May 10, 2016
All too often I see companies look to pricing software as the cure-all for their pricing woes. “Turn it on and we’re good to go” they say. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pricing software can clearly be an enabler of change, but thinking through what that change is going to be—that is, knowing where you WANT to go before you start—is key to driving success in the software implementation, as well as the ‘stickiness’ of the new software and processes.
My favorite projects have been the ones where the customer has a clear idea of where they want to go. Sometimes that vision is one developed by internal thought leaders. Sometimes external consultants are needed for creating that vision. In either case, the ‘to-be’ state has been determined. Once that has been done, the company then thoughtfully implements a solution based on that new ‘to-be’ vision. And by ‘thoughtfully implements,’ I mean they appropriately staff the project, backfill roles that are dedicated to the project, and ensure directional objectives are achieved while at the same time leveraging what can be leveraged of the ‘out of the box’ solution. Finally—and perhaps most importantly—they manage the change through communication, web-training, onsite training, follow up training, and supplemental support of its users.
Projects that start without a clear and well designed plan usually will end up taking more time and effort. The most expensive lesson a company can learn is to try to under-support and under-fund a pricing initiative. Pricing software is the enabler for change but without a process map, well-defined success metrics, detailed staffing plan, and comprehensive training program, the odds of success are going to be low.
I find pricing to be an incredible discipline. Great thought around pricing improves the financial health of an organization, which leads greater financial stability of those at that company. Using software as the foundation for sustaining that change is well regarded as best practice, as long as you know how you’re going to use it once you have it.
Dan will be discussing how to support the implementation of pricing changes with pricing and licensing software in a panel discussion at Simon Kucher & Partner’s 17th Silicon Valley Pricing Forum in Palo Alto on Thursday May 12.