A salesperson in a room full of Global Pricing Directors, Strategic Pricing Managers, Value Analysts and the like, surely feels a little nervous. But in the presence of a sales rep, so should all the pricing professionals. When pricing teams have spent hours with spreadsheets and sophisticated software systems coming up with detailed calculations to arrive at the most appropriate cost-based, competition-based or value-based price, salespeople are the ones that take that price out to the customer — and discount it.
If only sales people did as they were told and stopped arguing, then B2B enterprises would be able to achieve targeted prices much more easily, right? Well, the problem that sales reps have and many pricers don’t have on a regular basis is that they have to meet the customer. As one sales manager recently told me, “pricing is like planning the perfect final play in the comfort of the locker room, but not having to actually go out and run it, and not providing the players with the information needed to play either!”
In order to coordinate the play effectively you need intelligence from the front line. This is where the sales role as a key communication focus becomes critical. Sales is the hub. They are the link for information coming into the business — the kind of information that helps the company really understand:
- The customer and their value drivers
- The things that are important to them
- The issues they face
- The opportunities they are seeking to address
This allows B2B enterprises to then develop a differentiated solution for the salesperson to take back out to the customer to present, sell, and achieve the pricing team’s sophisticatedly calculated, value-based price.
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About Mike Wilkinson
Mike Wilkinson has over 25 years of world-wide training and consultancy experience and was the 2013 Training Journal award winner for best sales programming. Mike is the co-author of The Challenge of Value and Value Based Pricing (McGraw Hill 2012), and has written many articles on managing major sales and value. He is a Fellow at the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management, and a member of the Professional Speakers Association and the Global Speakers Federation. Axia Value Solutions helps businesses and individuals maximize their sales effectiveness through both an enhancement of their sales skills and the development and adoption of robust sales processes. Axia’s primary focus is on developing a value centered approach that enables clients to understand the real value that their products and services deliver to customers, by differentiating, communicating and pricing their solutions more effectively. Learn more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.