In the field of Value Management, a vast wealth of untapped knowledge lies trapped within the minds of sales professionals, pricing experts and marketing strategists. All too often, that’s where it stays, with no connections made between the silos.
Brian Carroll, author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, claims there is a dramatic breakdown in communication between sales and marketing in over 90% of companies. That breakdown leaves a lot of money on the table.
All too often, the sales team knows what’s really happening in the trenches, while pricing has the tools to create offers that maximize profit margin. But pricing does not share its tools with the sales force, it simply delivers prices. When these meet buyer resistance sales assumes that pricing doesn’t really understand the market and pricing assumes that sales are too focused on meeting targets and winning commissions to do the extra work needed to win the price. Meanwhile, sales and pricing both think that marketing is off in some world of its own, establishing messages and positioning that don’t help establish prices or win sales.
In fact, there is important expertise in all three business functions. This expertise tends to come in two forms: one is professional expertise, gained from years of formal and informal learning and adoption of best practices; the other is direct experience with customers and competitors. Both forms of knowledge are essential to creating targeted value messages that incorporate real customer and competitor data. Given disparate organizational cultures, the question is how to do that?
At LeveragePoint we tackle this problem in three ways. We build expertise and best practices into on-line solutions that are shared across the organization. Data is collected and organized with these tools, making it reusable and actionable. Then, as people use the tools, the ways in which they modify and adapt them, and the results in the market are tracked and used to drive constant improvement.
Pricing analysts build value models using the Economic Value Estimation ™ methodology and work with marketing to translate these models into value communication packages. Sales gets value communications packages that blend together the pricing logic and data (and not just the price) with targeted and tested marketing messages. They use these packages while selling, modifying them as necessary to reflect more precise information about the customer and competitors and rating the effectiveness of specific messages. These changes are fed back to pricing and marketing and get woven into modified value models, messages and pricing strategies.
LeveragePoint’s online solution helps professionals in all three functions move beyond what they know towhat is known. Information flows back and forth in the background as people do their day-to-day work. Sales people don’t actually have to talk to marketing people; the software does that for them. But they both gain the value of “the conversation that never took place.” The truly successful companies of this decade are likely to be those that have discovered the difference between simply having great processes and data, and actually learning how to use them.