The business benefit of a strong pricing strategy comes from how it supports your sales team in customer engagements, increasing their ability to win deals. And by “win,” we’re talking about a win for both sides: giving customers the value they need at a price point that captures the true worth of the product or service your products provide.
But how does a pricing strategy result in more wins? From a high-level perspective, it starts with providing the right price to your salespeople at the beginning of the negotiation. The right pricing strategy ensures that you’re taking all of the customer’s characteristics into account when determining a price. It also makes sure that your sales organization is following the business rules and discount discipline necessary to support your company’s strategic goals for revenue and profitability.
To break it down further, a strong pricing strategy improves sales team effectiveness in four ways: preparation, simplification, clarification and acceleration.
1) Preparing sales reps for negotiations: In any pricing scenario, an organization needs to complete two tasks: determine the best price, and deliver that price to the sales team for use in negotiations. Having a pricing strategy simplifies both of those tasks, providing reps with an informed position.
Using data-driven price optimizationhelps you determine exactly the right price for winning the deal, and quickly deliver that price guidance to the sales team. Because the price you’re providing is based on facts, reps have greater confidence when having a conversation with a customer. When they know the price is defensible, they’re less likely to shift into discount mode if the customer pushes back.
2) Simplifying order management: Say you’ve submitted a quote and want to turn it into an order, but then decide to change that price. This creates a lot of back-and-forth activity with different iterations of the order, causing churn within your order management system.
A pricing strategy improves order cycle times because it reduces the number of changes made at the order stage. Since you start the sales process by being meticulous about the price and managing the negotiation, it improves the accuracy of your quoting process. By reducing the number of iterations of the quote, it reduces the number of churns, which results in faster, more predictable SLA performance.
3) Clarifying contracts management: Having a strong pricing strategy delivers clear and consistent pricing. This in turn clarifies contracts management, allowing for better contract performance and compliance. Once you’ve set a price for a contract, you’re able to outline rules about how often to review that pricing to ensure the customer receives a fair price over time. The right pricing strategy and policy helps your sales team be more effective in contract negotiations and managing contract performance and compliance.
4) Accelerating time-to-quote: When you’re using a pricing strategy, especially in combination with a Configure, Price, Quote solution (CPQ), your sales team is able to generate quotes more quickly and with fewer iterations. This gives sales reps time to quote more opportunities in a workday, with dramatic results. Research by the Aberdeen Group shows that with CPQ and pricing optimization, reps are able to pump out 20 to 21 quotes a week, compared to 14 quotes when not using these tools. An additional benefit of reducing the time-to-quote is that it improves the customer experience, due to increased speed and responsiveness.
As with any strategic project, it’s important to measure the impact of your pricing strategy by tracking improvements in win rates, margins, order cycle times, contract compliance and quote turnaround time.
In the end, the right pricing strategy drives revenue and profitability by arming your sales team with prices that win and technology that increases speed while ensuring that your reps follow business rules and discount discipline.
Starting with data-driven pricing leads to efficiencies and ultimately increases sales team effectiveness. Not only is your sales team more productive, but it’s also empowered to do more at a smarter price, which should dramatically increase your wins.
Learn how PROS Sales Effectiveness Solutions make your selling and quoting easier and more profitable while improving the sales experience for your customers.