Congrats – your research is done, and you’ve completed the cost-benefit analysis math and the numbers that have spat out all agree that pricing software can add profitability, speed, and accuracy to your company’s pricing. However, while doing the math you’ve stumbled across the realization that you may require a little assistance in either implementing the pricing software and/or putting in place the pricing strategy that will help you yield the unique set of business outcomes that you’re seeking. For example, you may have identified that you require assistance in integrating the pricing software across all your global entities, or you need help in segmenting different strategies in the different international jurisdictions you operate in.
If that is the case for you and your business, it certainly sounds as if the moment has arrived to consider the benefits of working on the strategy and implementation of your pricing software project with a highly experienced and expert software partner.
At Pricefx, over the last 10+ years, we have signed up hundreds of new customers and on many occasions, matched them up with pricing industry partners that can assist them in achieving their unique set of business goals and getting their pricing ducks in a row. During our decade-long journey, at Pricefx, we discovered that no two businesses are identical in their scope and needs in what they require in the outcomes of their pricing software projects.
Those needs can vary from jet-propelling your pricing software with enhanced functionality, streamline effective and timely integrations or power-up consulting expertise on pricing strategy. Whatever your company’s need, a good partner can enhance your overall price optimization, price management and sales guidance solutions and decrease your time to return-on-investment.
In this article, we will dive into what a pricing software partner does, why you should and should not consider working with a pricing software partner and breakdown some of the myths and urban legend misconceptions around working with a pricing software partner.
What a Pricing Software Partner Does
There are many potential pricing software partners available that can help you find the right pricing solution or service that you require to suit your unique business needs.
Strategy Partners are often consultancy companies that can advise your business in their pricing strategies. A Strategy Partner will usually introduce businesses to a specific pricing software vendor to fit their specific requirements but may choose not to become involved in the implementation of the software. Increasingly in recent years, smaller boutique strategy partners firms partnering with smaller businesses have popped up to assist in implementations and integrations to add value and service to their customers who may not have those skill sets.
System Integrators (SI) have a range of consultancy and technical skills required to implement and integrate a pricing software solution with your other business systems like e-commerce platforms, CRMs (Customer Relationship Management Systems), ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning) and more. A System Integrator will provide the right tools to connect your systems and even let you know if certain systems can or even should be connected. Your end-to-end result will be a customized pricing system where all parts of your pricing system are functioning harmoniously across all your sales channels – to enable you to precisely achieve the business objectives your company is seeking.
There are other specialized types of pricing software partners like Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and other technology partners, and value-added reseller (VAR) partners, however, their services tend to be highly specialized.
For the practical purposes of your streamlining and maximizing your potential business outcomes, we will drill down further into specifically why you should and should not consider strategy and system integrator pricing software partners for your organization.
What Are the Drawbacks of Using a Pricing Software Partner?
Wait a minute, there are drawbacks to using a pricing software partner? That’s breaking news! We are joking, but to be honest, most of the drawbacks that come to mind about using a pricing software partner are mitigated by the possible benefits involved.
That said, some of the cons of using a partner that we have heard from potential pricing software partner customers in the past include;
A perception exists that pricing software partner is not as knowledgeable about your specific pricing software vendor in terms of its implementation or strategic pricing functions.
Using a pricing software partner is an expensive and unnecessary cost.
The pricing software partner does not know or have experience working in my region or jurisdiction.
Turning the idea on its head, these concerns are actually genuine benefits of using a pricing software partner as we will discuss below.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Pricing Software Partner?
Let’s take a close examination of the benefits your company can enjoy by working closely with a pricing software partner:
Pricing Expertise: In general, pricing software partners (regardless if they are strategy advisors or system integrators) are experts in their chosen fields.
As a result, by working with a partner to power–up and add value to your pricing software you are consulting with an employing the deepest possible knowledge pool, the best set of pricing-specific resources with a deeper bench of qualified professionals and a wider skill set. What’s more, your potential partner may have previously worked with implementing or setting up a strategy with your chosen pricing software before.
Essentially it is going to be cost and time advantageous to work with a partner as they have the widest possible skillset to apply: For example, looking at the Pricefx specific functionality, if you’re looking for, say, a Sales Compensation solution and your software partner has set up Pricefx for another client before, they have the range of experience and skills to get it done easier, quicker, and at less cost and with less pain.
Scalability and growing your business across multiple jurisdictions: If your business is a global or even a large national business, it is a huge advantage to work in with a pricing software partner. In terms of geographical presence, you can scale easier with partners. Partners tend to have a large pool of global contacts, and other skilled offshore human resources that they can apply 24/7/365 in multiple applications across most time zones. On most occasions, in a cloud–native pricing software implementation process many of the resources and people involved are going to be offshore somewhere from California to Europe to India, Brazil or the Middle East. What’s more, having access to a large global pool of qualified and experienced people to pull from to assist in your strategy development or integration is a big plus.
Change Management: Pricing software partners usually carry a deep change management skill set that the software vendors simply cannot maintain. It makes sense as pricing software vendors are spending most of their time doing what they do best, making and developing the best possible software for you.
On the other hand, if your company is looking for a partner to help implement a pricing software application, there is usually a component of change management that they are evaluating. A component of strategy evaluation always takes place as to how the software is going to change prior business behaviors and how that affects your organization. For example, knowing how you document business processes that are in current state and transition them to a future state, those are all those skills that have been developed into a deep bench of capabilities and practices that many pricing software partners use each-and-every day.
Discovering Your Company’s Value: Partners not only help you in implementing your pricing software, but also advise you as to how to get the most value from the technology and apply it to your business. Because strategizing and implementing is what most pricing software partners do day-in/day-out, the chances are that they have seen first-hand most of all the good, bad, and ugly pricing strategies out there. Of course, your company is unique – they may not have seen your set of pricing pain points before – but the chances are that they will have seen something remarkably similar, and they will know exactly what to do. The world of pricing software is a boutique and niche one and so are the problems that can pop up. Getting pricing craftspeople to attend to your specialized pricing solutions and unearth the fastest possible time to value is only natural, right?
Partners have solved data cleansing issues before: A huge component of the successful initiation of a pricing software implementation is data quality. Data quality is always something that needs to be evaluated, needs to be discussed, and all-too-often needs to be improved in every company, particularly when you’re looking at how that data feeds into a pricing system. You might have heard the saying before about data and business results emanating from that data; “put garbage in and you’ll get garbage out.” Good, clean data makes for great data analysis on the pathway to good results and positive business outcomes.
Partners are working from the experience gathered from a broad background of companies and can apply those solutions to specific implementation and strategic problems when they rear their ugly heads. With a base of pricing-skilled resources, partners ultimately problem-solve quicker and provide a faster time to value.
Testing and Certification Procedures: For your peace of mind and to ease your implementation concerns, you’ll be interested to know that external pricing software partners go through precisely the same training and certification procedures that internal staff do at many pricing software vendors. In fact, while individual pricing software companies may vary, we find here at Pricefx we have more people outside of our company trained and certified in how our pricing software works than we have inside our company.
Bring Pricing Expertise & Time to Value with a Partner
Despite an existing perception that a pricing software partner just turns up at the last minute to make a minor tweak to your system, takes their paycheck and moves on, in fact the opposite is true. A pricing software partner usually knows pricing strategy and implementation far better than pricing software vendors do themselves, as it is quite simply what they do. A quality pricing software partner may have deeper, specific industry expertise than a pricing software vendor could ever have.
Every pricing software partner will give you different perspectives on different elements of your pricing and many pricing software users multiple strategic and implementation partners. They each can supply a different skill set and bring their knowledge to bear to point your business in the right direction. And the decision is yours to make, giving you more flexibility to digitally transform your enterprise.
Senior Channel Alliance Manager in Ecosystem ,
Steve Haskin has over 20 years of progressive experience in pricing technology and building and managing top performing global sales & marketing alliances. His background ranges from early-stage San Francisco startups to global enterprises. Steve has been with Pricefx for more than 3 years after 9 years in Private Equity. His first-hand knowledge of the benefits of a world class ecosystem has helped Pricefx build a unique affiliation of partners.