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Predicting the Future in B2B Pricing

I know it’s risky, but I’m going to step out on a limb and predict the future. Are you ready? Take a deep breath and brace yourself. Here we go…

Someday…somehow…something “bad” is going to happen. And there’s a non-zero chance of the “perfect storm,” where everything goes wrong all at once.

Whew! What a relief! It feels great to finally get that off my chest. I’m telling you, the movies are so wrong…clairvoyance is a burden, not a gift.

Of course, I’m being facetious. But I do have a serious point…

You don’t need to be a psychic to develop useful predictions about the future.

As we highlight in the How to Avoid Pricing Panic webinar, you know with absolute certainty that major problems are going to rock your markets at some point in the future. And while you may not know exactly what those problems will be or precisely when they’ll occur, you can certainly use your imagination and experience to identify some of the possibilities.

Then, with those eventualities in mind, you can develop some contingency plans or emergency procedures to execute when and if the need should arise. And though these plans and procedures will be less than perfect, they’ll be a significant improvement over the frantic and reactionary scramble that would likely occur otherwise.

Furthermore, as we discuss in the Fundamentals of Pricing Intelligence webinar, you can see around corners more effectively in the near term by simply “widening” the intelligence signals you look at regularly.

Intelligence signals that are further upstream in your supply chain–i.e. your suppliers’ suppliers–can provide advance warning about dynamics that will soon be affecting your product costs. At the other end of the spectrum, intelligence signals that are further downstream–i.e. your customers’ customers–can give you a heads-up about changes in demand that will soon be impacting your sales.

While these “wider” intelligence signals may only give you a couple of weeks advance notice, that may be all the warning you need to gain an advantage over competitors who are caught unaware.

All that being said, however, there’s no amount of planning or intelligence gathering that can provide 100% visibility. In the short term, your view of the future is going to be fuzzy at best. And the picture will only get more and more distorted as you extend the time horizon.

But again, you don’t need precision or perfect clarity. After all, just being “directionally correct” about the future can be extremely valuable and advantageous. And even non-psychics can achieve that with a little effort.

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