Pricing

On Having Good Competitors

By Jennifer Maul
July 22, 2013

I am exhausted!  I am writing this on the weekend after our second half global sales meeting.  These meetings are always intense, content-rich, and require that you be “on” 24×7.  For the Vendavo sales team, it was especially important because we work all over North America and Europe, and when we are together, it is precious time.

Our meeting this half marked several inaugural events.  First, we launched a new product (more to follow in other content on our website at dev.vendavo.com).  Second, following-up on our announcement earlier this year about supporting HANA, we start beta implementations of our solution this August.  Profit Analyzer for HANA is a killer app, and our conversations with customers about leveraging big pricing data with HANA’s in-memory platform to deliver rapid insights has hit the mark.  Third, as a routine topic, we talked about our competition in the B2B pricing space.  Most of our conversations center around differentiation, yet at this sales meeting, we also talked about how good our competitors are.

While it may seem odd, we are thankful for our competitors because along with Vendavo, ModelN and Pros Pricing help us to grow the B2B pricing space.  There is no doubt that the space is entering its busiest time ever, and I credit Vendavo and our competitors for making it happen.  I would go as far to say that if a B2B company in chemicals, high tech, industrial manufacturing, or wholesale distribution is not looking at selecting a B2B enterprise pricing partner sometime in the next 12 months, they will miss a window of opportunity to gain an edge on their own competitors.  Price is an extremely important part of the B2B negotiation, and if you are not leveraging segmented target prices, there is no doubt, you are leaving money on the table, pushing price where you should not be, and losing valuable profit opportunities.  Using Excel systems to manage price in a Fortune 500 company, not leveraging the power of a price waterfall, and not seeing the insight from a segmented pricing strategy are significant opportunity costs for your business.

This is why I am so glad to have good competitors in the B2B pricing space because among us, we are seeing similar trends.  These trends all point to a growing market for our solutions.  These trends are reasons for you to pay attention to what is happening in this space – because the solutions are working and the best companies in the world are leveraging them to gain 1-5% ROS year after year through better price.  What are the trends we are seeing?

  • We (vendors in B2B pricing) are seeing our largest-ever pipelines
  • Our customers are continually reinvesting in us year after year to do new things in pricing (and it is these long-term customers who are reaping the highest rewards from excellent pricing)
  • Simple data points like high numbers of RFPs and high numbers of competitive deals are excellent indicators of the strength of the space
  • We spend significantly on content and demand generation to educate the market
  • Conversations on LinkedIn, on prominent pricing blogs, and comments from those who have already crossed the chasm with their B2B pricing projects are more and more prevalent in social media
  • We are growing our sales forces.  In fact, Vendavo’s Global Sales team has never been larger.
  • Most importantly, we now have a good decade of experience with large companies implementing our solutions and capturing the benefits.  The solutions work, they work for the long-haul, and they are proven.

I could not be more excited for our time in B2B pricing, where the moment is now to sell more profitably.  To do that, you have to be smart about it and implement a B2B pricing solution to help get you there.  I have seen so many large companies deliver bottom-line value with these solutions – the value cannot be ignored.  To help provoke more thought on the subject:

  • Given rapid changes in raw materials costs – those times when you see a spike – what if you could leverage it as a chance to move ahead of your competition?
  • What if you could help your entire sales team price as effectively as your top 10% of sellers?
  • For approvals of escalated deals sent to sales management and divisional VPs, what if you could ensure those people were spending their time on the deals where they had the most impact?
  • In spending $100M in research and development of a new product, what if you could assure that you got full value in price for those products?
  • What if you could drive 10%-30% in margin without increasing cost?

Indeed, This Is The Promise of Pricing!  Isn’t it time you started looking into it?

  • competitors , HANA , pricing

    Jennifer Maul

    Jennifer holds Bachelor of Science degrees, magna cum laude, in Business Management and Management Information Systems from the University of Maryland. Follow her on Twitter: @jmaul_svp