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Why Some Pricing Initiatives Are Destined to Fail

Some pricing initiatives–especially technology implementations–are built around a common premise that sunlight is the best disinfectant. It’s simple. If you can give more business users the ability to conduct analysis at the point of decision, they’ll be equipped to drive better pricing outcomes.

It sure seems logical.  After all, giving users access to more information and the tools to understand it can only make things better, right?

But this often misses a critical fact of human nature: Not every business user that gets access to these tools and all that new data will be analytically-oriented.

When you think about it, most people that are analytically-minded have already gravitated to a role that lets them exercise that talent…pricing, finance, accounting, engineering, etc.  It’s rare that people outside of those roles will be very analytical.  There’s nothing wrong with that–it’s just not who they are.  Unfortunately, if an initiative’s success is dependent on people becoming more analytical, it’s expecting them to become something they likely are not.

Sure…there’s all sorts of cheese that you can try to wrap around the pill to make it more enticing… And you can certainly try incentives to force some action.  But those fancy analytic visualizations just won’t change how people are wired.  Nor will all the carrots and sticks in the world.

Instead of asking people to be the analytical quants that they’re not, try asking how you can get business users closer to the answer they’re looking for so they don’t have to figure it out themselves.  Solving that problem and getting those answers straight to the point of decision can’t help but drive better outcomes, right?  And it has to be easier than changing human nature.

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