Before anyone freaks out, I want to be clear that I’m not trying to scare you with an apocalyptic prediction about some looming economic disruption I see on the horizon. Rather, I’m suggesting that it’s time to build a stellar pricing resume because it is always time to build a stellar pricing resume!
When I was working in a start-up, as a very helpful exercise to promote clarity and focus, we crafted the company profile we envisioned the Wall Street Journal publishing five or ten years in the future. Along the same lines, personal development gurus will often recommend writing your own obituary as a way to get very clear about the kind of legacy you’ll want to leave behind.
Similarly, your resume can be a very effective construct to help guide your development as a pricing professional. Whether you’re looking to move up the ladder you’re currently on or you’re actually planning a move to a different ladder, thinking in terms of enhancing your resume can help clarify where you should be focused and what you should be doing.
So what makes a stellar B2B pricing resume? Here are three key ingredients:
1. Demonstrable Results and Contribution
A recurring theme among hiring managers and industry veterans alike is that a resume that tells a story of generating meaningful results will always stand out more than a laundry list of important-sounding job titles. While titles can certainly offer some clue as to your responsibility levels over time, they don’t automatically convey the breadth of your experiences or the magnitude of your achievements.
When developing your professional career narrative, you’ll want to prioritize producing positive results and contributions over chasing titles. You don’t want your resume to just read “Super Senior Pricing Analyst, Level III” when it could also read “Developed analytical routines to identify segment-specific pricing opportunities that generated 12% more contribution margin.”
2. Problem Solving and Business Acumen
In B2B, the only constant is change. And change often brings a whole host of issues, problems, and challenges. Currency fluctuations, changing market dynamics, or new competitors can upset even the most robust business operations. What hiring managers want to see is not just that you faced problems and challenges, but that you addressed them effectively in the context of the overall business.
Did you devise a new volume pricing approach in response to feedback from the sales team? Did you lead a task force to analyze large bid losses in a particular segment? Did you help address a deficiency in marketing communication that was reducing reps ability to negotiate higher prices? Did you figure out how to insulate key customers by phasing in significant material cost increases over a longer period of time?
These types of experiences demonstrate your ability to address not only complex pricing problems, but complex business problems.
3. Organizational Influence and Collaboration
In B2B, pricing typically involves sales, marketing, product management, and even finance to some extent. To drive meaningful improvements, pricing professionals need to be adept at collaborating with the other stakeholders and influencing more effective decisions and behaviors across the broader organization.
Therefore, a compelling professional career narrative will highlight your “soft skills” and demonstrate your ability to get beyond the organizational silos and defensive territories to drive organization-wide results.
The point I’m making here is that the humble resume can be so much more than a just a document you throw together when you need a new gig. Thinking in terms of what you want to be able to put on your resume to really stand out as an effective pricing professional is such a simple yet powerful way to focus your energies and efforts over time.
By focusing on executing results-oriented initiatives, addressing important business and pricing problems, and positively influencing others in your organization, you’ll most certainly be developing a stellar resume. But even more important than that, in the process, you’ll be following a rich and rewarding career path, laden with more interesting and meaningful experiences.
Advancing Your Career in Pricing
There's never been a better time to be a B2B pricing professional. But when it comes to your career, you can’t just hope that good things will happen in the future. In this on-demand webinar, learn how to take charge and make good things happen.
Developing An Effective Global Pricing Capability
In this informative conversation with Lynn Guinn, the Global Strategic Pricing Leader for Cargill, learn about developing and maintaining a high-performance pricing function in one of the largest and most successful agricultural companies on the planet.