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The Sales Team Doesn’t Care About Pricing. Now What?

A while back, we conducted a PulsePoll with our sales operations audience. Specifically, we wanted to understand which applications of predictive analytics were most compelling and important to leading sales teams. In the poll, we listed the top five uses we learned about through our research and asked participants to select their top three. Here are the results thus far:

Predictive Sales Analytics Poll Chart

Looking at these results, it would be easy to conclude that leading sales groups care very little about pricing. After all, even when they’re allowed to pick three possible problems to address with predictive analytics, pricing is dead last…and by a wide margin.

On the other hand, you could conclude that pricing has been making solid headway in the battle for mindshare across the sales function. If you expected any sort of pricing objective to receive less than 10% share on a sales-focused poll like this, 23% looks pretty good!

Ever the diplomat, I would agree with both conclusions. It’s undeniable that pricing has gained a lot of mindshare with sales teams over the last few years. But it’s also very clear that most sales teams simply believe that there are much bigger fish to fry.

So, do we keep beating the drum about the importance of pricing to gain even more mindshare with sales? Absolutely! That drumbeat should never stop and we should always be working toward establishing pricing as a priority for our sales operations.

That said, however, I also believe that we can do a much better job of aligning our efforts to our sales organizations’ existing priorities and connecting to what they already perceive to be important.

As our research demonstrates, things like identifying “whitespace” opportunities and defection risks are already huge priorities for B2B sales teams. No arm-twisting or cajoling is required for sales management to acknowledge their tremendous importance and value. And as such, greater alignment to these existing priorities can only help to smooth the path and lay the groundwork for our pricing contributions.

Trojan Horse? Sure. Around my house, it’s also called Cheesy Pill.

You see, my aging dog has to be medicated every week. Not surprisingly, swallowing pills is not high on my little buddy’s priority list. Eating cheese, however, is definitely among his top three. So, by aligning to his priorities and embedding the pills in cheese, he gets what he wants…and what he needs…all at the same time.

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