rather one of your pricing analysts! If your pricing team looks like a pack of rabid zombies, it might be time for your organization to take a look at how you price.

Antiquated processes, cost-plus pricing rules, prolonged staring at overly complex and error-prone Excel spreadsheets or being the scapegoat for every lost deal could make anyone look undead.

Rather than ramming a stake into that poor zombie pricer (which is certainly an HR violation), try a little collaboration. Pricing is a central function that requires a systematic, coordinated approach across sales, marketing and IT if a company is going to be successful in winning in the market. Here are a few tips on how to breathe a little more life back into your pricing team:

  • Zombie Pricing Tip #5
    • Just like zombies, pricers sometime need a little understanding. Imagine spending your day buried in circular spreadsheet formulas trying to find the source of that #DIV error. Automate your price update process as well as those cost and competitive inputs, and those pricers will look better in no time.
  • Zombie Pricing Tip #4
    • If your sales people turn and run anytime they see the pricing team coming, you’ve got a case of zombie pricing. Help the sales team make interactions with zombie pricers a little less scary by providing them with self-serve pricing powered by dynamic pricing science. With optimized recommendations, sales people can get a great, pre-approved price and only need to bother the zombies for exception cases.
  • Zombie Pricing Tip #3
    • It’s a known fact that zombies, due to decay and other physical challenges, are not an olfactory treat. It may be because your quote processes just stink. In today’s competitive markets, products (even really, really good ones) don’t just sell themselves. It’s likely your organization has to rely on sales people or partners to navigate complex catalogs and configuration options to find the right solutions for your customers – the living get it right by using data-driven science to identify the right offer, price, and configuration combination for every potential buying situation.
  • Zombie Pricing Tip #2
    • Zombies may be short on logic and reason, which unfortunately may be the case for a lot of organizations when it comes to pricing. When pricing and profitability truth is hard to discover, it’s no wonder that so many decisions are made on gut instinct. But the living get it right through centralized pricing analytics that provide a global and granular perspective that allows decision-making to be data-driven and logical.
  • Zombie Pricing Tip #1:
    • Most importantly, zombie pricers never wanted to be zombies. They likely got relegated to the basement back office in the midst of trying to serve pricing best practices on outdated systems and processes. Caught in a never-ending cycle of needing to deliver more with less, the only way out of the basement is through a modern commerce approach that will breathe life back into your pricing team and simultaneously drive significant revenue and margin improvements.

Meet us at the Professional Pricing Society conference in San Diego October 25-27 where we’ll share more about how to get those zombies out of your back office.

About the Author

Joe Dallimore

Joe Dallimore is a Strategic Consultant at PROS. He works with pricing teams to help them drive important pricing transformation initiatives through the collaboration.

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