Episode 85
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B2B Reimagined LIVE! Illuminating Perspectives from Pricing Leaders

Listen to our first-ever live episode of the podcast, recorded at Zilliant MindShare 2024, featuring a panel of leading pricing professionals.

Pressure on pricing teams is greater than ever. But in times of great pressure, new ideas and ways of doing things emerge. Mo Beshir (Accenture), Rob Pedigo (Dawn Foods) and Lydia DiLiello (Capital Pricing Consultants) explore the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind pricing transformation, how to elevate pricing within a company, how to manage organizational change, and the tangible impacts of pricing success.

Mo Beshir

Mo Beshir

Rob Pedigo

Rob Pedigo

Lydia DiLiello

Lydia DiLiello

Episode Transcript

Matt Knaggs: Ladies and gentlemen, how about a warm welcome for B2B Reimagined? 

Barrett Thompson: Hello everyone. My name is Barrett Thompson. I'm the vice president of customer and industry relations at Zilliant and the host of B2B Reimagined. We're excited to have you with us today for our first ever live podcast episode recorded on stage here at Zilliant Mindshare 2024. For those who are unfamiliar, we have 83 episodes of our podcast, available for you to listen to on our website, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

We bring on thought leaders from our customers, from partners, from industry to help us explore their perspective on driving commercial excellence in B2B. And it's my privilege this afternoon to be joined by Rob Pedigo from Dawn Foods, Lydia DiLiello from Capital [00:01:00] Pricing Consultants and Mo Beshir from Accenture.

Welcome to B2B Reimagined. Now, before we get started with our topic, I'd like you to indulge me. I want to do a lightning round icebreaker. And, , so the question is, what is your favorite cartoon character and why? All right. , Rob, I think we'll start with you. Favorite cartoon character and why?

Rob Pedigo: I'm going to go with Astro from the Jetsons.

Two simple reasons. Space. Dog. 

Barrett Thompson: That's a good one. Lydia? 

Lydia DiLiello: I'm going to go with the Tasmanian Devil because even though sometimes he makes a mess, he always gets the job done. 

Mo Beshir: Well, for me, Barrett, I had to research because I wanted to check if my character Made it to the top 10 of value generation [00:02:00] over their life cycle.

They're in nber four and you, as you see my buddy, you can see I've adopted the character ways of eating and I eat a lot of honey. So I go with Winnie the Pooh. 

Barrett Thompson: That's a great choice. 

Mo Beshir: So generated 50 billion during their lifetime. Wow. 

Barrett Thompson: It's quite a brand, quite a legacy. Alright, thank you for sharing that.

Let's take a moment and I'd ask each of you to share your company, your role, and how you help your clients. And maybe we'll go in reverse order with you first, Mo. 

Mo Beshir: Sure. So I'm a managing director in Accenture. I lead the global quote to cash practice, part of strategy. So I bring in, , strategy and consulting as well as technology to help our customer from driving the vision all the way to implementing it, , end to end.

Barrett Thompson: Very good. [00:03:00] Lydia. 

Lydia DiLiello: So, I'm the CEO and founder of Capital Pricing Consultants and it's a revenue management consultancy focused really on helping customers increase revenue and profitability sustainably. 

Rob Pedigo: I'm Rob Pedigo. I'm the Senior Director of Pricing Strategy for Dawn Foods. We are a bakery supply company.

We manufacture goods and we distribute our goods as well as others to make a complete basket for our customers. 

Barrett Thompson: Thank you, Rob. Alright in line with the key themes that we've been discussing here at Mindshare, the topic I would like to explore with you three is the theme of pricing transformation in the context of great pressures that are on business today, as well as the great opportunities that are in front of us.

And I thought we would begin, Rob, you have recently been at the lead of a pricing transformation in your own company. So I wonder if you [00:04:00] would take a moment and explain that to us, maybe from both a process perspective and a technology perspective, how have you approached the problem? What results have you seen and where are you on the journey?

Rob Pedigo: Thank you yeah, we, we actually have coming from a wild west situation where there's just a lot of running and gunning with prices out in the field. There were some guidelines on how to price certain products, but not quite. to create consistency in our pricing schemes. So what we did is we took the technology first approach and went straight from the wild west to putting in the Price IQ price optimization solution.

Now, in terms of process with that, we, since that is a significant change in and of itself, we tried not to do a lot with process. We, we created the pathway to get the guidance to our sellers and [00:05:00] coach them a little bit on the types of. Price actions. We'd like to see them executing with this tool and, you know, some negotiating strategies to, to help guide prices in the direction that's necessary.

And it's not always price up. We were trying to get to a point where we had reasonable, rational prices in the market for our customers that would be fair to them. 

Barrett Thompson: Rob, when you think about where you would ultimately like to be and compare that to where you started from. What percentage through that journey do you believe you're at currently?

Rob Pedigo: Yeah, that's an interesting question, and it depends on who you ask. Okay, yeah. I, you know, if you talk to some folks, they would say, Well, since we've already put in Price IQ, we're done. Right. We're optimized. Not quite. I don't believe that there really is an end of the pricing journey. I would say that even though we've implemented price optimizations, we still have a great [00:06:00] deal of room for improvement and some really exciting things to do with our pricing for our customers.

Barrett Thompson: Now, Lydia and Mo, you've both worked with customers, many sizes, many industries on their pricing transformation. So I'd like to give you an opportunity, you know, hearing how, what Rob just described, What comes to mind for you? Is there, is his path unique or is it common or are there any other things that you think are noteworthy you'd want to call out about the journey that he just described based on your experience?


Lydia DiLiello: So I think that the path that Rob you chose makes a tremendous sense because you put in guidelines to support the guidance that you were giving to your sales force and, and that's critical. And I think it's a step that a lot of companies don't always wanna take because what they think is that you set two or three guidelines and that covers it.

And we all know that governance and grants of authority can be painstaking. [00:07:00] and getting it right and really being willing to iterate on that to make sure that, because prices, to your point, are going to go two directions if we're really doing this engaged and thoughtfully, because we've all got price points out there that I hate to say are too high.

So, how we manage that to get down to something that is the most profitable for our business, where we get the highest number of sales, is critical. 

Mo Beshir: And from my side, I agree with Rob, pricing is not a sprint. It's a marathon. It's a lifetime. It's a journey that we all embark on. And we see a lot of customers going into that journey and evolving with it throughout the years.

So it doesn't matter where you start. Like you mentioned, you started with the technology part and you started building the guardrail using technology. And it's a great way. Sometimes using technology helps drive change management. Some [00:08:00] other clients will go and do the process first and then enable the technology on top.

So we've seen both ways and there is no one way fits everybody. It's what fits each customers in their context in their point in time. 

Barrett Thompson: So there are multiple ways to be successful on that journey. That's what I'm hearing from you, Mo. I'm curious to know, when I think about a business that maybe has been running pricing the same way for decades and highly successful, or they wouldn't still be in business.

So there's something to what they're doing. I'm curious to know your point of view on what motivates such a business to really undertake a pricing transformation, right? That feels like a lot of activity and maybe is perceived as a lot of risk. So what are the things that are driving that? Rob, I wonder if you would share from perspective of Dawn Foods, what first motivated that transformation for you?

And then Lydia and Mo, you could [00:09:00] share also what you have seen as typical drivers. 

Rob Pedigo: If you don't mind, this is actually the third pricing transformation that I've been involved with and each has kind of had its own genesis. The first company that I was, I was working on a pricing transformation for was responding to forthcoming changes in the competitive landscape.

They knew there'd be opportunity, but we couldn't approach pricing the same way that we had since the company's inception. It just wouldn't work. So I led that effort. The second company, there was a government mandate within parts of telecommunications to change the way the companies were compensating one another.

So I led changes not just within my company, but also within the industry and with regulators to, to drive that change. And for Dawn, I wasn't with the company yet when they decided to pursue price optimization. So I can't see exactly what their inspiration was, but I [00:10:00] believe it had to do a lot with understanding that their prices were kind of all over the place.

And especially as you get out at the long end of the product tail, They didn't have as much consistent data to work with to price those effectively. 

Barrett Thompson: Mo, what have you seen as some of the common drivers for a pricing transformation? 

Mo Beshir: One of the facts that we all know, if we keep doing the same thing, we'll get the same result.

So today, as we, we all know, pricing should be improving margins across the globe. We are seeing, for example, the pressures, the mar macroeconomic pressure coming into every company. If they keep doing what they're doing with the macroeconomic pressure, the margin will erode. And if we do not do something about it, it will, the, it will shrink, the share price will go down and it'll become a, a spinning, a [00:11:00] downward spinning problem.

So what we do is we always go to clients and say. Let me take your data. Let me look at what we can do together on optimizing and improving your margin. There are lots of customers who have been very profitable in the past. But then when we look at the data, we show them look at the number of products sold in negative margin.

Yes. You did not know about those products sold in negative margin. Now, there are reasons when we can oblige one product to sell other products that are more profitable. significant in the in margin so that overall the margin improves. But if there is none of the cannibalization and I'm just losing money because I don't know, or the sales reps are selling without having a control over their selling price, there is a lot we can do together.

Barrett Thompson: Lydia, what have you seen with the clients that you've helped? 

Lydia DiLiello: [00:12:00] I often see, Mo, to your point, I think you catch it maybe before, I often see that clients will contact me once they start to bleed. If it's business as usual, that they've done for years and years and been very successful, All of a sudden, Q1 doesn't look so hot, Q2, margin deteriorated further, Q3, everybody's hair's on fire, and then we start calling to get help because clearly something's gone very wrong.

And I see that in companies of all sizes. A fortune 500 who was discounting in house three times before anything went out the door to the customer because they didn't trust their data. They had a data lake that I called a data swamp and nobody trusted it and so they just discounted because they were trying to win business and nobody was doing anything wrong.

But when the COO saw that, now it shines a bright light. So. It's an event or it's a continuous progression of [00:13:00] bleeding that causes them to say, Oh, we've got to do something very different than we've been doing. 

Barrett Thompson: I think it was Warren Buffett who quipped, When the tide goes out, you see who's swimming naked, right?

So when the tide changes, the tide of business, the tide of profitability, then people realize that they're exposed, you know, and they want to take care of it. Are there any other organic drivers? For example, M& A activity or something, some other kind of indicator of, you know, you reach a certain size on the sales team or you reach a certain number of SKUs in the catalog that can trigger the necessity to get serious about a pricing transformation or maybe, maybe another IT initiative that's going on inside the company, which creates an opportunity to put pricing transformation along with it.


Mo Beshir: So today every customer is going through S4 HANA and upgrading and moving into the ERP. What we are advising [00:14:00] our customers is that look at your pricing even if you're just going into your S4 HANA. Because if I simplify your pricing point, if I can keep optimizing your pricing while reducing the complexity, it will even simplify your S4 HANA implementation.

I've seen a lot of customers driving the pricing initiative because either their solution, their existing solution that they build potentially on their own or use other solution that are running out of warranty and that could trigger their decision to look outside. What else is there so that on the it side?

There is definitely a lot of reasons behind that, but also on the business to your point. I want to be an acquisition target and I want to make my, my price point exciting for the investors that when they look at our books, we are in a healthy business. [00:15:00]

Barrett Thompson: Makes sense. Lydia or Rob, any other triggers in the business itself?

Lydia DiLiello: So I think with the, the mergers and acquisitions, the other thing that happens is in addition to being interesting to a potential buyer, is because all of that information is being reviewed, suddenly, The impact of where we really are versus where we've been year over year. Everything gets uncovered because by the nature of M&A, right, you have to.

And so it shines a bright light on it. And now because it's exposed, there's an opportunity to go do something about it. 

Rob Pedigo: And if you are looking to be acquired, And I'm not saying anything. If my Dawn people are listening, I don't want to alarm anybody, but if you are looking to be acquired and you show you've, increased the value of your company and you've become more efficient, that could increase your asking price.

Barrett Thompson: Yeah, it certainly makes sense. As we talk with [00:16:00] pricing leaders, one of the laments that we hear is that they may feel that they lack influence. enough to inside their organization to even get a pricing transformation on the agenda, right? The corporate agenda is full with many things at Zilliant it's our goal to put pricing at the heart of the business. And so I wonder among the three of you, can you think of some ways that pricing leaders here or Zilliant ourselves could do a better job to achieve that goal of getting pricing on the agenda. 

Lydia DiLiello: So the first thing I think is, is as practitioners, we need to get the numbers in front of our executive leadership teams, and we need to get them in a really tight format that's consumable.

I certainly was guilty of this as a practitioner. I'd come in with four reams of paper because it was so important to me, every bit of it, except that the CEO really only wanted to see five or six metrics. And if I could show those five or six [00:17:00] metrics, Over the past three years, it became very impactful and really helped me move an initiative forward.

So I would say, identify those and then partner with Zilliant or to get help in how are you going to show this in a meaningful way, right, to your leadership. And tell that story because you're gonna need some help in lifting this. 

Barrett Thompson: Rob, what about your experience? You mentioned several companies where you've been at the lead, so How did you find a way to get the pricing transformation up on the corporate agenda and receiving attention and resources?

Rob Pedigo: It's a Lydia's point. The numbers are critical. The context is also important. And when you can tell the story with the numbers, this is where we are. This is why we think we are where we are. If we make these tweaks, we think this is where we can be. And you can do it concisely. And as you're talking to the leaders from different parts of the company, say [00:18:00] sales, marketing, procurement, they're all going to have their own interests and expectations about how we can improve.

So if you craft the story each time you talk to them to address what their needs are and how price and transformation could help meet them, it becomes much more palpable for them. It helps grease the skids for acceptance. 

Barrett Thompson: I think there's real wisdom in that Rob and seek out an ally by aligning with their interests and showing them how the pricing initiative is going to serve their interests.

I think that's really smart. Mo. 

Mo Beshir: I have a quote for you, but I would love it. And I had to research it from my Winnie the Pooh because he apparently was very smart pricing guy. So Winnie the Pooh says, and I remind everybody here in this room, you're braver than you believe you're stronger than you seem, and you're [00:19:00] smarter than you think.

We keep that in our mind for all of us. We can bring the value what we want to achieve. And I could not agree more with what Robin Lydia said. But I just want to say, let's remember the quote from Winnie the Pooh, because there is a lot we can do. 

Barrett Thompson: So pricing according to Pooh. That's great. That's great.

Well, let me also ask in that context, you know, a pricing transformation is rarely, if ever, the only transformation that's going on inside of a company. So what are your thoughts on how you navigate? Competing initiatives that may be happening, initiatives that are getting attention that you want the pricing initiative to receive.

We hear often about resource constraints and, you know, finite dollars and finite even attention from leadership. How do [00:20:00] you put pricing in the spotlight? Mo let me start with you. 

Mo Beshir: Sure. I always start with a business case. What is the business case for all the initiative we're running? Someone said it earlier today.

Pricing has always the highest return on investment. So, as Lydia said, presenting the vision, presenting the return on investment from the business case compared to the other initiatives usually helps me when I was a pricing person or when I advised my client on why we should prioritize pricing initiative before anything else.

Or get pricing to cover the cost of all the other initiatives. But you start with pricing. 

Barrett Thompson: And we heard that fact, Patrick was mentioning that from Future earlier today, didn't he? That the pricing initiative had covered the cost of all of the other IT [00:21:00] initiatives that were ongoing. I thought that was really impactful.

Yes. Lydia, what have you seen? 

Lydia DiLiello: So as a follow on, Mo, I agree with you totally in terms of, if you, You put those numbers together and then you have, you show that it's going to cover the cost for the other initiatives, pull in people who have actually had that experience, who have proven that, and come and either collect their testimonials, get them to speak at your company so that your leadership knows 15 of them and that we have to provide them.

It adds more credibility if other companies are coming forward and saying, Hey, look, we put the price initiative in, and then we were able to do these other three initiatives without spending additional capital. So I think that that's kind of the two step approach. 

Barrett Thompson: Yeah. That credible reference.


Lydia DiLiello: And the more, the better. 

Barrett Thompson: Yeah. It speaks volumes. Rob. 

Rob Pedigo: I agree completely with what Lydia and Mo have [00:22:00] shared. I would just add to it. To be, because if the pricing initiative is going to have the most bang for the buck, there are going to be times where it's not going to be as impactful to the functionality of the business as some other upgrades or emergency, changes that need to be made.

So I, my advice is to be persistent, make sure your story is still carried forward regularly so folks remember the value that you're offering, but also be a great partner. And, and help these other initiatives move along and kind of set the example for the type of partnership that you'd like to receive when you get into your pricing work.

Barrett Thompson: It's great advice. Great advice. Well, let me ask if there's any other advice that any of you would like to share with our, with those here in the audience for, for those that are embarking on a major pricing project of their own, what guidance would you give them? And Rob, let's begin with you. 

Rob Pedigo: Don't [00:23:00] underestimate the impact of culture on your journey. You're going to see that there are parts of the company that move a little faster than others But you can't outpace your culture change. So culture change around pricing is essential. I know we've talked about that a lot at mindshare but it's true. It really does make a huge difference when the culture is moving along with the process changes.

Lydia DiLiello: Stay persistent Don't take no easily, keep shining a bright light on it, keep putting the same metrics in front. I think there's value in repetition. At some point, as a company is bleeding or losing margin, one of the C levels is going to look at that report that you've been generating and that you have been proactively saying every occasion you get.

We could make a change to this and I would say also parse it out. If you find that you're not getting the response you want, then [00:24:00] instead of looking at it from the total picture, take one piece and see what you can control one piece at a time and show the positive movement forward and I think that gets you a lot of credibility and gains you traction more quickly.

Mo Beshir: I would say crawl, walk before you run. Take it step by step. It's a, it's a long marathon. It's not a sprint. Of course, when we showed the business case and there's a lot of value, there is a lot. Everybody get excited. Let's go and do it all right now and put an army on it. Walk, crawl, walk, and then run, and you will run.

You will reach that, but take it step by step. 

Barrett Thompson: Building that solid foundation, right? Not getting ahead of yourself. This has all been great. I'll just open it up. Is there any other words of wisdom or parting comments you'd like to make to our audience [00:25:00] today? 

Mo Beshir: I would say keep, keep learning. Pricing is a journey that we will all continue to learn from each other.

So keep coming to event like this. Keep joining Barrett's seminars and podcasts because there's a lot of wisdom, lots of learning that we can all learn from each other. 

Barrett Thompson: Thank you, Mo. 

Lydia DiLiello: When you hit the noise, which you will, anytime you start a project, there's going to be noise and everybody that's got a problem is going to pile on to your project, right?

It's like a Sunday, except not as positive. So, keep the faith and go back and find, remember why you were doing this. What is it that you started the project to actually resolve or figure out? And then go back to the people who are trying to pile on and see if you really can, I think to Rob's point earlier, be a good partner and help them in some way, but make sure you get what you intended and what you wrote the [00:26:00] ROI on done and accomplished first.

Thank you, Lydia. 

Rob Pedigo: , Lydia mentioned pain points that you're going to encounter, but I would say keep in mind that your partners are going to encounter their own sources of pain. And be as empathetic as you can along the journey, and just try to keep relating to those folks, acknowledge their pain points, and do whatever you can to help them work through them, and they'll appreciate that, I believe.

Barrett Thompson: Thank you, Rob. We've got a few minutes. We'd love to take questions from the audience. Zilliant has a couple of folks with mics who will be mic runners. Well, they're standing on the sides and scanning the audience. If you would like to ask a question of any of our panelists, please stand so that we can see you and bring a mic to you.

Would you help us out? Who's got a question? 

Audience: A question for the panel. Do any of you have any experience of trying to get your leadership team to [00:27:00] change the structure of the incentive plan. Our incentive plan is not optimal for profit growth, but have you guys ever experienced that in your careers?

What would you recommend? 

Barrett Thompson: What is your experience with changing the incentive plan for sales so that it aligns with the goal of profitable growth? 

Mo Beshir: Absolutely. Very good question. One way to drive reduction of price erosion is to give the sales rep a way to see what does it mean for them in every quote.

So if I, and what this is when technology now becomes easy that I can have within my quotation tool a way to put an incentive calculation next to it. So every time they put a 10 percent or a 20 percent they see the calculation on the right side. of what does it mean to their own incentive from that deal.[00:28:00] 

And by doing that, by showing the salesperson the, the real impact, this is when I was able to get the most out of the reduction and reduce and bring lower the corridors of my pricing approval. 

Barrett Thompson: Rob or Lydia, have you also worked on aligning incentives to the pricing? 

Rob Pedigo: I have in a couple of different companies, not so much with Dawn, but the biggest thing is take a look at what the current program is, get your vision of where you think it needs to go. And not just, don't just try to go from, from A to Z, but there may need to be a series of course corrections to get there. For example, you could have some competing objectives that are presented in the sales comp plan as you're able to resolve those over time. It will make the transition a little bit easier. 

Barrett Thompson: Lydia. [00:29:00] 

Lydia DiLiello: I would say any way that you can tie compensation to the behavior that you want relative to discount containment. You want to do it. I have seen incredible transformation in sales organizations. Who went from quite literally, Oh, I couldn't possibly put in a 10 percent discount.

And this is a true story. To the next morning, a phone call of, That 10 percent is in and that customer is taking it. Right? We're all coin operated. Tell us how we're going to be compensated, And we will behave accordingly. Right? Yeah. 

Barrett Thompson: Yeah. It makes sense. Yeah. It's a, it's a common reality though that when the pricing initiative often runs into this, , this obstacle or this speed bp of how do we get sellers to embrace the guidance if their compensation plan inclines them to price in a different way, right?

So harmonizing that's pretty important. [00:30:00] Who else would like to ask a question of the panel? And thank you, by the way. 

Audience: I've got a question. I'm a project manager. I run implementations. And I'm a big believer in the agile methodology of implementing software. Does, does a pricing transformation, can it take similar strategies?

Rob Pedigo: Are you speaking to the implementation itself of the software or to the transformation over time? 

Speaker 7: No, more of the transformation over time.

What you mentioned, the culture and how you engage, get sales and marketing and all on the same page. Does that align with a more agile, do little things, see if it works, adjust, or does it take a broader, agreed upon strategy? 

Rob Pedigo: That's worked for me, actually. [00:31:00] 

See what resonates with folks, and where they may lack some understanding of what you're trying to do. And then change. 

Mo Beshir: I can build on that in every implementation and in every engagement. We recommend agile. We recommend try incremental pieces so that you can see what does it mean and build on top of it learn from it and continue to evolve.

So the smaller increments in agile process works really well in pricing. And I encourage everybody to use Agile in the, in the implementation of your pricing. 

Lydia DiLiello: One piece that I would add is establish a communication tool of some sort on a consistent basis with your assorted teams. And really [00:32:00] help them learn to depend on you for that so that they'll get the straight story from you each and every time.

And if there's things you can't release, because oftentimes when you're going through transformations, right, you need to clear things with the sea levels before you can actually go ahead and implement them. But help your teams trust you for the information, because otherwise they're going to create it on their own and it's going to be misinformation.

Transcribed And that's when it all falls apart, right? The wheels come off. So establish yourself as the place to come, but, but do it once, and that way you're not getting a thousand questions every time you walk down the hallway. 

Barrett Thompson: That's good. Let's take another question.

Audience: Thank you. I heard the comment about, Rob's comment about starting with a big bang, not having done a lot of process work. And I was wondering if that approach helped foster a [00:33:00] process, discover a process that was rooted in the technology that was chosen itself. 

Rob Pedigo: It was kind of a big shock to folks at first because they expected the amount of change to their daily routines to be far more monumental than it actually was.

But once they saw that we were just doing, making small adjustments, you know, for example, we weren't asking them to look and systems they didn't already use today to see where their pricing guidance was. That was a tremendous relief. That's another recommendation I would make to folks who are thinking about going down this journey.

At every path, make sure that your sales teams understand that what you're doing is ultimately going to help them. It's going to make their lives easier. It's going to allow them to spend more time listening to their customers, understanding their needs. Thank you. We would take the lead from the, I shouldn't say we would take the lead from, but we would take a look at the information [00:34:00] that was available in terms of inputs and outputs and kind of craft processes around them to make every step we're asking the people to take something that they could understand, follow, and validate along the way.

Barrett Thompson: Alright, let's take another question. Thank you for that. 

Audience: Just a question around, any kind of guidance you have, so in our situation, so I guess in similar customer situations, every single price that we quote to a customer, it's own special snowflake, right? So, you know, I'm in the packaging industry, so a customer wants to put some cereal in a box, and every one of those quotes starts with its own bill of materials, its [00:35:00] own labor estimate.

It's all custom from the ground up. So we're being challenged to come up with market based pricing. But I have no visibility to what the market looks like. So how do you what's the guidance you give to customers like that where there isn't really a price out there in the market to try and give some guidance on.

Barrett Thompson: Lydia, I know your background. You ran pricing for a custom manufacturing organization. Maybe you want to take the first shot at that. 

Lydia DiLiello: So are you able to plot out what your existing customers are purchasing now? Can you get a clear picture to that? 

Audience: From the transactional side, you have the final SKU, which is specific to the customer and a price.

Lydia DiLiello: So that's, that was one of the first challenges we had to deal with the same, which was to bucketize some of the attributes. In other words, [00:36:00] even if you can get six, six base attributes. So what's the overall size? And you can do that by square inches. And then what's the basic material that you're talking about?

What kind of plastic? Because that'll tell you which kind of resin category you're in. And then what kind of product family is this? Is this a special technology or is this something that you've had available for the past 10 years? So that you start to really dimension what kind of product you're dealing with.

But that was honestly how we dealt with it. And then we went back and we said, okay, where do we want to be? With that set of criteria, which product do we want priced the highest? Because it brings the most value, it has the most technology. For example, if it's for food, which you brought up, right? So if it was perishable, that had the highest value because the plastic had to have the respiration rates and all of those things.

But it sounds like your [00:37:00] first, honestly, your biggest challenge is going to be to capture that data because without plotting it, literally, you got a dartboard and dart. It's, I've been there, I understand the challenge of that. But really, once you can capture the data, making the choice about what buckets to put it in gets really easy.

Barrett Thompson: And Mo, you've, I'm sure, worked with many configured pricing situations. Do you have anything to add about how to handle the multiplicity of configurations, the uniqueness of each configuration, and still pull a useful price signal out of that data? 

Mo Beshir: I agree. Yes. And I, I will build on what Lydia was saying.

It's individual attribute, like even if it at the end, the combination will end up somewhere. But each product has an attribute that generate value that gets the customer willingness to pay against. So if [00:38:00] you can break it down into the individual component. The after that, which what will be the end price becomes a systemic calculation.

Barrett Thompson: One idea I'll share to pick up on this. We've customers speaking to us often these days for whom they've already captured the attributes and they've been able to assign a discrete value for each of the attributes. And the challenge now is to create a price build method or price build sequence, a technology that says we can start from a reference price.

And then if I'm changing the material, I'm performing more cuts, more bends, more folds, putting a different color ink on, et cetera, they build up to that value based price once they've done that data work of being able to decompose the attributes and assign a value to them. So I think there's promise that will flow out of collecting that data as Lydia suggested.

We can take one more. 

Audience: I had a question for Mo [00:39:00] actually. You mentioned, walk, crawl, run, which I think is very prudent advice to give in multiple situations. In this particular case with this pricing transformation, and it's difficult, I think, a challenge in a sense for someone like me not to be inclined to run.

So my question is, you know, maybe, what does that look like? For example, let's hypothetically characterize it this way. I'm about to pitch the pace and the cadence in which we ought to implement a solution like this. What does walk crawl run look like? For example, we are piloting right now, I guess that'd be an example of crawl.

But, in terms of time period and activities, what does that look like for a price and implementation? It'd be helpful to [00:40:00] know. Thank you. 

Mo Beshir: Sure. So what I mean by that, there are fundamentals that we need to have in place. Fundamentals about the data fundamentals about the data flow and the integrity of the data fundamentals about the new ways of running the business.

And how we want to evaluate the future of the business. So doing a pilot is a great way to learn and like you're still crawling into learning what the market needs. But before rolling this initial solution, understanding where the global template would look like. So that when you build the next market, it gives you already a synergy on how you're rolling this out globally.

Trying to get without slowing the business case. And that's the fine tuning between how fast I can go in that direction while I'm building a global template [00:41:00] template structure that will work with the 90 percent of my clients and my countries. And that's what when I run is when I start taking that and distributed across the globe.

Audience: So, that hypothetically I'm making, we've been networking here with other people who have implemented the pricing solution transformation, and they refer to it as they went with the big bang. They did the run. And so I'm just trying to get a flavor for what does that look like? And if you're advising against that or not.

Mo Beshir: Now, if we think about the total end to end pricing, we have the price list. We [00:42:00] have the final end customer price. We have the execution of the price and the whole CPQ side of things.

And then we have the billing and the order management and all of that. Now doing all of that end to end is not advisable. So when I say crawl or split it into component is figure out what will be the critical mass that gives you the initial early benefit that gets the rest of the business to see the value of that initiative so that we can keep funding this because we see the early wins while not stressing the system too much.

Because we don't want to destroy or slow down the selling of the process while we're transitioning into the new ways of selling. So it could be setting Price Manager in certain cases as a one big bang as the early phase as the [00:43:00] crawling. But then adding a CPQ, adding billing, adding is when you're starting crawling.

And when you start walking and when you have the whole global template in place. This is hypothetically could be when I'm starting to run in terms of expansion. Make sense. 

Barrett Thompson: It sounds like Mo, it might be a matter of the zoom level at which you're looking at the picture.

Mo Beshir: Exactly. 

Barrett Thompson: I heard you describe that end to end unadvisable to take on five systems as a single Big Bang project. But when you zoom in and say, I'm going to set my list prices. I'm going to get that negotiated pricing right for the special discounts. That may be an activity that in its entirety looks like a big bang because you're, you're doing it right as one project.

Am I hearing you correctly? Right. Appreciate that. And thank you, Paul, for the question. Well I'd like to thank each of our guests today for being generous [00:44:00] with your insights. Mo, Lydia and Rob, thank you so much. Can we give them a hand?

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