(Part 2) Where Are You on the Pricing Journey?

May 14, 2019 Team Zilliant

Introducing our Online Assessment Tool & Pricing Impact Benchmark

More than two decades of research, product innovation and hands-on work with clients across many industries has taught us that the pricing discipline tends to follow a distinct path. That path can be broken down into four stages, each with specific challenges and opportunities. We believe it’s important to nail down where your organization is on the path, so you can focus on solving problems now while planning for the future you want.

That’s why Zilliant offers a fast, free, self-service online assessment tool. Simply answer a few questions about your organization’s pricing practices to receive a full current state report with recommendations for instant improvement and long-term growth.

You took the assessment and discovered you’re at Stage 2 – Managed. So, what does this mean?

Your organization is making progress! The climb from Manual to Managed is a steep one, requiring the focus to step back and say “Enough!” to the fire drills and spreadsheets of old. You now have rules-based pricing in place and the tools and basic workflows that replace manual tasks. The reward is the ability to manage greater volume more efficiently while reducing errors, uncertainty and burned-out pricing analysts. There is still some manual work required, but it’s now shifted to monitoring and approvals rather than tedious updates and data management. 

The adoption of purpose-built software tools and repeatable processes has addressed your most urgent pricing needs. While it’s tempting at this point to rest on your laurels, we encourage you to keep pushing proactively down the path. Pricing is not yet able to play a fully strategic role, one that contributes proactively toward the business.

How Do We Reach Stage 3…and beyond?

As wide as the gulf between manual processes and price management is, the next step forward may be even more vast. The Automated pricing organization goes well beyond “Tools & Rules” to achieve strong integration with other systems and the ability to mass-update prices at scale. How? The Pricing Impact Benchmark report you receive upon completion of the online assessment contains individualized recommendations, so be sure to read that in full. For a Cliffs Notes version, read on!

Companies that reach the Managed stage have finally come up for air. It’s refreshing to be free of spreadsheets and instead utilize a central hub for creating, managing and updating prices. You get a glimpse of the possibilities available, not to mention some more time on your hands to begin thinking strategically.

But in other ways it’s as if you’ve climbed a massive Mt. Everest rock face, only to look up and see you’re still just halfway to the summit. This is because as much functional progress as you have made, the pricing department’s impact to the business remains limited. You’re not as reactive as you once were, but not yet as proactive as you need to be.

You will butt up against challenges in this stage of pricing maturity. We’ve seen clients struggle with contradicting rules and rules-based models that become difficult to manage as volume and complexity grows. Bottlenecks may form around semi-automated processes or partially integrated systems that still require manual oversight. Finally, business needs can outpace the capacity to deliver with Managed-level tools. 

The good news is the opportunities to build on your progress are right in front of you. Contextual analytics can be integrated at key decision points now that rules-based processes are established. You can define key performance indicators and quickly iterate based on results for continuous improvement. 

You’re now at a point where you can evangelize to stakeholders about the role of pricing and build consensus for investment in proactive price management and price optimization solutions. Assess your current technology and data infrastructure with an eye toward progressing to the Automated stage. As we’ll explore next, the return on investment is rapid and repeatable.

Next week we’ll feature the next stage of the Pricing Impact Chart - Stage 3

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