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Back to School on Pricing

Training and community forums—often afterthoughts—can have a big payoff.

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Back to School on Pricing

Many B2B sales organizations give little or no formal training on how to set and get the right price. That makes it tough to execute a chosen pricing strategy, or even to manage transaction-level profitability. The best-performing companies do things differently. They invest in training on new pricing processes or new analytical tools, and on skills such as negotiating or calibrating prices for different levels of value delivered. To make the training stick, they develop online forums for sharing best practices, comments and questions. One process manufacturer that had its salesforce set their own revenue and profit targets for each account posted those targets in a forum for all to see, including commitments to achieve certain prices as measured against an index. Each commitment linked top-level corporate goals directly to field sales activities. The public commitments and dialogue helped motivate account teams, most of which surpassed their goals.

Chuck Davenport is a pricing expert and vice president in Bain & Company’s Customer Strategy & Marketing practice.

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