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You Gotta Be Ready for Pricing Objective Whiplash

As an experienced pricing leader, Lydia DeLiello knows just how important it is for pricing people to get clear about corporate objectives. And in a recent interview for the PricingBrew Journal, Lydia expounded upon a number of objective-related themes that are particularly timely, including:

  • The need to drill down on shallow management statements or directives about the objectives. Are we willing to grow sales revenue at the expense of margins? Or is there an unstated profitability expectation or assumption we all need to be aware of? Sometimes management just assumes that everyone knows what the acceptable tradeoffs are, so it’s important to drive clarity to avoid unnecessary conflict and surprises.
  • The need to get comfortable with juggling multiple objectives at the same time. Life would certainly be simpler with just one objective to think about, plan toward, and pursue. But it’s usually unrealistic to think that every division, every product line, and every market segment is going to have the exact same objectives.
  • The need for pricing people to recognize and embrace the fact that as market conditions change, so too will the company’s objectives. And this can happen very, very quickly. So while it might be frustrating to have the objectives you’ve been working toward for a year change dramatically the day after a management offsite session, it’s not at all unusual and you have to be ready for it.

I think this last point is particularly salient and timely as we’ve been witnessing some major changes in market conditions and business attitudes in recent months. Management teams across a number of different sectors seem to be feeling a lot more “bullish” about their companies’ prospects for growth and expansion. As a result, many have already shifted their objectives and are gearing up for growth.

And we expect many more to follow suit in coming months.

So…are you ready for objective whiplash? Are you ready to change on a dime and step up to help your company drive profitable growth? Of course, you’ll still want to follow Lydia’s advice about getting clarity around the acceptable tradeoffs and unstated expectations around any new objectives. But you’ve got to be ready for a shift…because it might be coming sooner than you think!

 

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