The Pricing Software Buying Process Checklist
Congratulations on making the decision to invest in enterprise pricing software for your company. Be aware that there may be more steps in the process than you might have originally anticipated.
For example, as the Pricing Manager or VP of Pricing, you’re already convinced that pricing software is not only a thoroughfare to increasing profit but also streamlining your company’s processes thus making them more efficient. How many of you have already crossed this pricing software acceptance bridge only to discover that your IT Team are snowed under with another project like upgrading your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions and don’t have the time, energy, or resources for another project?
Of course, you don’t want that to happen to you or your business.
At Pricefx, we’ve overcome this obstacle and many other impediments to getting a pricing software project purchased and implemented on more occasions than you might imagine. There’s quite a lot more involved in getting pricing software up-and-running than downloading Google Chrome or updating your PC.
That is why we’ve put together this simple check list; to confirm understanding of your own company’s technology purchase process and the obstacles that might arise along the way.
Why is it Important to Understand Your Pricing Software Buying Process & What Happens If You Don’t?
Your leadership sets aggressive growth goals each year and they now understand that Price Management and Optimization can contribute significantly toward achieving those goals. They have given the pricing project a green light and it is your job to make it happen. If you don’t understand your company’s purchase process, you are likely to get tripped up along the way causing delays that could last weeks if not months or years. Delays will result in missed opportunities to positively impact the bottom line.
By unearthing the theoretical roots of your prices informed by data, pricing software illuminates the positive impact price optimization can have on your profits and overarching business objectives.
It is not uncommon for pricing project leaders to inadvertently skip steps because they didn’t know what they didn’t know.
What Will You Be Able to Do by Answering the Questions on the Checklist?
Missing some of the points on the checklist below could set back your pricing project.
Check them all off and your pricing project will have a far greater opportunity to succeed.
7 Pricing Software Buying Process Checklist Questions to Ask Yourself
Go through these 7 questions on the checklist below and you’ll be in the best situation possible to put together an evaluation team for the purchase and potential implementation;
- Has the project leader ever gone through a technology (preferably in new software) evaluation from purchase to ‘go live’ launch?
- Who will be involved in the pricing software buying process?
- Who is the Ultimate Decision Maker and why do they care?
- What is your organization’s sense of urgency to do this project now?
- What other projects might you be competing against for budget and resources?
- Who will have to sign off or rubber stamp the project before it goes to Procurement?
- Do you have the current and available IT resources to dedicate to the project?
1. Has the project leader ever Gone Through a Technology (Preferably in New Software) Evaluation Process from Purchase to ‘Go Live’ Launch?
Naturally, if your company has been through the implementation of new software before, you’ll want to get some of the same people involved again to head up your pricing software project. Implementing new technology can be daunting for organizations – so minimize it – including the fear of the unknown.
Bring in as many people experienced in implementing new software as you have, preferably a leader. If you don’t have them, employ, or outsource a team experienced in implementation. Many pricing software companies can offer this as an additional service.
2. Who Should be Involved in the Pricing Software Buying Process?
Those involved will vary between organizations and different company structures.
For most companies, those directly involved will be;
- The Ultimate Decision Maker/Executive Sponsor – This is the person who signs off on the pricing software purchase and/or approves the budget for doing so. The actual job title of that person will vary from company to company; however, usually that will be a person at the C-Level or VP level of your organization such as the VP of Pricing or VP of Sales, VP of Marketing, or even your Finance Manager.
- Project Managers – As determined by your company’s structure that can cross departmental boundaries fluidly.
- IT Department – Those IT staff who know where all your data sits. A Solution Architect who has experience in managing a software implementation project. Be sure they are all available, not merely on your employee list. The last thing you want is an approved business case that will lose momentum without the IT resources to pull it off because they are all too busy. Your IT Manager will be responsible for the overall coordination of the project and your IT Lead may have similar knowledge and skills but will be more hands-on with any future integration of the pricing software.
Failure to have the key people ready will cause delays.
3. Who is Your Ultimate Decision Maker and Why Do They Care?
Your Ultimate Decision Maker/Executive Sponsor (for a definition see above) is the key person in your organization who will establish priorities and drive the project forward.
Your Ultimate Decision Maker will care because their career and your company will depend on your pricing software purchase and eventual implementation being a success. Businesses worldwide are now realizing that optimized pricing of goods and services is a more accurate pathway to profit increases than merely trying to save on costs.
Check, double-check and then triple-check, who you perceive to be your company’s Ultimate Decision Maker is agreed upon by you and your peers.
Ask around. Are you speaking to the right person to get pricing software purchased and implemented, or should you be pitching the idea further up the organizational food chain?
4. What is Your Organization’s Sense of Urgency to Do This Project Now?
Change in the business world is currently rollicking forward at a pace never witnessed before in human history. Whether it’s due to the impact of technological change on business practices or becoming prescriptively proactive in keeping up with rampant inflation, supply chain problems and price fluctuations, companies are increasingly turning to software to manage their prices.
Just like an old car that keeps on breaking down repeatedly, repairs or even a new car is the smartest move of all. So too with pricing software. The longer you wait to make the move, the painful costs of inaction continue.
The question you need answered to give your company a specific sense of urgency is this:
Is the pain of staying the same with your current pricing system greater than the pain of adopting new pricing software?
5. What Other Projects Might You Be Competing Against for Budget & Resources?
At Pricefx, over the last decade, we’ve have discovered a surprise major ‘project’ that many companies see as a conflicting priority to taking up a pricing software solution.
For many companies, the biggest ‘project’ competing for budget and resources in the uptake of pricing software is maintaining your pricing status quo.
You may be locked into legacy pricing systems or suffering a lack of current infrastructure (in particular if your IT team is not available) to ready your organization for pricing software.
Your Ultimate Decision Maker may have an uphill battle working with various stakeholders in your business who are personally vested in older legacy systems and infrastructure, making them change resistant.
To gain buy-in, it is critical to be able to clearly convey all the pricing software benefits to stakeholders and find ways to alleviate their fears.
6. Who Will Have to Sign Off or Rubber Stamp the Project Before it Goes to Procurement?
For most companies, the same person selected as your Ultimate Decision Maker will have the final sign-off on your price software budget before it heads to the Procurement Department for a purchase requisition to be made.
To recap, that Ultimate Decision Maker varies between businesses depending on your unique corporate structure and may possibly be your:
- Pricing Manager
- VP of Sales
- VP of Pricing
- Corporate Finance Manager
- Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
- Or similar in your company
7. Do you have the current and available IT resources to dedicate to the project?
Check in with your IT Team to ensure that you have at least the key roles (IT Project Manager, IT Lead and Solution Engineer/Architect) ready and available to help you launch your pricing software project before you finalize the purchase.
For an in-depth discussion of the IT resources required, please refer to our recent article, Key IT Roles You Need On A Pricing Management Software Project.
I Have My Checklist Items Finalized – What’s Next?
By now you’ve either checked off all the items required to complete your pricing software purchase checklist or you’re well on your way to doing so.
You have made sure there are no internal impediments to getting your pricing software project underway. Sending off that purchase requisition to your Procurement Department is getting closer by the day.
At Pricefx, we can help you plan and design your digital pricing transformation to get your new technology up-and-running ASAP.
First up though, you may be interested in how long it may take to recoup your return on your potential investment on pricing software, but if you have already made your cost/benefit analysis, you will want to get your purchase rolling;