“It’s in the game.”
The traditional core objective of pricing technology was centered on the identification of the margin leakage. The pricing team operated the software and provided sales with insights to mitigate the margin erosion. Put another way, the software served as a business intelligence support system with considerable human intervention. From the sales person’s vantage point, the pricing software was on the sideline.
Today, pricing technology is no longer on the sideline, “it’s in the game.” Modern pricing technology has taken on innovative approaches not just to find leakage and assist pricing practitioners – although pricing analysts still play a crucial user role – but to operationalize the sales community as well.
Speaking of being in the game, the 21st FIFA World Cup serves as a great example of operationalized software. Soccer was first played in ancient Rome over 2,000 years ago, and the sport evolved in England into the game we know well today. Yet, what’s not commonly known today are the technology tools that operate easily and quickly in the background to support the referees and teams. Recently, FIFA shared an interesting video on “The Hidden Technology of Football.” The league shared how the three different technologies affect the “users” throughout the 64 matches and ultimately improve the quality of the game.
The three different technologies quickly assist in accurate call making, improve game clock precision, and deliver real-time insights into player health, game performance, and more. For example, in the 2014 World Cup, France benefited from the technology when Karim Benzema’s header against Honduras crossed the goal line only for a few milliseconds yet the referees were able to award it a goal! Ultimately, the technologies seamlessly work together behind the scenes to provide dramatic improvements and elevate the game, players, and referees.
Ease of use and speed are paramount qualities for success which brings us back to pricing technology for sales professionals. Pricing technology can now deliver complex analytics in an easy to use format that helps enable more efficient and successful sales execution. Here are a few examples of how pricing technology can be a highly valued tool for sales:
- Need for Speed – According to Forrester Research, 50 percent of deals are won by the vendor that responds first. Timing is everything when securing a deal, and self-serve is fast. Analytics can now be embedded into easy to use workflows for quote creation and users can use the software to improve the likelihood of auto approval.
- The Proof is in the Pricing – Confidence breeds success, especially in sales. Thanks to easy-to-use dashboards, pricing software shows how advanced price science has built a recommendation. With one click, a salesperson can become confident with a pricing recommendation, negotiate more effectively, and avoid harmful “race-to-the-floor” tactics.
- Make Your Numbers – Many salespeople are not incented on margin which is somewhat of a paradox when considering corporate financial goals. However, almost all salespeople are compensated for revenue attainment. Today’s pricing software can now instantly provide insights into how a specific price change can help meet their quotas. It is a key differentiator when on average only 58.4% of U.S. sales reps are attaining their quota.
- Customer Insights – Thanks to Machine Learning and AI techniques to recognize patterns, pricing technology notifies the salesperson when the customer’s buying behavior changes so that sales can be proactive. Sales can adapt, serve, and exceed in satisfying their customers before it is too late.
- Volume Compliance – As the adage goes, knowledge is power. But applied knowledge is even better. Pricing technology will alert account managers when a customer gets a discount for promised volume, and the volume does not materialize. Salespeople can take that real-time information and course correct to get back on track.
Famously expressed by Leonardo da Vinci, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. This philosophy has served as a design driver at Vistaar since inception. We believe that this driving principle is what has taken pricing software off the sideline and into the game for sales. Traditional pricing technology served as primarily a source of business intelligence for pricing practitioners, but lacked clear, measurable action plans for sales. Today’s software offers intelligence in a simple yet effective design that enables an operational workflow to the sales user. The shift to operationalizing the sales process has turned pricing software into the newest MVP.
For more information on how pricing software can best serve you, please click here.
This article was authored by:
Kelly Capizzi, Associate Director, Marketing
Graduate from Millersville University of Pennsylvania