PPS Spring: Taking Price Optimization from a Forgotten Function to a Strategic Advantage

Eric Petty

At last week’s Professional Pricing Society (PPS) Spring Conference in Dallas, veteran pricer Scott Green highlighted his experiences re-invigorating price optimization at BP and Panduit and had some interesting insights to share.

Green’s career also has a trajectory not uncommon to PPS attendees: pricer by circumstance. He started his career in sales and marketing but was handed a price optimization project while at BP. Thirty pricing projects later, including deploying new tools, processes, and capabilities (including PROS), he moved to Panduit to overhaul their pricing function where he remains to this day.

After a decade in pricing, what advice can he give to both the career and accidental pricing professional? For starters, price optimization problems aren’t unique, they are pretty much the same around the globe and are usually easy to identify. It is business cultures that are unique and that is where the real challenges lie.

Here are a five key pricing tips from the presentation:

1. Where to Begin?

    • Engage in open conversations with stakeholders about pricing challenges and issues
    • Show value and expertise by Identifying some low-hanging fruit to fix immediately
    • Don’t make this just about you… bring the organization with you by letting them be part of the discovery process

2. Start off Simple:

    • Utilize the price waterfall to identify and fix gaps
    • Use a one-off project or PoC to prove value before a big rollout
    • Engage leadership before results meetings to prep them

3. Excel at Benefits Capture:

    • Create a process for identifying opportunities
    • Assign each direct report a $ benefit target
    • Develop a monthly benefits capture update

4. Open the Top-Secret Door:

    • Fix the big disconnect: align pricing strategy across marketing, product management and sales
    • Use your pricing project as an opportunity to make pricing a strategic business lever

5. Manage Upward:

    • Don’t be shy: Get the help you need from executive management to get results
    • Share the good news: Let people know about your success!

For more expert pricing advice, download the tip sheet: The Price is Right: 5 Key Steps to Optimal Pricing.

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