When it comes to determining the price of your products, having the right information is crucial. Similarly, before contacting a pricing vendor, it is important to have a clear understanding of what you want out of the experience. For example, it is important to have a clear understanding of your organization’s goals and objectives. Are you looking to increase market share, build brand awareness, or simply drive sales? Knowing your goals will help you work with your pricing vendor to develop a pricing strategy that aligns with your business objectives and helps you achieve your desired outcomes. But there may be a whole lot more to it than that for your company, and every business differs in what they may require from a pricing software solution.
For example, many of you may have already crossed the pricing software acceptance bridge only to find that your IT Team are busy with another internal project like upgrading other systems like your CRM or ERP and simply don’t have the energy, resources, or time for another project right now.
At Pricefx, as an experienced and customer-focused pricing software vendor, we’ve overcome this frustrating obstacle before and many other impediments like it for our customers, to finalize and implement their pricing software project on more occasions than you might imagine.
Pricing is hard and pricing is complicated and requires thoughtful planning – there’s a lot more involved in getting pricing software up-and-running than simply downloading Google Chrome or updating your PC. So, due to popular demand, we have put together this article, ‘Everything You Need Before Contacting a Pricing Vendor’ and we will cover a range of things that your company can do to prepare before you contact a pricing software provider.
The 7 Steps to Take Before Contacting a Pricing Software Vendor
Before contacting a pricing software vendor, it is important to assess your business needs and determine the key features you require from a pricing software solution. This may include things like evaluating your current pricing strategies, considering your budget and the return on investment (ROI) you expect from the software, analyzing your competitors’ pricing, and/or determining your target profit margins. Each business will have a unique user story to address. Comparing different vendors and their offerings can be also important to ensure that you are choosing the right one for your business needs.
Having a clear understanding of your needs and expectations before reaching out to a vendor will help you communicate effectively and make an informed decision. Let’s look at the most important things to think clearly about before contacting a pricing software vendor;
1. Focus on Your Business Problem not the Pricing Software Product
Understand the root cause of why you started looking at pricing software in the first place. It could be something as simple as you noticed in your transaction data that your company had a record of selling goods below cost and you want to solve that. Or you may want to better manage your pricelists and turn your current two-month-long manual global price list update into an automated and scheduled 20-minute process once every week or month.
Whatever it is for your business, consider the expectation of what it is that the pricing software will solve. Understanding the needs, motivations, issues, problems and challenges of your situation, looking at what your business is trying to achieve to identify and fix the problems that may make you lose sleep at night.
Don’t come to a pricing software vendor and tell them; “My pricing is broken. Please fix it”.
Knowing what your top-of-mind problems are that you need solved and communicating them to your chosen pricing vendor will result in a great discovery call and in turn, to a customized and targeted pricing software demo that allows you to see how your pricing solution will eventually fit into your organization and how it will solve your unique business issues and needs.
2. Have a Change Management Plan
Buying pricing software can be a scary prospect. It’s a big investment. To effectively manage the range of potential pain points that may hinder the success of your organization’s change management initiative, your company will need to develop a comprehensive change management plan that outlines the steps required to manage the change in addition to the inclusion of a range of key stakeholders and end-users in the process. This will require careful planning and preparation, as well as effective communication and engagement with stakeholders and end-users.
A change management roadmap provides a framework for effectively managing change within your business, and should outline the steps required, including, but not limited to (depending on your company’s unique business model.
3. Define Your Company’s User Stories & Gather Internal Intel
In a pricing software project, an example of a user story might be written as:
“As a sales representative, I want to be able to quickly and easily adjust the prices of our products, so that I can respond to changes in the market and stay competitive.”
Or another pricing software related user story could be;
“As a pricing analyst, I want to generate automated reports on revenue and profit margins with different pricing scenarios, so that I can make informed decisions on pricing strategy.”
Define your user stories to communicate your business requirements from a value perspective before contacting a pricing vendor. While it is great that you have identified that, for example, your business has a problem with uploading pricing data and your team works late into the night several evenings at every month’s end updating pricelists.
Instead, imagine what success will look like for you and your company.
Does success look to you like price list updates done in minutes rather than weeks?
Do you foresee a situation where you can benefit from price list simulations and gain insights such as the impacts on margin per SKU or per customer, or quick calculations of your rebates?
Every single company will have a different and defined user story. For example, check out the video below of how giant German energy giant Bosch Thermotechnik specifically targeted and successfully increased their rebate efficiency by 50% with the Pricefx rebate management functionality:
Consult and/or interview other internal teams that may be impacted by your company’s user stories. For example, consider speaking to all or a range of departments across your organization before contacting a pricing vendor:
Discounts & Promotions Team
And naturally, don’t forget – the Pricing Team!
Most pricing software vendors will be able to know or guess what your company’s high-level requirements will be from your pricing software.
However, if you can narrow down precisely what your organization’s unique user stories are, you will soon differentiate your business from the pack. That means that the chances of getting your pricing solution up-and-running and successfully driving towards your business goals faster will dramatically increase.
Make sure you incorporate a high-level overview and a resulting plan to have the work finalized.
4. Align Your Departments for Pricing Success
There is a no diplomatic way to explain this, but if the distinct departments of your organization are all working as separate entities and not working as a gelled unit, then your pricing may forever be doomed to failure.
Symbiosis can be a powerful force in a business and having everyone across a range of your company’s departments aligned towards the same shared organizational goal, or in this case, a company-wide pricing strategy driving value is critical.
5. Understand How Your Organization Buys & Define Who Is in Charge
It’s difficult to provide an exact percentage of companies that already have a pricing software solution, as the adoption of software for automating pricing varies greatly across different industries and company sizes. However, it’s safe to say most companies still use Excel, but an increasing number of companies are investing in pricing software.
However, the minority of enterprise-level companies are still without any experience in purchasing a pricing software solution, but they usually do have prior knowledge of buying some form of SaaS software such as Adobe, Atlassian, Microsoft 365, Salesforce or Zoom.
And while of course, a SaaS pricing software solution is a slightly different beast, reach out to your company colleagues as to what went well with the previous SaaS purchases, what did not, how did they secure executive buy-in and budget for the purchase, who did they include in the buying process (and importantly, excluded from process), and if they have any further knowledge or advice to offer on their previous SaaS software purchase.
Of course, every company is arranged a little differently, however, depending on your organizational structure, you might want to consider consulting the following and have a point person that will head up the project;
Ultimate Decision – Maker (e.g., Pricing Manager, Manager of Account Executives, Head of Marketing and/or Sales etc.)
IT Manager or IT Program Manage
Sales Operation Staff/Other Potential End-Users
Procurement departments vary among companies in terms of procedures and processes due to differences in company size, industry, and specific goals and needs. Each company may have its own unique approach to sourcing, evaluating suppliers, negotiating contracts, and managing relationships with vendors. Learn how your company buys before contacting a pricing vendor.
6. Do Your Research
Before contacting a pricing software provider, it’s important to research the market (pricing software partners, case studies, G2 and/or Gartner) to ensure you get the best product for your needs. This involves comparing different software options, reading reviews and ratings, and considering other factors such as compatibility with your existing systems, cost, and support. Don’t be afraid to read the case studies and contact the company directly if you have questions.
What’s more, the pricing vendors themselves will have a range of articles that may answer your exact questions. Check out the Pricefx Learning Center to get blog article or video answers to more than 200 of your questions.
Additionally, it can be helpful to reach out to colleagues and industry experts for recommendations and insights into their experiences with various software products.
By taking the time to research the market, you can make an informed pricing software decision that aligns with your goals and budget.
7. Get Mentally Prepared – Accept That Things Can & Will Go Wrong
Implementing a new pricing software project involves multiple stages, from planning to execution and deployment. Despite all the efforts put into planning and preparation, things can and will go wrong. Accepting this reality before even contacting the vendor is pragmatic and being prepared for steps it is crucial to the success of the project.
If you (like most companies) have never purchased pricing software before, it is inevitable that there will be points of frustration and clarification. It could be that you are simply frustrated that your demo did not take place before the discovery call. But defer to your vendor, they have been through all this before and know what works best.
A robust discovery process will help both parties to understand the needs, motivations, issues, problems, and challenges of your situation, looking at what your business is trying to achieve to identify and fix the problems that may make you lose sleep at night.
A great pricing software discovery call can set the foundation stone for crafting a customized, targeted demo that will allow you to see how your pricing solution will fit into your organization, identify problems before they occur, and how it will solve your unique business issues and needs.
You will never get all your ducks in a row beforehand, so be prepared for a range of problems to rear their ugly heads. For example, one common issue is a lack of clear communication and expectations between the stakeholders and project team. Misaligned expectations can result in project delays, budget overruns, and decreased user satisfaction. To prevent this, it is important to establish clear lines of communication beforehand and ensure that all parties are on the same page.
Once you have defined your organization’s user stories and have understood that you have budgetary approval, have identified who can support your pricing project, and understood how you buy, then go ahead and speak with software vendors!
Great – You’re Now Prepared to Contact Your Chosen Pricing Vendor
Now you know that before contacting a pricing vendor, it is important to have a clear understanding of your pricing needs and how they align with your organization’s business goals, including the type of pricing strategies you want to implement, and your own internal capabilities and structure.
But is that all there is to know? At Pricefx, as an experienced and award-winning pricing software vendor, we have developed an understanding that you need to keep an eye on the future too. How can you ensure your team will use the software once you have it up-and-running?
User adoption is a key factor in the success of a pricing software project. Users may resist change, be slow to adopt the new software, or find it difficult to use. To get prepared, check out this handy video below:
Or if you would like to learn more about choosing a pricing vendor, check out the article below:
However, if you are confident that your business has all the things you need alreadycovered off before contacting a pricing software vendor, click below to get started with of our pricing experts:
Robert Majkowski is a Sales Professional with Pricefx based in the United Kingdom. Robert has an insightful Sales Professional with 20+ years of experience and a proven track record within the SaaS / Cloud space, most recently in the Price Optimization / Sales Enablement & Content Management / Digital Asset Management (DAM) sector. On the weekends, you will find Robert exploring new towns and villages on his motorcycle.