With the pressure always on to reach the sales quota, reps typically want to spend as much of their time as possible on customer-facing tasks rather than administrative tasks, such as managing data as part of the pricing strategy.
When sales reps must also generate their own reports and manually pull information from different data warehouses or reporting systems, it’s highly time-consuming and stressful. Today’s pricing software greatly reduces this burden, and gets your reps back to what they do best: selling.
A typical sales rep probably doesn’t have the analytical skills to generate a correct price on their own based on transactional and market data. Price analysis and approvals are time-intensive tasks for sales reps, especially in organizations that rely on inefficient manual processes. For example, sales reps may email their proposals to an approver before sending it to the customer, but the correct approvers to contact could vary depending on the account, order size, product configuration, etc.
Why manual pricing is a headache
For pricing organizations with manual or poorly integrated processes, data collection is a major pain point. As you move from data collection to analysis, approval and monitoring, you soon see the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of this manual process.
As organizations go through mergers and acquisitions over the years, they tend to inherit additional systems; these multiple systems make it difficult to implement a strong pricing strategy. As a result, an employee has to manually collect data from different systems before they’re ready to begin analyzing a price. To make sense of this fragmented data, they typically try combining it in an Excel spreadsheet created for the purpose. This manual cut-and-paste approach tends to produce frustrating errors that further slow the sales process.
After the price analysis, there’s the quoting component. How does the pricing organization deliver the current prices to sales reps? Reps need this information at their fingertips to avoid a lengthy approval process or having to do their own analysis.
Finally, there’s the monitoring phase. Companies often use pricing software to implement their pricing strategy, but have no way to determine if that pricing strategy is working. For example, when one of your sales reps quotes a solution for a customer, that solution may include a variety of products, ranging from high to low margins. Unless you’re using pricing software correctly to monitor your strategy, it’s difficult to tell which customers are only buying the low-margin products from you, rather than the broader solution you’re focused on selling.
How pricing software streamlines the sales process
One of the main benefits of pricing optimization software is the ease of analysis. The software brings pricing, customer and transactional data together in one place, eliminating the manual tasks of gathering and compiling data from different sources. By implementing pricing software, you could reduce the staff time spent on analysis by 50 to 80 percent.
Using the pricing software’s customer segmentation, micro-segmentation and negotiation guidance, you’re able to automatically deliver a target price for an individual customer in real time. With this pricing guidance, reps know when to walk away from a bad deal, improving discount discipline. This guidance is especially useful in conjunction with integrated quoting systems and CRM tools, creating a streamlined workflow.
Sales reps know it’s important to keep the sales process moving, and want to get deals approved quickly and get them in front of a customer. Pricing guidance and an integrated workflow provide reps with additional confidence that they’re making the right decisions. They know they’re providing a competitive price that’s good for both the company and the customer, and know they’ll get a timely approval.
Learn how PROS Pricing Effectiveness solutions equip your company to outperform the competition and drive market trends.