Without integrating pricing software with your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or other in-house system, you risk not only losing effectiveness and organization. You’ll also be taking random chances that you are at peril of leaving potential profit at the checkout and leaking profit margin by using unenhanced and outdated pricing methods.
Modern AI-based pricing software enables the unification of front and back-office functions and data points through automation of Salesforce, SAP, and other CRMs. The integration efficiencies unlock your data to achieve price optimization and allow you to develop innovative pricing strategies that increase profit.
At Pricefx, we’ve spent the last decade helping hundreds of global large scale enterprise companies in more than 40 countries worldwide to empower pricing as their top lever for achieving profitable growth. And the growth potential is powerful. According to a McKinsey report, a 1% price improvement can produce profitability increases of up to 8% higher. With a price optimization and management platform based on native cloud architecture, we have helped many companies become more profitable and efficient. An often overlooked part of that process has been making it as simple as possible to integrate your systems with Pricefx software as quickly and smoothly as possible.
In this article, we examine the ways that Pricefx can easily integrate with your ERP, CRM, or other in-house systems, why you should do it and how to prepare for it.
Why Integrate with Pricefx Software?
Integrate Pricefx pricing software with your CRM, ERP, or other system to fully enable your Sales and Transactional data, Customer data and Product data to become more intelligent and efficient data sets.
Think of Pricefx pricing software as a middle office solution that will unify all your systems (Front and back offices, CRM, Salesforce, SAP, and other ERPs) and embed intelligence into the data you already have available at your fingertips. With that ‘weaponized data’ constantly evolving and updating in your own in-house Salesforce or SAP CRM screen for example, you can be equipped to use it in any part of the pricing process including quotation, rebate management or even price optimization.
Once integrated, Pricefx pricing software will act as a ‘translator’ with your existing data using machine-learning intelligence to make predictive and prescriptive analysis based on your company’s unique data and make price recommendations based on it. You will know what prices your business should be offering and what other products your clients should be offered from your product list. Furthermore, keeping track of the prices your competitors are offering and the developing sales and industry trends can be used to enhance and guide your sales strategies.
What’s the best reason to integrate?
Real time automation means; no more manual updates. Achieving automation with your data sets can allow for resilient up-to-date pricing information without costly human input errors like missing decimal places on outdated Excel spreadsheets.
Systems That Pricefx Software Can Integrate With
The great news is that Pricefx software is highly adaptable and can be configured quickly, being able integrate with just about any system your company may have via one method or another.
From purpose-built connectors, good old-fashioned and dependable manual integration of text or Excel files (CSV, XML or JSON files), or an Application Program Interface (API) that requests, fetches and returns data requests, all may be used to integrate your ERP, CRM, in-house or other system. The integration will enhance the data you store in those locations and be used to drive the Pricefx pricing software to meet your business objectives. Integrations with all the systems below are possible either by existing self-help connectors or integration tools built by Pricefx.
The 3 Ways to Integrate
With Pricefx, the distinct types of integration have been given company-specific terminology, and are known as;
System Integration and;
Data Integration with Pricefx Software
Manual Data Integration
Integrating your company’s system with Pricefx pricing software may require an old-fashioned, yet dependable manual data integration using one of the in-house Pricefx tools;
Platform Manager – for ad-hoc data uploads
More accurately, they are actually automated integrations of manually produced text files being stored in a server or secure folder, rather than a data transferred requiring any manual input by an operator.
Integration is undertaken by importing a CSV, XML, JSON or other type of text data file (customer, sales and transactional or product data) from your system and into the Pricefx pricing software to transform into customized pricing decisions. This form of integration is simple; however, it does require your data set to be clean without duplicates – in other words, the single source of data truth for your company.
Automated Data Integration
Other types of Data Integration (also requiring clean data sets) include those undertaken through the automation of data transfer of;
CSV and XML files via SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)
WebService/Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) transfer of data – in XML format only
Database Tables (possible rather than preferable)
Information triggered by specific events (such as an email or a HTTPS call)
REST API (REST being an architectural style for providing standards between web-based computer systems. The API receives the data request from Pricefx and your system forwards the data to power your specific pricing requests in the Pricefx software, and then the results are delivered back to you) in JSON format.
Self-integration tools like the SAP Integration Suite and Boomi
Automated data integration with the Pricefx system is driven by the in-house tool;
Whether integrated manually or automatically, the data comes in to the Pricefx pricing software and is returned (in real-time) as approved pricelists, outgoing quotes, rebate and discount reports etc. For the IT or technically inclined, the diagram below provides a graphic representation of the data exchange that takes place;
The Data Integration method is arguably the cleanest and most uncomplicated way to integrate your ERP (such as SAP), CRM, eCommerce, Quote to Cash/CPQ, or other system with pricing software.
Specifically, with Pricefx, the Data Integration is performed in collaboration between your company and the Pricefx Integration Team. Alternatively, the use of a self-integration tool with any Boomi-registered applications or the SAP Integration Suite for SAP products is also possible.
System Integration with Pricefx Software
Pricefx pricing software can be embedded into many CRM systems (Salesforce, SAP C4C, Microsoft Dynamics and SugarCRM) to facilitate their users to remain in their familiar CRM interface with the home screen they are accustomed to and continue to be logged-in under their current CRM user account, while simultaneously using Pricefx pricing software to deliver their desired pricing outcomes.
To integrate pricing software solutions while logged-in to native CRM environments, Pricefx created plugins (called “Applications”) for those specific systems. Those plugins are available on Application Markets of the selected CRM systems outlined above, and they allow for the embedding of Pricefx core applications into the CRM systems. By meshing directly into the screens of the leading CRM solutions, the full capability of the Pricefx price optimization can be incorporated into any of the CRM processes such as quoting, pricing opportunity and/or service management.
The plug-ins require installation and expert configuration by Pricefx staff with self-help integration tools the aim for the future.
For an example of how Pricefx appears when being hosted in a CRM, please see the screen shot below of the Pricefx Quote Configurator live in the Salesforce CRM.
Frontend Interconnection with Pricefx Software
Some of the Pricefx Applications (specifically the CRM plugins) also allow for frontend interconnection where the Pricefx pricing software and CRM front ends are both visible simultaneously in one browser window (as in the screenshot example above) can pass information between the two systems, literally ‘speaking to each other’ whilst live and open in your browser.
The flow of data between your system and the Pricefx pricing software doesn’t get more ‘real-time’ than this, and you’ll be able to use the data to make instant price changes if necessary. This feature can be of great advantage for businesses that depend on raw materials (subject to daily or even hourly price changes based on indices and other fluctuations) for production or distribution costs.
Frontend Interconnections are currently performed in consultation with Pricefx staff.
How to Prepare for Integration with Pricefx Pricing Software – 4 Simple Steps
Preparing a solid foundation for the integration of your system with Pricefx will be critical to its success. Tick these steps off your preparation checklist upon completion in readiness;
Know your company’s goal or what you expect out of your integration project with Pricefx. For example, are you looking for price optimization outcomes, or perhaps rebate management is of more importance to your company? Knowing what you want from the pricing technology will make it easier and faster for the Pricefx Implementation Team to customize your integration.
Having a significant and experienced IT Solutions Architect (preferably experienced in integrations) in your line-up to organize and direct your IT Department, and to liaise with the Pricefx Integration Team will smooth the way to success.
Make sure your IT team have generated a sole source of ‘data truth’ in your company and in a perfect world, have that immaculately clean data ready ASAP for Pricefx to integrate with the pricing software. In our experience, data readiness or more accurately, the lack of it, is the most common form of integration project delay.
Secure an internal Executive Level Sponsor (most preferably at the Vice-President or Chief level) in your organization to champion the cause of the integration process with Pricefx. Most obstacles can be more easily overcome with executive buy-in within your company.
Unlock Your Data’s Full Potential & Become More Profitable
Now you know how to integrate your data with Pricefx software, why it is important for your business, and how to prepare for it.
After reading this article, the seeds are sure to be shooting in your imagination as to the type of integration that might be best for your business, and how best to use your data to leverage the full pricing potential of the Pricefx software.
Freelance Pricing Professional & Solution Strategist ,
Jochen Schmidt has over a decade of experience in strategy consultancy and advisory in addition to pricing and software. Over 7 years with Pricefx, he held several positions including Solution Strategist Manager for the EMEA region and spearheading the global retail industry team as a subject matter expert. Throughout his career he has held various positions at specialized consulting companies, providing value to clients by advising on pricing strategies and implementing pricing software. In his free time, he is a passionate cook, beach volleyball and volleyball player, spending most of his vacations travelling and hiking.
Jose Paez is a Solution Strategist at Pricefx with 14 years of experience as a pricing practitioner. In his career, he has led in every aspect of pricing from analysis and optimization to pricing strategy definition and execution. His experience in driving and implementing initiatives in digital transformation has given him insight into the typical roadblocks organizations face and the best paths to release the untapped potential of pricing organizations.