As the leading price optimization and management solution provider, Zilliant is often called on to provide insights into the latest B2B industry trends and tactics to navigate unprecedented disruption. In August, Chief Marketing Officer Lindsay Duran and Chief Scientist Jon Higbie contributed some key thought leadership pieces to help you reimagine what’s possible in your business.
Use this handy guide to get up to speed on the latest Zilliant news:
SAP’s Future of Commerce Blog – B2B eCommerce Pricing: How Digital is Transforming Wholesale Distribution
Duran recently sat down for a question-and-answer session with SAP’s Magnus Meier, vice president and global head of the company’s wholesale distribution business unit. The issue at hand was how massively complex B2B distribution companies can set and update online prices, execute pricing strategies and compete on the web when dealing with hundreds of thousands of product and customer combinations.
“Inconsistent B2B eCommerce pricing practices are largely driven by sales or commerce platforms transacting sales below a minimum margin threshold or exhibiting price grooving behavior,” which is an insidious problem that has far-reaching effects, said Duran.
The key is to get started on a data science-driven online pricing initiative now, as there is no time to waste in the current market.
“Making changes to pricing practices can feel like a daunting task … however, distributors who have recognized that they are unnecessarily losing margin, and in some cases, losing volume to overpricing, and embarked on a pricing journey are able to reap the benefits relatively quickly,” said Duran.
Martech Zone – The Future of B2B Sales: Blending Inside & Outside Teams
Duran also penned an article for Martech Zone about the drastically changed sales landscape in B2B. Anyone not living under a rock recognizes how COVID-19 has changed the consumer buying and selling landscape, but the shift in B2B sales processes have been equally monumental.
A telltale stat: Just 20% of B2B customers reported buying directly from sales in a recent 2020 report, which is down 56% from the prior year. Here’s another: According to McKinsey, almost 90% of sales have moved to a virtual model, with more than 50% of companies saying the new normal is equally or more effective than pre-COVID sales efforts.
Clearly, much of this change is likely to become permanent. Duran highlights in the article how companies must adjust in order to:
- Offer excellent eCommerce experiences
- Realize the untapped opportunity in the long tail of customer accounts
- Lean on data science to provide customer intel that makes the blended inside/outside sales model more fruitful
SalesTechStar Interview with Jon Higbie
Higbie caught up with for a Q&A focused on aligning pricing models and strategies to changing customer behavior and market dynamics. He shares a few challenges and tactics B2B companies can deploy immediately to solve pricing challenges.
“Enterprises often perceive that not having enough existing customer and competitor data is a barrier to optimizing prices. In many cases, these companies have all the data they need within their order history and transaction data,” said Higbie. “In the absence of data-driven price setting, companies commonly set a list price and allow sales reps to negotiate and discount based on gut feel, intuition and observing what their competitors are doing. Without market-aligned pricing for each unique scenario, ultimately their profits and overall growth potential will be undermined.”
Higbie also provides an update on how the pandemic is exacerbating common B2B pricing issues and discusses Zilliant innovations that are helping customers weather the storm while building a solid foundation for a post-COVID world.
Toolbox – Leverage Media and Advertising Disruption: Reimagine the Rate Card Game
The television advertising market has been completely disrupted in 2020, with a global pandemic accelerating many trends that were already in motion. Higbie’s article in Toolbox details how media and advertising companies are stuck in a bygone era of suboptimal ad buying and selling practices that is ripe for data science revolution.
Companies need to adopt an intelligent pricing model and automated negotiation technology to better align with a fluctuating market and optimize rate cards. In doing so, companies in this space will need to borrow strategies from other B2B industries who have made measurable progress in the pricing arena in recent years.
“To hold the line on rates and encourage efficient ad spend on the sell side and the buy side, they’ll need to take a play from the world of B2B price negotiations, that means, embracing AI, data science, and technology to change the rate card game,” said Higbie.