The Top 5 Career Tips for Pricing Professionals
January 17th, 2022 (Updated 03/10/2023) | 9 min. read
By Jose Paez
Many of the incredibly fast-paced changes that have occurred in the last 24 months, such as rampant inflation, supply chain delays and breakdowns and shortages of raw materials used in production were unforeseen and impossible to forecast. Subsequently, professionals across the globe (in all manner of industries including pricing) are rethinking their careers and ways to improve themselves like never before. Being predictive and proactive in your pricing career will be key to achieving the goals you have set yourself. That’s why we have prepared this article to help you out; The Top 5 Career Tips for Pricing Professionals.
At Pricefx, we’ve spent more than a decade assisting pricing professionals in reacting as quickly as possible to the rapid changes at play in their respective industries. What’s more, many of our staff members are former pricing managers and directors themselves with years of combined experience in the industry and know precisely what it takes to succeed.
Whether you use pricing software or not, most of the proactive career moves you can currently make to have the biggest impact will relate to your company’s data’s readiness and accuracy in making your pricing decisions.
That being the case, let’s get started on analyzing our Top 5 Career Tips for Pricing Professionals with an eye to keep you, your bosses, and your clients happy and fulfilled
1. Continue to Focus on Data Quality & Its Availability
The best career tips you’ll ever hear or read for pricing professionals generally focus on overcoming and resolving pain points in your own work, and for your customers. The biggest pain-point that you’ll hear from 99-out-of-100 pricing professionals is that most companies and pricing software vendors struggle to get a clean and accurate data set to work with. A clean set of data will enable the pricing moves of you and your clients to not only be made as fast as possible but should assist in making pricing adjustments as transparent and targeted as possible for buyers and sellers alike.
What’s more, you will have greater visibility and accuracy in price management, being able to easily recognize the factors contributing to your own profit, maximizing it, and preventing any margin leakage.
The big positive for your pricing career – A happy boss and delighted clients means that the next raise you’re eyeing or upward career move that you have your sights set on should be potentially closer rather than further away.
Of course, in addition to having a nice clean set of data, you’ll want to make sure nothing is slipping between the cracks. Have you identified all the sources of data that sit in all your company’s systems?
For example, sure, you’ve made certain that your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems are feeding those beautifully clean data sets into your pricing software, but is that it?
Are you certain that one of your global offices in Vancouver, Tel Aviv, Singapore, or Amsterdam is not using a disparate in-house system to store your sales, customer, or product data?
Missing out on the power of critical siloed data sets and your pricing moves will not be accurate, or worst-case scenario, may cost your company money and you’re leaving profit sitting at the checkout.
Moreover, long gone are the days when data only lived in a single place, nowadays data can be coming from all kinds of different sources. Are you looking at market indicators to better understand the position of your product or service in the market? Are you expanding your scope to bring other data points that may have an impact on the performance of your pricing strategies? It is important to look beyond what you’ve been using for so long.
Collecting all the data will be a huge step forward for your career – Showing attention to detail and roping in as much as you can for your company’s bottom line shows your high-level organizational awareness while not losing sight of your company’s business objectives.
2. Never Stop Learning About the Pricing Industry
It took no less a wiser man than Dr Seuss to say: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” So too with proactive pricing industry learning.
You will be giving your pricing industry career more opportunity to go further and blossom by learning as much as possible.
Learn from Case Studies what your competitors and industry colleagues are up to as you discover how they have used pricing software to assist in achieving the unique business objectives of their organizations.
Stay up-to-date with the latest pricing industry tips and trends through the Professional Pricing Society, software reviews from G2, or even subscribe to receive regular blogs from Pricefx’s own Learning Center.
By reading the stories of how other pricing professionals have streamlined their pricing, quoting or rebate management, it will be certain to fire your imagination in what it can positively do for your business, and consequently, your career. Having pricing news from all around the world at your fingertips will be no load to carry, and besides furthering your career, never forget that learning keeps you young.
3. In Your Pricing Career, Learn to Expect the Unexpected
If we’ve learnt nothing else as a collective industry recently, nothing is certain in the pricing industry, except change. The ‘next normal’ for business and therefore, the pricing industry, is already upon us. Some underlying factors in the way we have changed have been related to the impact of the pandemic and may be temporary. However, deeper structural shifts are beginning to occur, and it’s not all doom-and-gloom.
Take the aerospace spare parts industry for example. Naturally, as commercial flight hours dwindled to almost nothing through the worst of the global pandemic in 2020 and early 2021, the demand and sale of parts that require regular upgrades like brakes and tires almost evaporated. Companies had to spend money to keep those tires on the shelf until flight hours increased and therefore regular service demand picked up.
Meanwhile, an unexpected boost for aviation spare parts manufacturers occurred as airlines spent more than usual on long-term aircraft servicing and the pricing of parts involved in that process like jet engine turbine blades moved accordingly.
The lesson – you never know where the next boost for your customers might be coming. Keeping proactively and prescriptively abreast of price/market changes and identifying the trends in real time with modern pricing software will be critical for your clients and career.
4.Talk to People More & Grow Your Network
Okay, this one is less about the uptake of pricing software, but certainly works well in combination with it. Speaking to people is an often forgotten and vital role for pricing professionals and could be the magic bullet that you need to make your working life easier in the months and years ahead.
Picking up the phone or discussing with your global colleagues on Zoom or Microsoft Teams as to the reasoning behind a certain pricing decision may potentially save you a pile of time.
Rather than combing through data or running a hypothetic scenario in your pricing software like a needle in a haystack, speaking to the human who made a critical pricing change decision could be the most insightful pricing career move you could ever make.
Take time out to learn from others in the pricing industry network. Attend Live Events or Webinars on the pricing industry and its quirks.
Pricing is a niche industry and often the best tips that you can pick-up on may be from your industry peers.
Follow a top-line industry peer to learn the latest red-hot topics in the world of pricing. We recommend Tim Smith from Wiglaf Pricing and Pricefx’s own Chief Evangelist Gabe Smith to get a well-rounded perspective and discover gems of wisdom on all things pricing.
5. Work Smarter, Not Harder & Use Data Wisely
Are you and your pricing team working harder than you need to? It could be that you have the luxury of unlimited human resources and employ a huge team doing data entry in Excel, or your business model does not require immediate price changes due to raw material costs fluctuating wildly, broken supply chains or runaway inflation. Or perhaps you’re part of a huge team.
However, by doing nothing at all in adopting modern pricing software, it could cost your company more than you realize in bottom-line dollar terms, customer satisfaction and time saving.
As long ago as 2003, McKinsey recognized in a famous study (Identifying a 1% price increase could result in as much as an 8% increase in profit) that pricing needs to be approached in a modern, strategic, and data-informed fashion to positively impact operational margin as much as possible.
Can your company, and by association, your pricing career, afford to miss out on the power of the 1 per cent–ers generated by pricing software?
How to Make the Top 5 Tips for Pricing Professionals Your Career Reality
As we’ve none too subtly alluded to with our Top 5 tips, the biggest factors in furthering your move towards your goals as a pricing professional are mostly pricing software related.
If you already have pricing software and you’re already moving towards achieving your goals, that’s great! We love a good news story and please feel free to share them with us.
If not, and this article has offered some insight into how your business can shift away from its Excel spreadsheet status quo, the team here at Pricefx have several articles you may be interested in.
It’s all here from learning how long it takes to implement pricing software, through to the key phases of implementation, integrating with Pricefx software or even how much pricing software costs.
Or on the other hand, if you would like to talk to one of the Pricefx experts to get started;