Managing a Pricing Portfolio

Hi Mark,

IÕve been a pricing practitioner for many years now, with experience in several industries on the individual contributor and manager level. It has always allowed me to dive into the business and influence revenue in a positive way by becoming engaged in the business and seeking out opportunities for price/process/strategy improvement.

An opportunity is shaping up to move into a pricing director role, with responsibility for several business units. These all operate with their own management, in different markets, with different products and pricing. If this opportunity materializes, I will have less time to dive in and understand the business firsthand, which would be a big change. A portfolio of situations will present itself to me. How do I manage this portfolio? What criteria should I understand about the market and the pricing strategies, processes and results to get a lay of the land? How should I prioritize?

Thank you,

M


Hi M,

First, congratulations. Obviously, youÕve done a great job as an individual contributor. YouÕve had a chance to implement several pricing techniques. Now things will change.

As director of pricing, you are more of a consultant, coach and educator to different departments within your company. In this role, let me share a few lessons that served me well.

  1. Nobody wants you to tell them what to do.

You donÕt have any power. The business units make all of the decisions. You need to work with each business unit with an attitude of service. How can you help them be more successful? Often pricing teams take the lead on collecting and processing data like win/loss analysis or scatterplots. Show other departments how to use these, but donÕt be upset if they donÕt. You are an asset to them, not their boss.

  1. Help everyone else win.

Have lots of meetings. Ask them what their goals are. What issues do they have with pricing? How does it affect their job or get in the way of achieving their goals? DonÕt defend anything. DonÕt promise anything. Be curious. You are there to listen. The more you listen and demonstrate that you understand their issues, the more they will trust you. Eventually, you will make suggestions. Show how these new ideas can help each person get closer to their goals.

  1. Start with small wins.

A lot of ideas will come from these meetings. Some people may even ask you for help. Look for the low hanging fruit where some easy price adjustments should have big impact. Then start to pick up some bigger projects. You should spend a lot of time helping business units think through the value that their products deliver to customers. Maybe you can go on win/loss calls with them to help understand how the market perceives your value.

  1. Take on a BIG idea.

After youÕve spent six months to a year working on the first three hints, you can swing for the fences. During all of your conversations, you have likely run into a big roadblock inside the company. It may be the systemÕs ability to quote, or segment prices, or the way the company handles contracts with huge customers or the interface with the distribution channel. To fix this roadblock, it will likely affect almost every department in the company, including every business unit, the sales organization, customer support and especially finance.

Have more meetings with people in the departments that will be affected. Listen to everyoneÕs concerns. Brainstorm solutions with the different departments. Once you have what you believe is the best solution, you need to sell it department by department, person by person.

Do NOT have a huge meeting where you present your proposal. It wonÕt go well. One person at a time. After you have buy-in from most people, then approach the CEO to fund this project.

This is a multi-year project, but itÕs so worth it. It will have a huge impact on the company and on your career. You will transform from being a director of pricing to a leader in the company.

IÕm sure there are many more hints. IÕd love to hear from any readers on what they have done or seen work well.

Good luck and keep me informed.

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Mark Stiving

Mark Stiving

Mark Stiving is chief pricing educator with Impact Pricing LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn

More from Pragmatic

Related Content

Recommended Content

Trending Content

Virtual conference, morning meeting online. A young woman is using app on pc for connection with colleagues, employees, she is writing in notebook. Video call with many multiracial people togethe

How to Overcome 8 Common Market Visit Barriers

For many reasons, you might find it hard to get face-to-face with customers and prospective customers. We’re going to outline a more sustainable path that overcomes these common problems. We’ll even discuss some advantages if we think of these circumstances not as constraints but as opportunities. 

VIEW
A person scheduling market visits

A Meeting Scheduling System for Market Visits

So, why talk about the mechanics of setting up meetings? The simple answer is the act of setting up meetings with buyers and users is time-consuming and difficult. I work with clients all the time who keep reporting that the actual process of setting meetings with their buyers or their users can be an impediment to achieving a specific quantity of meetings they want to have in a given quarter.  But, if you don’t get meetings, the NIHITO principle is limited in its impact. I’m going to share strategies to identify your audience and effectively set up meetings. 

VIEW

Sign up to stay up to date on the latest industry best practices.

Training on Your Schedule

Fill out the form today and our sales team will help you schedule your private Pragmatic training today.

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Phone
Company
Job Title
Location
How can we help you?
Preferred method of contact
Privacy Policy*

Training on Your Schedule

Fill out the form today and our sales team will help you schedule your private Pragmatic training today.

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Phone
Company
Job Title
Location
How can we help you?
Preferred method of contact
Privacy Policy*

Subscribe

Subscribe

Download Now

Stay Informed

Sign up to stay up-to-date on the latest industry best practices. Get content such as:

    • The Pragmatic – Industry insider magazine
    • The ever-growing webinar series 
    • Our world-class podcast series

Subscribe