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3 Things That Kill a Pricing Career

There are lots of reasons why you might get fired from a job in pricing — and even more things that might cause your career to stall.

You might not have the right knowledge — understanding of segmentation, value-based pricing, price optimization, etc. You might not have the right skills, like communications, data management or statistical skills. Or you might not have the right personality; you might not have an affinity for numbers or a thick enough skin to persevere in spite of opposition.

But while all these things are important, we’ve found pricing practitioners are most likely to doom their careers by making one of the three most common organizational missteps:

1. Not aligning with the sales team. In most B2B firms, power is concentrated with the sales team — and they know it. Because sales is so critical to the success or failure of the organization, they tend to wield a lot of influence with management. In addition, sales reps are the people in the organization with the closest access to the market, so they are also a valuable repository of information that pricing practitioners need to do their jobs. Plus, they can tank a pricing initiative by failing to follow through on recommendations. For all those reasons and more, you don’t just need to get along with the sales team, you need to turn them into allies if you want your pricing projects to succeed.

A good way to start that process of making allies is by learning how salespeople think and what’s important to them. If you’ve never worked in sales yourself, check out The Pricing Practitioner’s Primer on B2B Sales. It gives you an overview of what happens on the sales team and acquaints you with terminology and psychology that will be critical to working with sales.

2. Empire building. It’s only natural to want to grow the headcount on the pricing team. After all, you have a lot of work to do, and more people would help you get it done.

But growing your team into a pricing empire usually backfires. A much better approach is to leverage technology. By working smarter not harder you’ll be able to scale up your capabilities without making your team a target for downsizing.

The webinar on 5 Pricing Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore explains more about how to leverage technology and why it serves as a great equalizer between smaller and larger teams.

3. Failing to evangelize pricing. Few people who work in pricing enjoy tooting their own horn. After all, if you were a braggadocious blowhard, you would have gone to work in sales (just kidding). But failing to internally “market” the pricing function is always a mistake. If you don’t let people know how pricing is contributing to the bottom line, someone else (probably one of those braggadocious blowhards) will take credit for your hard work.

Letting other people know how valuable pricing is doesn’t have to be as hard or as uncomfortable as you think. Proving the Value of Pricing explains how to demonstrate your worth without gloating.

And just in case those resources didn’t give you enough career advice, we have two more for you. Advancing Your Career in Pricing offers strategies and techniques for getting to the next level, and Five Steps to Get More Aligned With Sales explains how to turn sales from an enemy to a friend.

By proactively taking charge of your career, you can avoid the common missteps and use your current position as a springboard to help you achieve greater heights of success.

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