Large-scale corporate initiatives have a tendency to fail without executive buy-in. We have all experienced the frustrations of attempting to adopt new software in accounting, sales, marketing, or other organizations. Without the support of key players in your organization, be it those who write the checks or those who can muster wide support, you may struggle to get the initiative started, implemented on time and within budget. Or (and we shudder to think) the software gets implemented but the people you bought it for won’t use it.
The reality is getting buy-in on modern pricing technology is not always the cut-and-dried slam dunk it appears to be on paper. However, once it has been implemented and gotten over the line with the help of strong leadership, pricing software will empower your business to hit its targets.
At Pricefx, we have assisted scores of businesses to implement pricing software and have guided our customers in securing executive buy-in to their pricing projects.
In this article, we will discuss a four-step procedure for facilitating executive buy-in on pricing software in your business ASAP.
Step 1: Identify Which Executive(s) You Need Buy-In From at Your Company
For a start, you need to ensure that you are pitching the adoption of pricing software to the correct executive arm in your organization.Every company has a different corporate structure and culture. In yours, the correct decision-maker on the project could be the vice-president of sales or the director of pricing. In another, it may be the vice-president of sales operations or even a company director who has the final say on the uptake of pricing software. In yet another company model, employing a one-on-one approach to each influential member of your company’s executive team may be preferable.
Sometimes, the more decision-makers personally contribute to the pricing software implementation project, the more invested they become, and they are also less likely to change their minds.
At the end of the day, you will need to influence the strongest leadership sector (individual or group) in the executive arm of your company. For example, if your pricing team believes that price optimization is for them, and the sales team does not, a strong leader can break down the barriers to get it across the implementation finish line.
However, do not confuse managerial buy-in with executive buy-in. While it is nice to also have managerial buy-in (a committee-based style of decision-making and leadership), pricing software buy-in may rest with the strongest individual level of leadership usually residing at the executive level of your business.
Remember that someone from the executive team could also end up becoming your project sponsor (i.e., the person who will ultimately write the check on implementation). So, make sure you identify the person who is most likely to be involved in the process.
Step 2: Articulate the Benefits of the Return on Investment of Pricing Software
Securing the buy-in of your business leaders on the decision to implement pricing software must make financial sense. In terms of the leadership in your company, the ‘light-bulb moment’ of rationalization usually comes in terms of return on investment (ROI).
Executive buy-in of pricing software depends on what it will cost, and, of course, the extra that they will see as ROI. Additionally, focus on other benefits that will potentially resolve existing price leakages through fast implementation. For example, byemphasizing the ROI timeframe, you show that you will help your company to either save or make more money.
If you don’t have buy-in on implementing pricing software from a strong leader in your organization, then almost certainly your pricing software implementation project will take longer than you expect. Achieving consensus on the project being an organizational priority will be more difficult without having the key decision-makers in your corner. Time to implementation and, therefore, ROI, could potentially drag out as a result.
Step 3: Show How Pricing Software Can Resolve Issues for Your Company Before They Occur
Frequently, if executives cannot perceive the relevance of an idea to organizational performance or the company’s bottom line, they may not deem it important enough to merit their attention. However, there is an almost universal means for grabbing your decision makers’ attention when adopting advanced pricing technology.
Showing them how intuitive pricing solutions that can respond to market forces in real-time can remedy any potential pricing issues both quickly and profitably before they become problems.
For instance, companies that depend on raw materials can potentially experience rapid price changes in their indices over abbreviated time periods. Present to your executive decision-makers how price optimization software can respond to intensely fluctuating raw material price changes in real-time, rather than a three-month pricing time lag. It is sure to have them listening to the money-saving/profit-building opportunities on offer, not to mention proactive change management and issue-solving.
One of the greatest assets of modern pricing technology is that it can be implemented quickly, and once it has been, that inherent speed of implementation means a faster time to ROI.
The technology is both easily configurable and comes with accelerated models that allow your business to get it up and running quickly, meaning your organization can start getting quotes out to your clients faster and more accurately, and transparently than ever before. Pricing software and Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software technology enable organizations to move faster, focus on required business changes, and respond to customers quickly as things develop.
For example, imagine a humid 95-degree (Fahrenheit) mid-July day in Houston, Texas, or a baking oven-like 108-degree August day in Phoenix, Arizona. Any air-conditioning company worth its salt in those parts will know full well that the first company to get their quote in the hands of a new start-up company without AC will win the deal. This is exactly what modern pricing solutions allow you to do.
Answering the Right Questions Before They’re Asked
Now that you have learned the four steps for securing executive buy-in of pricing software, you are no doubt keen to get started on answering one of the questions an executive will ask, “How Much Does Pricing Software Cost?” (see article link below)
By showing the relevant stakeholders that you’re a few steps ahead of them, you will gain their trust. This gets you one step closer to getting a solution that can support your needs. At Pricefx, we know from a decade worth of experience that having key decision-makers fully invested in the implementation process will help you to use the full power of the technology to your business advantage faster.
Vicki Roberts helps companies maximize their profits and improve margins through Price Management and Optimization tools. She has over 30 years of experience helping enterprises ensure they are implementing state of the art technology and helping enable the change management process associated with these solutions.