How to Engage Your Sales Team to Follow Pricing Guidance
If your sales team are stuck in their old school sales ways and not following the pricing guidance that your pricing software allows for, not only are your team making their working lives more difficult than they need be, but you are potentially missing out on the new forms of profit that modern pricing software technology allows for. For example, you are looking to leverage a price premium and use the value-based pricing strategy that your software is supporting, but your Sales Team keep discounting your prices because they are hard-wired into their beliefs that discounting is the only way to win the deal. The harrowing challenge is to overcome the intrinsically human resistance to change and have everyone heading in the same direction. In that light, in this article we are going to look at 3 ways that you can engage your Sales Team in modern data-informed pricing guidance.
At Pricefx in recent years we’ve made it possible to manage, analyze and identify the optimum price points through the data of large-scale enterprise organization’s just like yours, and use pricing as a tool to not only improve deal profitability, but to also increase the win-rate of your deals. Engaging the sales team is highly likely to be the glue that you can use the to get your pricing guidance accepted and get the power of tool driving your profitability ASAP.
In this article, we will examine the diverse ways in which pricing software technology can be used to benefit your company’s business objectives and 3 ways to ensure that your pricing team are using the technology to drive your organization’s bottom line.
Why Sales Team Engagement in Pricing Guidance is So Important
Large-scale enterprise businesses just like yours are turning increasingly towards the use of leveraging the data that sits in your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems and in some cases competitive data (if available) with a pricing solution and realizing their unique pricing niches with the use of innovative pricing software technology.
Getting the entire company onboard with the use of pricing software technology provides:
- A speedy pathway towards return-on-investment (ROI) ASAP
- Delivery of higher profits to your organization
- Improving Win Rates
- Quick price changes & responding to changing market conditions like inflation
- Allowing your pricing team to think more strategically with less manual input time
- Provide transparency to your sales teams on how discounting effects sales compensation
While securing executive buy-in by the decision-makers in your business to help make it more streamlined and more profitable, it may take a more emotional ‘what is in it for me?’ hook to secure the engagement of throughout your organization.
You can do this in 3 main ways:
- Highlight that Pricing Software will make the Lives of Your Salespersons Easier & Improve Win Rates
- Provide a Transparent Sales Compensation Tool That Clarifies Expectations & Results
- Use a CPQ Solution to Streamline Your Organization’s Quoting Procedure
1. Highlight that Pricing Software Will Make the Working Lives of Your Salespeople Easier & Improve Win Rates
As a C-level or VP manager, you may not have realized that your Sales Team are not motivated by the uptake of following pricing guidance in the same way that you might be.
As your salespeople are not responsible for signing the checks that for something of considerable cost like the introduction of a pricing software solution, they are far more like to be moved by either;
- The promise of greater work/life balance that the technology provides; and/or;
- More interesting and strategic work than Excel spreadsheet inputs
For example, highlight to your team the potential of updating your price lists of 200 000 SKUs automatically in 20 minutes at the click of a button rather than 2 months sifting through Excel spread sheets, stressed out and terrified of making a manual mistake that could cost the company millions.
Rather than staying in the office until 7PM each evening searching through spreadsheets and price lists for points where they can offer discounts or better deals for their prospects, automate your pricing insights, and give your Salespeople a ‘price corridor’ that they can understand and confidently use in their pitches.
By doing so, you are in a better place to be sending home your Sales Team home refreshed by 5 PM every day, and your team will be satisfied that they are working smarter, not harder and doing more interesting and strategic work.
Chances are that the Sales Team will start connecting and collaborating with other parts of the organization, like your Purchasing Department to enable even more proactive pricing around cost changes, or even your Finance Department, to home in on strategic goals.
A curious and engaged Salesperson is generally a happier and more productive one.
2. Provide a Transparent Sales Compensation Tool That Clarifies Expectations & Results
For many businesses, their salespeople are the main drivers of bringing in new deals, making money and increasing profitability. Naturally, you want to make sure that they are well compensated, so making the sales compensation plan effective and fair ensures that your sales team continues to be motivated to use your innovative pricing software solution to bring in deals that grow your business.
If your salespeople and account managers have a transparent technological tool to provide clear guidance and advice on how they are performing towards their targets, you can bet your bottom dollar that they will also be more open to following the data-informed guidance of your pricing software.
Consider the uptake of a modern sales compensation tool like that offered by the Pricefx Sales Compensation function as a transparent method for your salespeople to gauge how much money they will make.
However, that same Sales Compensation functionality can also add another string to your technological pricing bow.
With a little creative thinking, the Pricefx Sales Compensation tool be used as an indicator of how your organization will grow its revenue and pathways to profit by ensuring:
- Your salespeople always sell within the given guidelines
- Your salespeople sell larger deals, or alternatively;
- Your salespeople more deals depending on your business strategies (and of course, dependent on how your sales team is incentivized.
So, it’s a win-win.
You can repurpose a tool originally designed to bring clarity to salespeople and account managers on how the team are performing on their sales targets, into a method of projecting forecasts and providing you with early notification flags of the likelihood of achieving your quarterly or annual growth targets.
With that kind of crystal ball functionality (for example, the visibility to check if your organization is performing sluggishly overall against individual sales targets or not), then you could potentially go ahead and push your products more aggressively where and when required to discover profit possibilities you never previously knew you had.
3. Use a CPQ Solution to Streamline Your Organization’s Quoting Procedure
Several studies have shown that 50% of sales reps in large enterprise sales organizations are wasting their time on error correction, and other manual tasks such as data entry and writing price quotes. They are heavily relying on spreadsheets and use other outdated tools to create generic or incorrect quotes. If you need to scroll through tens of thousands of lines of data to find the exact product that you’re looking to add to your quote, errors are easy to make and secondly, it’s easy to replicate that mistake over-and-over.
If that sounds like the situation that is currently occurring in the sales department of your large-scale enterprise company, then there is a better way.
The time has potentially arrived for your organization to consider a Configure Price Quote (CPQ) Software solution to streamline and modernize your quoting procedure and to give your sales team confidence in supporting transparent and quickly generated quotes that they can defend without question.
Engage the sales team to use the CPQ pricing guidance by;
- Informing your sales team through evidence-based training that CPQ quoting will give them more time to spend doing what they do best (selling and providing excellent service) and less time on performing brain-numbing administrative jobs.
- Showing how CPQ delivers optimal pricing recommendations based on what you have done previously with comparable products and across similar client bases.
- Demonstrating how Optimal Pricing Guidance will improve Win Rates.
- Exemplifying how CPQ maximizes value-based pricing, up-selling and cross-selling opportunities to assist your sales team members in reaching personal and/or team targets on route to achieving your organization’s unique set of business objectives.
- Promoting the price negotiation process enhancement with your clients.
- Improving on the quotation productivity, as quotes are faster and easier to make.
- Emphasizing the potential work/life balance improvements that CPQ provides for them.
Now You Know How to Engage the Sales Team – What’s Next?
You are now armed with 3 key ways to ensure that your Sales Team are given the confidence and practical use cases to follow the intelligent guidance provided by your pricing software, like that offered by Pricefx.
However, is your pricing team also onboard with the potential changes that they may experience in their working lives? And is your pricing team aware that the significant long-term gains and pricing efficiencies offered by the technology may possibly come with some initial discomforts and growing pains?
Click on the image below to discover more in a handy article on the transformations that your pricing team may experience on route to automated and smart pricing solution;
About the Author
Vicki Roberts is a Senior Account Executive at Pricefx where she helps companies maximize their profits and improve margins through Price Management and Optimization tools. She has over 30 years of experience helping enterprises insure they are implementing state of the art technology and helping enable the change management process associated with these solutions.