Choosing Pricing Software: What Questions Should You Be Asking?
July 1st, 2021 | 8 min. read
By Randy Spal
Choosing Pricing Software: What Questions Should You Be Asking?
Choosing a pricing solution is an important decision and a major commitment – one that has the potential to make or break your pricing efficiency and success.
If you’re at the software vendor evaluation phase of your pricing digital transformation journey, you’ll have got past all the buzzwords and sales hype, and will be getting down to the nitty gritty of what each company can offer you and whether it will help you get where you want to go.
You’ll have whittled down your potential vendor list to include only those that deliver:
- A pricing-specific solution – because you’ve learned the hard way that general business intelligence tools like Excel require hours of manual work to maintain, often leading to errors. You’re painfully aware that they can’t provide the insights you need in order to remain competitive or the tools with which to execute pricing in a timely manner. You need pricing-specific software that will become your single source of truth for all your pricing data.
- A cloud-based solution – having suffered with on-premise inefficiencies for so long, you’ve put going to a cloud-based solution among your top priorities. Why waste precious resources on servers, coolers and the people to look after them when there are vendors out there offering to take care of it all for you – including free and seamless updates and non-disruptive upgrades – all for the price of their monthly subscription. You also want to benefit from the extra security and scalability a cloud solution brings.
- On your budget – going cloud also makes your transformation smoother and faster as you don’t have to fund a massive upfront investment to get started. You can balance your infrastructure budget over a longer period, doing away with all the above-mentioned costs altogether! And you can test the waters with your chosen vendor’s offerings, adding and subtracting features or modules till you find the mix that’s perfect for your business and budget.
- The required integrations – your pricing and sales teams insist they cannot do without their ERP/ SAP/CPQ, so you’re looking for a pricing solution that can seamlessly integrate with your current technology stack. This way you can benefit from the capabilities it will bring while keeping the learning curve and potential pushback to a minimum.
Once you’ve got your shortlist of vendors who offer those basic requirements, you’ll start delving deeper, asking for demos and entering into discussions with vendor sales teams.
The Number One Question You Should Be Asking
At Pricefx, our Business Development Representatives take calls from Pricing Leads all the time, each of whom have a long list of questions. And we’re happy to oblige.
One question we get asked a lot is about our other clients: “What other companies do you work with?”
We completely understand why they ask this. They want to know that others in their industry trust us. They want to know that we can deal with companies of a certain size. They want assurance that our software will be able to take them to where they want to go. Some are worried that if they’re using the same tools as their competitors, they won’t have an edge. Others, that if they’re not using the same ones, they’re less able to compete.
While we’re ready to answer any questions prospective clients may have… we can’t help but wonder if they’re asking the right questions. Because our goal as a pricing solution provider is not to have a finger in every industry or to posture ourselves with big-wig clients – it’s to deliver each of our customers the pricing solution that best suits their actual needs.
That’s why we believe the real question should be: “Can you solve my problem?”
If you’re this far along your pricing transformation journey, then you’ll be all too familiar with the biggest problems you are trying to solve in your company, the pain points of your current processes, the sticking points in your workflows and the capabilities you’re lacking.
So we suggest, rather than coming to demos with a long list of questions, come with your list of problems and let the vendor do the hard work.
Simply ask: “Can you solve my problem?” Because, above all else, this is what you need. It is the reason you are looking for a pricing solution to begin with. It cuts to the chase. And the response separates the wheat from the chaff. You’ll very quickly learn which companies deserve to stay on your shortlist and which don’t make the cut.
If the problem is that you can’t derive true value from your data, we can explain how Pricefx brings it all into one place for 360° visibility and impactful insights that lead to smart data-driven pricing decisions. If your processes are slow and you’re constantly lagging behind your competitors, then we can tell you how Pricefx enables real-time pricing based on real-time data and how our system integrates with yours to allow instant updates and immediate price change executions. Perhaps you’re wanting to create pricing ladders and introduce various size mixes to your offering. Then we can show you how this is done in our system and how our simulation capabilities can predict how a new product or price change will impact the rest of your portfolio and how the customer and market might react.
The better we understand your problem, the more valuable your calls with us will be and the quicker you find your perfect match.
Other Questions Most People Aren’t Asking
1. Will I be able to learn from other industries?
The fact that a vendor isn’t already working in your industry doesn’t mean they won’t have the specific tools to solve your problem. Perhaps you’re your industry’s pioneer! Being the only one in your industry leveraging such tools is likely to push you way out in front of the competition.
Besides which, we can all learn from other industries. In fact, we recently launched our PricefxPlasma offering to help our clients measure themselves against standardized KPIs and industry-specific benchmarks as well as to enable them to learn from what other industries are doing to be competitive and maintain that edge in their space.
In this article, we explore how B2B manufacturers can benefit from how B2C manufactures are pricing. And here we discuss the power of peering into industries other than our own.
2. Is the vendor innovative? Can they help me navigate dynamic markets?
You don’t need me to tell you the importance of business agility. When you’re looking for a pricing solution, you’re not just looking for a set of fancy features, but a complete overhaul of your pricing processes so that you can respond quickly and accurately to changes in the market.
In this article, we look at how Amazon uses speed and dynamic pricing as a competitive differentiator and to disrupt the market.
Your data has to be real-time, your insights accurate and your pricing optimized. You have to be able to react with lightning speed if you want to maximize profit and stay ahead of the game. But you won’t find “Agility” listed on a feature set – it’s something that will be built into the very fabric of the software and your vendor. Find out how agile and innovative your vendor is. It takes one to grow one.
3. Will they help me get the best out of their software?
There is no point forking out for all the bells and whistles of pricing intelligence if you’re not supported in extracting its value. You’ll want to know what kind of learning curve there is. How much training will be required? Who would provide this? What does support look like once you start using the tool?
Here’s how one company ensured a seamless rollout thanks to Pricefx support and a comprehensive adoption strategy.
And here is the story of one Pricefx client who was determined to build their company’s Pricefx solution themselves and achieved complete self-sufficiency and unlimited configurability thanks to clear documentation and training from our dedicated solution architects.
A company that considers solving your problem its metric for success will be more likely to ensure you’re as comfortable and confident moving forward with your new software as you can be.
If you’re ready to start asking the right questions and discover exactly how Pricefx will solve your pricing problems, then chat with us today.