Five Challenges Pricing Leaders Can't Ignore

By Zilliant

May 08, 2024

The Need for Pricing Speed 

Pricing has never been more important to the business, and pricing teams are being asked to make more price changes than ever as they deal with the headwinds of inflation, market shifts, supplier issues, and competitive movements.  

The problem is many pricing leaders are stuck without a central source of pricing truth, managing pricing through spreadsheets or disconnected ERPs. Without the funding or investment to propel strategy forward, manufacturing and distribution pricing leaders lack the agility needed to quickly respond to our volatile landscape. This greatly affects the speed at which they can serve stakeholders, drive revenue, and meet business objectives.  

When pricing slows down your ability to win deals and grow, business can’t scale, profitability slows, and money is lost to competitors.  

“Pricing leaders play a very strategic role in their organizations. They can and must extend their impact by increasing sales efficiency and competitive advantage. The most effective ways pricing leaders can do this is to streamline pricing and sales processes, enhancing productivity,” Zilliant Account Executive Kyle Nations said. “Enhancing sales agility for quicker time-to-market, boosting satisfaction rates for improved customer and employee retention, and directly tying corporate strategy to field execution.” 

Five Challenges Pricing Leaders Can’t Ignore 

The ability to react to today’s business challenges quickly and precisely is more important than ever. Here are five challenges that are creating roadblocks for today’s pricing leaders when it comes to keeping up with the speed of business: 

  1. Slow, cumbersome processes to price changes – Pricing for manufacturing and distribution is never “set it and forget it.” But without flexible, scalable tools in place, implementing price changes and tracking revenue or margin impacts could take too long, while profits and deals slip. 
  2. One-size-fits-all pricing – When pricing teams are handcuffed by spreadsheets or inflexible ERPs, it quickly becomes difficult to maintain optimal pricing strategies over thousands of products, regions, or customers. This leads to blanket pricing that is less profitable and ineffectively managed. 
  3. Lack of pricing governance – Combine slow turnaround times with one-size pricing, and you get sales teams that aren’t confident in the pricing set by finance. When sales lacks transparency around pricing decisions, they are less likely to adhere to price sheets and policies.  
  4. Inefficient discounting – Without the right tools in place or confidence in pricing, sales teams often take price sheets as just suggestions. Rogue discounting without a line of sight into margin or profitability completely goes astray from set pricing strategies.       
  5. No means to execute or deliver pricing – Creating pricing without the tools to deliver dynamic, real-time prices to sellers and customers across channels not only means wasted resources, but a sure-fire way for finance strategy to fail. 

Accelerate Success by Efficiently Managing the Pricing Lifecycle 

There is a better way to solve many of these pricing problems, which are rooted in siloed pricing data and a lack of control and flexibility to manage and deliver the right price to your sellers.  

For your pricing strategy and projects to be successful, you need to efficiently manage the entire pricing lifecycle. Pricing leaders have the unique opportunity to set strategy, manage and optimize price, and deliver it effectively to sales and marketing while leveraging analytics for continuous improvements. By treating and managing pricing as a full end-to-end lifecycle, pricing leaders better and more efficiently serve stakeholders across sales and revenue operations.  

Manual tools and spreadsheets are not capable of unlocking the full potential of pricing.  Fortunately, purpose-built pricing solutions are readily available and proven to help pricing leaders manage pricing in a seamless way -- whether it’s responding to cost changes, managing global and regional price lists, and managing discounts – all while driving the governance to ensure sales and marketing teams have what they need to execute deals. 

This is part of a series on the Pricing Lifecycle. Read our previous blog posts to learn what the pricing lifecycle is, discover the 10 most common signs of a broken pricing process, and why pricing is more important than ever

Are you ready to learn how Zilliant can help you overcome your pricing challenges?

Reach out to us today to learn how we can help!