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Perks of Going Uphill in Pricing

If you’re heading out for a bike ride in our hometown, you have a couple of different options.

Option one is to take the paved greenbelt path that runs along the river. It’s completely flat with gentle, winding turns, and it’s shaded by the huge trees that grow near the water. You’ll probably see a lot of families with young kids and maybe even some senior citizens riding their “cruisers.” However, you probably won’t see a lot of “serious” mountain bikers on the greenbelt.

The folks who are really into biking generally take option two: heading into the foothills and mountains to the north and east of the city. These hills are covered in steep dirt trails with sharp, hairpin turns that dodge boulders and perch precariously on the edge of cliffs.

Now, obviously, the mountain trails are a much tougher ride than the greenbelt—especially when you are first starting your ride. After about two minutes, your legs will start to burn. Ten and your lungs are on fire. Fifteen and you’re starting to seriously doubt your sanity. But if you stick with it, after 20 or 30 minutes (or an hour if you’re really out of shape), you’ll reach the top of a hill with an absolutely breathtaking view. And after that, you’ll have a downhill ride that will give you a tremendous adrenalin rush and a great head start into climbing the next hill—which will probably only take half as long as the first hill.

When it comes to pricing, a lot teams make the mistake of choosing option one—the safe, flat route that grannies and toddlers can handle. They pursue projects that we would consider “minor league” initiatives. They maintain the status quo, ensuring that the company usually meets its quarterly goals, but they aren’t really driving their firm toward greater profitability.

Serious pricing teams take the uphill route.

Sure, they might pick off some of the low-hanging fruit that gives them “quick wins,” but they also start tackling “major league” projects. Things like price optimization, sales compensation revamps, or developing a Pricing Center of Excellence. These things are a lot harder, but they have an impact that is proportionally much greater to the effort they require.

And just like in mountain biking, after you get one of these major initiatives up and running, you have an easy downhill coast afterward. The best of these projects are self-perpetuating; once you get them going, they keep chugging along without any additional intervention. You might even get a boost that makes it easier to tackle your next initiative.

And just like in mountain biking, the “uphill” climb is going to leave you in a lot better shape than the flat easy road.

If you’re ready to get started on an “uphill” initiative, check out the webinars All About Price Optimization, Revamping Sales Comp to Improve Pricing, and/or Building a Pricing Center of Excellence. All of these types of projects can have a major impact on the bottom line—but they will take some work.

The easy path has its appeal. But if you want to be a serious pricing team, you’re going to have to put in some work. That’s the only way to reap the benefits that industry-leading B2B pricing teams are able to achieve.

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