Latest Event Updates

Are Profit Vampires Sucking Your Blood?

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Read excerpts of an article that highlights how important it is for distributors to implement proven scientific pricing and sales negotiations processes that will stop unnecessary discounting by sales people for small customers who promise to buy in volume, killing a deal’s profitability with free services, and empower them to negotiate with confidence when providing complex customer solutions.

“The evil deeds of dastardly fellow, known as Count Purchasing, are legendary.”

You could probably add a few anecdotal stories of your own. But in our world, the greatest disaster to innocents with salesperson business cards comes when Count Purchasing transmutes into the shape of our best friend.

His sweet siren’s song goes something like this: “You’re really a great company. We really think you have worked hard…and because of all this, I am going to let you have the order… Assuming you can match the price.” To the uninformed, it sweetly rings forth with a too good to pass up message. At least until you analyze its hidden meaning.

Deep in the cavernous hideout of his castle office, Count Purchasing has an engraved plaque bearing the motto “buy from the best supplier, but pay the price of the worst on the planet.” In our case, he may be touting the ill-conceived price of that organization down the street. The one with no post-sale support, poor delivery and terrible accounting practices. Or in the case of our technology driven products, he may use the price of a company without specialists. All falling after your motion control, abrasives or cutting tool specialist invested days and dozens of phone calls helping his own engineering team develop detailed specifications, bills of materials and all the rest. Simply put, you do the work and get paid like the guys who did nothing.

“Vampire killing tip Numero Uno, you must recognize that Count Purchasing was trained to sing this verse.”

But wait, there’s more.

Another sweet song comes in the form of exaggerated quantities. “I will be acquiring zillions of these over the next few years. Give me the price level for your largest quantity break.” Strangely, the large order never comes. What’s worse is we, as innocents, often lock their organization into large quantity pricing without setting expectations for lack of quantity or periodically reviewing the results. Years pass and they continually feed on our goodwill. Again, a “trick of the trade” is used to pull the life’s blood from our organization. Vampire killing tip number two; develop quotes that allow for periodic quantity reviews.

“Not every vampire in our industry has a cubical down in the Procurement Department.”

Some of them dwell like invisible demons in the minds of our own folks. When we substitute “nice guy” thoughts in place of business sense, they flourish. Each and every time we give a really friendly small customer the same pricing as the gigantic user down the street – they put the bite on our bottom line. Research by David Bauders of Strategic Pricing Associates demonstrates thousands of examples of this phenomenon. Tiny customers are given sub-market pricing, strangely buying quantities of one or two at levels equal to or lower than your biggest customer who purchases hundreds at a time. Drop by precious drop the life’s blood of your business is drained from your bottom line. How much can this be? These are tiny droplets – but the red cells add up. David’s team has a track record of adding two points of added margin to distributor’s business.

“A trip to the musty crypt of the undead reveals a menacing claw fiendishly refusing to die.”

This monster goes by the name of Free Service. Let’s bravely explore the situation. We sold the customer a system back in 2006. Strangely, a decade later, we find ourselves mesmerized into believing post-sale service is our responsibility. What’s worse, we think we’re obligated to do it for free. In spite of expert advice to drive a stake through the beast’s black heart, the darn thing just won’t die.

The practice of free service is a time honored tradition in the electrical wholesaling world. It is reinforced by some supply partners. They would have you believe it’s the true duty of every red-blooded prey… I mean distributor. And systems integrators, contractors and installers echoed the message like sound bouncing in Dracula’s tomb. For some unholy reason, there’s not an issue with our service, as long as we never, ever charge for the privilege.

“Spend a little time at your next sales meeting talking about negotiation techniques.”

A few years ago we worked with purchasing guru Malcolm Mills on a series of sales process improvement programs. We discovered the guys on Malcolm’s side (purchasing) regularly attend classes covering negotiation strategies. They don’t lie, but developing skills to mislead our sellers seems to be worth the investment to them. Every time we stumble into one of their snares, it cost us money. Insist your sellers answer the comment “your price is too high” with a powerful value statement.

Invest a little time in understanding your value to the customer. Some of your day-to-day actions create thousands of dollars in real measurable value. Don’t let Count Purchasing hypnotize you into believing “all our vendors can do that.” First, it’s probably not true. More importantly, it doesn’t matter. If you produce real measurable value – it adds to the customer’s bottom line. You should be fairly compensated.

Click here to read the complete article.

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can subscribe to our Strategic Pricing Pays blog or follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.

Strategic Pricing and Negotiation Webinar Series – Pricing Education, Analytics, and Decision Making Tools | October 2016

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Now it is easier than ever to make time to learn about the latest strategic pricing and negotiation tools and techniques. If the dates don’t work for you or you have to miss a session – reach out to us for access to a recording of the webinar.

Strategic Pricing and Negotiation Webinar Series Overview

We’re excited to announce the availability of several On-Demand webinars and October dates for our series of live educational and informative webinar sessions. Now it is easier than ever to make time to learn about the latest strategic pricing and negotiation tools and techniques live or OnDemand!

Our pricing education, analytics, and decision making focused webinars will be both educational and practical, informing you about what we do, and how our products and services will significantly improve your financial performance. Register for some of this month’s live webinars or access an OnDemand webcast for an inside look at how the SPA and SPASigma teams can help your company make smarter, better-informed pricing decisions across your entire business.

The following is just one of many testimonials about the impact of implementing strategic pricing.

“SPA has taught us a lot about using our data to make better decisions. Our pricing decisions are based on facts, which make our decisions much more powerful. The improvements our company has seen are bottom line improvements. We make more money today than we did before. We have done better every year. We have done marvelous things to the bottom line… We have found that the bottom half of your business can have a significant impact on your bottom line. It’s been a wonderful relationship! They are quick to respond and it’s been wonderful. If anyone would like to make more money they should sign up now.”

– Automotive Distributor

Click here to read SPA Client Testimonials

 

Webinar Overviews

 

Pricing Education

 

SPASigma: Negotiation Training Seminars and Learning Management System

Thursday, October 13 at 2:00 PM Eastern

Typically, salespeople are trained to sell, buyers are trained to buy. Buying and selling skills provide one component, but the subject of negotiation is vast and complex. Once exposed to formal negotiation training, experienced professionals are often amazed to learn of the vital areas of opportunity only visible through the lens of negotiation.

SPASigma Seminars are dynamic one-day and two-day events, specially crafted to provide you with a fundamental understanding of the art and science of negotiation. Entertaining case studies, eye-opening critiques and interactive group exercises equip you with the skills and knowledge to negotiate more profitable agreements immediately.

Learning Management System:

  • Platform to ensure long-term retention
  • Monthly 1-Hour Webinar/Video with Exercises, Games and Testing
  • Best in Class platform accessible on any device
  • Tracking of individual performance
  • Certification Levels:  White Belt, Yellow, Green, Black, Master Black Belt
  • Social Recognition

Click here to register 

Six Sigma Strategic Pricing Course:  How to Leverage 6 Sigma Methodology to Drive Profitable Growth
Thursday, October 20 at 2:00 PM Eastern

This webinar will provide an overview of SPA’s Six Sigma Strategic Pricing Course. Six Sigma Master Blackbelt Greg Preuer, of SPA has created the first course designed to apply time tested Six Sigma methodology to pricing.  Those who study with Greg will learn not only how to drive the pricing process but how to sustain the gains and automate the process.  They will become Six Sigma experts (Blackbelt) in business process with a focus placed squarely on price management.

Graduates from this course will learn to chart a clear path to pricing improvement.  They will learn each of the following steps:

  • How to design and design goals which are consistent with their company’s pricing strategy.
  • How to measure and identify characteristics critical for pricing success.
  • How to analyze the current situation and steps along the way.
  • How to design an improved alternative which moves closer to the desired result.
  • How to verify that actions taken create the right results.

Click here to register 

e-Commerce:  Learn How to Strategically Price Your e-commerce Business to Capture Market Share or Capture More Margin
Tuesday, October 25 at 2:00 PM Eastern

Topics Covered:
eCommerce Offensive Pricing Strategy

  • Gain market share, but with lower GM% expectations.
  • Price levels will be more aggressive than current business.
  • No customer loyalty, choices based on each transaction.
  • Use economic or price fighting brands.
  • Leverage channel specific pricing with web as portal to it.
  • 3 click process to place an order drives higher conversion rates … search engine optimization (seo).
  • Automated self service models needed to answer customer questions.
  • Be aware of price method mix shift, with existing customers moving to the web … build fences.
  • Measure ROI to ensure delivering.
  • And more…eCommerce Defensive Pricing Strategy
  • ecommerce provides value added services to your exist customers.
  • Drives operational efficiency inside your business.
  • Leverage ecommerce to extend your current strategic pricing model to new customers.
  • Uncover and attack the natural variation that exists in the market.
  • Leverage channel specific pricing with web as portal to it.
  • Don’t advantage new customers with better price levels.
  • And more…

Click here to register 

 

Pricing Analytics

SPA Pricing Cube: Improving Margins Through a More Strategic Approach to Pricing
Monday, October 24 at 2:00 PM Eastern & OnDemand

Attendees will learn how to address the following all too common issues and opportunities for increasing profitability:

  • Customer relationships focused on product/service value, not price
  • Identifying and capturing available margin premiums
  • Identifying price-sensitive products and services
  • Improving sales reps’ confidence in prices
  • Stopping undisciplined discounting
  • Tracking metrics for sales force accountability
  • Improving pricing consistency and fairness

This webcast draws on SPA’s experience working with hundreds of companies to drive pricing gains of 2-4 margin points on affected revenue with minimal customer pushback.
Click here to register for live session 
Click here to register for OnDemand session 

 

Decision Making

 

Reporting Tool: Measure Achieved and Potential Margin Impact of Strategic Pricing
Tuesday, October 11 at 2:00 PM Eastern

Topics Covered:

  • Understand achieved and potential impact from “The SPA Pricing Cube”
  • Uncover missed opportunities and lost pricing dollars
  • Rank pricing performance of Sales Reps, Order Writers, Branches, Vendors and Product Categories
  • Understand and manage your Pricing Methods Mix
  • Highlight trends as well as monitor and manage performance over time

Click here to register 

Contract Management Tool: Workflow Tool for Automated Management of Contracts & Special Pricing Agreements
Wednesday, October 19 at 2:00 PM Eastern

Topics Covered:

  • Identify and fix underperforming Contracts and Special Pricing Agreements
  • Choose from SPA Recommended Prices, Capped Prices, or GM% / Discount% Targets
  • What if modeling of price changes and batch updating
  • Quantify the value of underperformance
  • Export new pricing for automated upload to ERP
  • Pass along vendor cost increases
  • Manage Annual Review Process – never miss a window of opportunity again

Click here to register for On-Demand session 

SPA Vendor Management Tool: Identify Cost Savings Opportunities
OnDemand

Topics Covered:

  • The cost management challenge
  • Why distributors struggle to effectively manage costs across their product portfolios
  • Missed cost decrease opportunities typically represent 2% to 3% of COGS
  • Patterns of missed cost savings opportunities SPA has observed by analyzing the data of its clients
  • Discussion of the analytical factors SPA leverages in its assessment of the relative cost positions of various vendors and its quantification of the savings opportunity
  • Demo of SPA’s vendor cost management tool
  • Upcoming tool enhancements
  • Client data requirements for tool and overview of the setup process
  • Q&A

Click here to register 

 

Other SPA Events

Click here for other SPA event dates and times including our Battle for Margin Conferences.

 

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can subscribe to our Strategic Pricing Pays blog or follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.

The Future of Knowledge-based Distribution

Posted on Updated on

Read excerpts of an article that highlights how important it is for distributors to be “knowledge-based” and implement proven scientific pricing and sales negotiations process that will stop unnecessary discounting by sales people and empower them to negotiate with confidence when providing complex customer solutions.

“The members of FPDA tend to be deeply involved in providing customer solutions”

Earlier this month I was asked to lead a discussion on the future of distribution. In this case, we focused in on the future of members of the Fluid Power Distributors Association (FPDA). Since many of our readers are not FPDA members, allow me to provide a bit of background. The members of FPDA tend to be deeply involved in providing customer solutions. In many ways they epitomize the knowledge-based distributor. Their products are complex, sellers understand product technology and application nuances, customers lean on the distributors to provide technical support and most offer up additional fee based services.

Referring to the infographic below and the evolution of the distributor model, FPDA distributors are the poster perfect picture of the Knowledge-based distributor. Deep product expertise, product specialists, customer centric engineering and solution selling is their mode of operation.

“How can the distributor ensure they will be paid for the value they provide?”

For this breed of distributor it’s not about value-added sales, instead the crux of the equation is value-metric selling. Simply put, knowledge-based distributors provide value far above the logistically based guy whose “value-add claim to fame” comes by way of timely deliveries, consolidated invoicing and the occasional cross reference to a more conveniently purchased part. Instead, knowledge-based distributors provide the stuff needed to help the customer develop better manufacturing processes, reduce costly downtime, reduce rejects and drive profitability.

Strangely, only a few of the sellers in this high value world really understand the true worth of their actions. Research indicates, their sellers go the other way, undervaluing what they do. Instead of measuring the financial impact of their ideas in terms of impact to the customer’s business, they shrug off the economic benefit as part of their “service” often struggling to justify a percent or two greater margin than the person who provides just products without much needed technical support. And, this puts the group in a dangerous position.

“Knowledge-based distributors need a different kind of training”

The selling advantage goes to the distributor salesperson who can explain the value of their proposed solution in real customer-centric terms. It’s no longer acceptable to pepper the conversation in technical jargon and call it good. Improved cycle times, communication speed, scan rates and other data may be factor for selecting components. But when a solution is being discussed, the conversation must focus on advantage to the customer. Going further, customer advantages are best described in financial terms. For instance, the product feature of improved cycle times, translates into 10 percent more parts generated and that newly created production generates $ 500,000 additional revenue to the customer.

Training focused on understanding customer economic value is critical. But, it must also be understood that rarely are solutions outlined in black and white. To better understand the situation, let’s explore a hypothetical interaction with the customer.

“A study of distributors conducted earlier this year, points to a deficit in distributor negotiation skills.”

Looking more closely, we have sales teams who constantly negotiate solution and system pricing yet have very little formal expertise in the practice.

Anticipating questions, allow me to address a couple of points.

  • Our customers see us a partners and don’t negotiate when dealing with us. This misconception is rampant in the distributor landscape. Customers certainly do negotiate. And, many have formal negotiation skills training. Have you ever formalized the technical side of a solution only to be handed off to a purchasing person to finalize the details? This in itself is a negotiation tactic.

  • Our sales team is paid on the gross margin they generate, it’s in their best interest to capture as much gross margin as possible. From a purely cerebral standpoint, this makes good sense. However, many salespeople reason that a commission on a small gross margin is better than “haggling over a few bucks” and possibly jeopardizing the order or customer relationship. Pushing further, antiquated commission policies sometimes encourage sales types to capture less than optimal margins because giving away technical support or engineered services does not reflect on the gross margin number. In this case, the salesperson gets a commission on bad business.

Click here to read the complete article.

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can subscribe to our Strategic Pricing Pays blog or follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.

Six Sigma Pricing > Analyze: Identify and Understand Opportunities to Grow Margins and Create Reporting Tools to Identify Defects

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This is the fourth in a six part blog series on how manufacturers and distributors can apply Six Sigma methodology to the pricing function to generate repeatable margin gains. This blog covers the importance of effective analysis of the right measurements and metrics to identify the root causes of defects in your pricing process.

All pricing practice leaders know a disciplined process is needed to create and maintain Pricing Excellence – effective defect analysis must cover these five areas which can be major sources of variation across commercial processes:

  1. People
  2. Information
  3. Tools / Systems
  4. Environment
  5. Methods

This crucial step leverages the measurements and metrics you have mindfully constructed to identify what needs improvement and what/where are the sources of defects in the process.

A company must properly analyze anything that impacts pricing performance and then use these insights and data to make meaningful improvements that will help you achieve your business goals. The following lays out some effective methods for the analysis phase.

Cause and Effect Analysis:

  • Diagram the relationship of the 5 sources of variation
  • Build a Cause and Effect Matrix to quantify impact of each process step
  • Select key sources of variation throughout the process
  • Capture 2-3 potential root causes from diagram
  • Dig deep into controls and compensation
  • Ask why multiple times

Process Map Analysis:

  • Diagram the process and hunt for bottlenecks or other defects of each process step
  • Chart metrics to see if the process appears stable or not
  • Use Pareto Charts, Histograms, Box plots, Scatter Plots, etc. to visually determine data distribution and variation

Six Sigma Program Overview

Six Sigma Master Blackbelt Greg Preuer, of SPA has created the first course designed to apply time tested Six Sigma methodology to pricing.  Those who study with Greg will learn not only how to drive the pricing process but how to sustain the gains and automate the process.  They will become Six Sigma experts (Blackbelt) in business process with a focus placed squarely on price management.

Graduates from this course will learn to chart a clear path to pricing improvement.  They will learn each of the following steps:

  • How to design and design goals which are consistent with their company’s pricing strategy.
  • How to measure and identify characteristics critical for pricing success.
  • How to analyze the current situation and steps along the way.
  • How to design an improved alternative which moves closer to the desired result.
  • How to verify that actions taken create the right results.

A Pricing Process founded on SPA’s Six Sigma Program includes the following:

  • Negotiating strategy and tactics
  • Value-based pricing
  • Automated decision making tools
  • Customer Profitability improvement plans
  • Sales team selling value
  • Pricing strategy and leadership
  • Consistent and fair pricing architecture
  • 2 to 4% growth in GM%
  • Pricing based on customer sensitivity
  • Continuous improvement focus

To learn how you can realize the benefits of SixSigma Pricing, contact SPA today at info@strategicpricing.com or 216.455.1545.

The following are the two remaining areas we will dive into in future articles in this blog series that will help illuminate the path to Six Sigma Pricing Excellence.

  1. Improve: build processes, systems and tools to assist teams and create reporting tools to track improvements
  2. Control: set and enforce pricing authority levels and repeat previous steps as continuous improvement never stops

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.

Strategic Pricing Events Digest | September 2016

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Attendees of our in-person and webcasted events learn how leading manufacturing and distribution executives have unlocked the keys to faster growth, stronger customer relationships, and market-leading profitability with SPA’s proven strategic pricing processes and technology. Join us as we discuss how SPA’s Strategic Pricing Program offers significant margin improvement opportunities and can lead your company to pricing and negotiation excellence.

Upcoming SPA Events

Battle for Margin > SPASIGMA Negotiation Workshop & SPA Pricing Strategy Seminar

Date: October 27-28, 2016

Location: Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

Register Now

This big-picture seminar is focused on strategic topics of importance to the owners, CEOs, CFOs, and general managers of distribution, manufacturing, technology and services companies. Experts will address the topics essential to accelerating the customer value proposition, competitive positioning and market value of any distribution or manufacturing business. The seminar addresses the strategic, analytical, process and cultural issues that are fundamental to maximizing shareholder value. The seminar will focus on the high-level, strategic and structural issues that are easily neglected in the hustle and bustle of daily business demands. It will help you to re-focus your organization on the drivers of economic value.

Event Agenda

Thursday, October 27

8:00 am: Practice Negotiation & Critique:

  • How other cultures negotiate
  • What to avoid in a negotiation?
  • The Effectiveness of Tactics in a Negotiation
  • Planning & Preparation Process

10:15 AM:  BREAK

10:30 am: Protecting Margin:

  • Driving towards Value
  • Best practice tactics to defend margin
  • Implications of Email Negotiation
  • How not to trust assumptions by testing for evidence

12:00 PM:  LUNCH

1:00 pm: Practice Negotiation & Critique:

  • The impact of giving away free concessions
  • How to deal with difficult Buyers
  • The importance of bringing clarity to Financial decisions in a negotiation
  • Aristotle’s 3 pillars of persuasion

2:30 PM:  BREAK

2:45 pm: Practice Negotiation & Critique (finale):

  • Concession Making Strategy
  • Increasing the other party’s Satisfaction
  • Negotiating with a LTR
  • Recap of the day

5:00 PM:  ADJOURNED

  • Cocktail hour and dinner to follow at Lago in the Bellagio

 

Friday, October 28

8:00 am: Setting and Getting Price:

  • Analytics and Negotiation
  • The SPA Pricing Cube™ and Contract Pricing Tools
  • The SPA Purchasing Tools
  • Pricing Flexibility with Negotiation Discipline: SPA Pricing Bands™
  • FitRep™ Mobile Sales Reporting Tools
  • Advanced Pricing Analytics:  Gold and Platinum
  • Aligning Sales Force Incentives
  • Best-Practices Pricing Processes

9:30 AM:  BREAK

9:45 am: Moderated Best Practices Panel Discussion:

  • Fostering a sales culture focused on customer value
  • Building the Negotiation skill of your organization
  • Overcoming cultural baggage and driving behavioral change
  • How to design a sales force measurement and compensation plan that truly drives wealth creation
  • The key drivers that need to be measured; and the management review process that drives performance

10:45 AM:  BREAK

11:00 am:  Speed Reading People:

  • Instantly identify the preferred communication style of others
  • Present ideas in ways more likely to lead to “yes”
  • Recognize the natural strengths and weaknesses of other people (and your own!)
  • Quickly identify the 4 different temperaments and 16 different personality types
  • Identify appropriate selling and negotiation techniques appropriate to each
  • Use SPA’s ESPWizard tools to establish your own type as well as others’ in a couple minutes!
  • Attend an SRP Seminar to deepen your mastery of these tools

12:00 PM:  LUNCH

1:00 pm: Yellow Belt Negotiation Case Study & Critique:

  • The Importance of Preparation:  Profiling the Goals, Motivations, and Pressures
  • Negotiating Long-Term Relationships:  Structured for Success
  • The Critical Role of Personality Type in Negotiation Success
  • Leveraging Tools to Master Negotiation

2:00 pm: Upping Your Negotiation Skill Set:

How to Prepare for and Master Negotiations in Relationship Environments and Leverage Personality Type Theory:

  • Profiling the Goals, Motivations, and Pressures
  • Negotiating Long-Term Relationships:  Structured for Success
  • The Critical Role of Personality Type in Negotiation Success
  • Leveraging Tools to Master Negotiation
  • Recognize the negotiation strengths and weaknesses of different personalities
  • Develop Negotiation Strategies Appropriate to the Personalities You Deal With

4:00 pm:  Call to Action:

  • Tools and Training for Negotiation & Pricing Mastery
  • David discusses the integrated approach to winning.

4:30  PM:  ADJOURNED

 

Public Negotiation Training Seminars

SPASigma Seminars are dynamic one-day and two-day events, specially crafted to provide you with a fundamental understanding of the art and science of negotiation. Entertaining case studies, eye-opening critiques and interactive group exercises equip you with the skills and knowledge to negotiate more profitable agreements immediately.

The SPASigma training program helps you build, expand, and retain world-class negotiation skills throughout your organization. Using a unique combination of in-person seminars and an online academy with reinforcement activities, videos, and quizzes, SPASigma will set your team on the path to mastery of the art and science of negotiation.

There is an SPASIGMA seminar coming up in a major city near you. We offer public seminars in 30 cities throughout the United States and Canada. Enjoy making new contacts with business professionals from a variety of industries and disciplines. If you want negotiation training for yourself and a few colleagues, a public seminar is a great choice.

Click here for a list of cities and dates

Improved pricing increases profit – Negotiation excellence defends profit

Negotiation is like a sport. It requires specific skills, techniques, training, coaching, equipment and continuous practice. SPASigma offers the systematic, holistic, long-term approach professional business people need in order to achieve true mastery of this critical skill-set.

COURSE DETAILS

Learn how to…

  • Plan and Prepare
  • Probe for information
  • Use powerful tactics as well countermeasures
  • Talk value and not price
  • Say ‘No’
  • Properly make concessions
  • Take more risk
  • Persuade
  • Increase opponent satisfaction and a lot more

WHO ATTENDS?

  • C-Level Executives
  • Owners and Management
  • Sales & Marketing Professionals
  • Purchasing Professionals
  • Product Managers
  • Engineers
  • Project Managers

Type of negotiation hurdles addressed?

  • “You need to do better than that”
  • “Your competition is a lot cheaper”
  • “This is all the money I have in my budget”
  • “Your competition wouldn’t treat us this way”
  • “I need your best price by 4pm today”

If you have ever heard any of these statements above, you need to participate in a SPASigma Competitive Negotiation Seminar.

Click here to learn more and find a negotiation seminar in your area.

Upcoming Webinars

webinar-series-image

Reporting Tool: Measure Achieved and Potential Margin Impact of Strategic Pricing

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Topics Covered:

  • Understand achieved and potential impact from “The SPA Pricing Cube”
  • Uncover missed opportunities and lost pricing dollars
  • Rank pricing performance of Sales Reps, Order Writers, Branches, Vendors and Product Categories
  • Understand and manage your Pricing Methods Mix
  • Highlight trends as well as monitor and manage performance over time

Click here to register

 

Contract Management Tool: Workflow Tool for Automated Management of Contracts & Special Pricing Agreements

Thursday, September 8, 2016 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Topics Covered:

  • Identify and fix underperforming Contracts and Special Pricing Agreements
  • Choose from SPA Recommended Prices, Capped Prices, or GM% / Discount% Targets
  • What if modeling of price changes and batch updating
  • Quantify the value of underperformance
  • Export new pricing for automated upload to ERP
  • Pass along vendor cost increases
  • Manage Annual Review Process – never miss a window of opportunity again

Click here to register

 

Price Basis Optimization Tool: Capture Incremental Margins without Changing Your Sales Process

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Analytical pricing tool designed to identify and capture available margin by setting optimized list/base prices without changing your sales team’s Cost+ behavior.

  • How to make money with Strategic Costing
  • Mechanics of Strategic Costing
  • Ease of implementation; no change management
  • Quick ROI

Click here to register

 

SPA Pricing Cube: Increasing Margins by Upgrading to Gold

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Topics Covered:

  • Functional differences you gain with the Gold Pricing Cube
  • How you can make more money with the Gold Pricing Cube
  • No upfront preparation is needed for the upgrade
  • Use of the SPA Reporting tool is included with upgrade

Click here to register

 

SPASigma: Negotiation Training Seminars and Learning Management System

Thursday, September 15, 2016 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Typically, salespeople are trained to sell, buyers are trained to buy. Buying and selling skills provide one component, but the subject of negotiation is vast and complex. Once exposed to formal negotiation training, experienced professionals are often amazed to learn of the vital areas of opportunity only visible through the lens of negotiation.

SPASigma Seminars are dynamic one-day and two-day events, specially crafted to provide you with a fundamental understanding of the art and science of negotiation. Entertaining case studies, eye-opening critiques and interactive group exercises equip you with the skills and knowledge to negotiate more profitable agreements immediately.

Learning Management System

  • Platform to ensure long-term retention
  • Monthly 1-Hour Webinar/Video with Exercises, Games and Testing
  • Best in Class platform accessible on any device
  • Tracking of individual performance
  • Certification Levels: White Belt, Yellow, Green, Black, Master Black Belt
  • Social Recognition

Click here to register

 

SPA Pricing Cube: Improving Margins Through a More Strategic Approach to Pricing

Friday, September 16, 2016 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Attendees will learn how to address the following all too common issues and opportunities for increasing profitability:

  • Customer relationships focused on product/service value, not price
  • Identifying and capturing available margin premiums
  • Identifying price-sensitive products and services
  • Improving sales reps’ confidence in prices
  • Stopping undisciplined discounting
  • Tracking metrics for sales force accountability
  • Improving pricing consistency and fairness

This webcast draws on SPA’s experience working with hundreds of companies to drive pricing gains of 2-4 margin points on affected revenue with minimal customer pushback.

Click here to register

 

Price Banding: Automated Tools to Assist Sales Team Drive Margin and Commission Growth

Monday, September 19, 2016 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Sales people say “It’s like having a negotiation expert working alongside you!”

Learn how your sales team can:

  • Win more business
  • Maximize order margin
  • Grow commissions
  • Identify cross sell opportunities

Click here to register

 

Implementing Strategic Pricing for Non Stock and Rockwell Business

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Attend the webinar to learn the solutions to these business challenges.

Non Stock Pricing Challenges

  • How to price non stock business strategically?
  • Leverage Strategic Pricing Associate tools when selling non stock products
  • Drive margin % gains across all sales
  • Maintain price continuity across product families

Rockwell Automation Pricing Challenges

  • How to price Rockwell business strategically?
  • Keep connection with published distributor prices
  • Discount classification and suggested resale discount pricing matrix
  • Leverage Strategic Pricing tools when selling Rockwell products
  • Maintain continuity across product categories

Click here to register

 

Platinum Pricing Engine: Learn How to Leverage the Platinum Analytical Pricing Engine to Drive Profitable Growth

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Topics Covered:

  • Functional differences you gain with the Platinum Pricing Cube
  • How you can make more money with the Platinum Pricing Cube
  • No upfront preparation is needed for the upgrade
  • Use of the SPA Reporting tool is included with upgrade

Click here to register

 

SPA Vendor Management Tool: Identify Cost Savings Opportunities

Thursday, September 22, 2016 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Topics Covered:

  • The cost management challenge
  • Why distributors struggle to effectively manage costs across their product portfolios
  • Missed cost decrease opportunities typically represent 2% to 3% of COGS
  • Patterns of missed cost savings opportunities SPA has observed by analyzing the data of its clients
  • Discussion of the analytical factors SPA leverages in its assessment of the relative cost positions of various vendors and its quantification of the savings opportunity
  • Demo of SPA’s vendor cost management tool
  • Upcoming tool enhancements
  • Client data requirements for tool and overview of the setup process
  • Q&A

Click here to register

 

Six Sigma Strategic Pricing Course: How to Leverage 6 Sigma Methodology to Drive Profitable Growth

Friday, September 23, 2016 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

This webinar will provide an overview of SPA’s Six Sigma Strategic Pricing Course. Six Sigma Master Blackbelt Greg Preuer, of SPA has created the first course designed to apply time tested Six Sigma methodology to pricing. Those who study with Greg will learn not only how to drive the pricing process but how to sustain the gains and automate the process. They will become Six Sigma experts (Blackbelt) in business process with a focus placed squarely on price management.

Graduates from this course will learn to chart a clear path to pricing improvement. They will learn each of the following steps:

  • How to design and design goals which are consistent with their company’s pricing strategy.
  • How to measure and identify characteristics critical for pricing success.
  • How to analyze the current situation and steps along the way.
  • How to design an improved alternative which moves closer to the desired result.
  • How to verify that actions taken create the right results.

Click here to register

 

e-Commerce: Learn How to Strategically Price Your e-commerce Business to Capture Market Share or Capture More Margin

Thursday, September 29, 2016 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Topics Covered:

e-Commerce Offensive Pricing Strategy

  • Gain market share, but with lower GM% expectations.
  • Price levels will be more aggressive than current business.
  • No customer loyalty, choices based on each transaction.
  • Use economic or price fighting brands.
  • Leverage channel specific pricing with web as portal to it.
  • 3 click process to place an order drives higher conversion rates … search engine optimization (seo).
  • Automated self-service models needed to answer customer questions.
  • Be aware of price method mix shift, with existing customers moving to the web … build fences.
  • Measure ROI to ensure delivering.
  • And more…

e-Commerce Defensive Pricing Strategy

  • e-commerce provides value added services to your exist customers.
  • Drives operational efficiency inside your business.
  • Leverage ecommerce to extend your current strategic pricing model to new customers.
  • Uncover and attack the natural variation that exists in the market.
  • Leverage channel specific pricing with web as portal to it.
  • Don’t advantage new customers with better price levels.
  • And more…

Click here to register

 

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can subscribe to our Strategic Pricing Pays blog or follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.

Pricing Situations Can Spoil a Selling Situation

Posted on Updated on

A recent The Distributor Channel article, “Fall Tune Up for Distributors,” discusses how distributors should re-evaluate their sales management process to maximize selling time and implement effective pricing tools and price negotiation practices to avoid training their clients to expect discounts.

Excerpts of the article follow.

“What takes salespeople away from selling?”

Operational issues are a major source of sales distraction.  Think back to the last time you went out with a member of your sales team.   Was a portion of the sales call devoted to discussing shipping errors, delivery issues or a poorly handled customer service issue?  Nothing sours a well-planned sales call like a little back peddling early in the meeting.  It’s hard to sell “ease of doing business” when you just cost your customer money based on something easily avoidable.

What’s worse for many distributor managers is this:  Most lack the data to determine if their growth problems are based on a sloppy warehouse and a crappy customer service department or an ineffective sales team.  Some wonder if customer issues with missed delivery dates or inaccurate shipments are just part of the “distributor sales game.”  With this in mind, one would wonder if gathering administration and logistics data shouldn’t be a standard procedure for every distributor.   We think it should be.

“Pricing situations can spoil a selling situation.” 

While we could argue that price negotiations are an integral to selling, I believe we need to explore a couple of points.

First, unless you have accurate pricing information loaded into your ERP system, just arriving at a valid price provides a selling distraction.  Each transaction requires additional research.  Every time a salesperson quotes an amount to a customer, a dozen questions flash through their mind.  Is the price right?  What price did we use last time?  Could someone in customer service have priced this differently?   Where do we sit compared to the competition?  And more.

“Not only is time spent researching for the right price, we also create doubt and uncertainty.” 

When the salesperson guesses incorrectly, it creates additional distraction.  The salesperson spends even more precious selling time fixing the issue.

“Secondly, when no selling process exists, the salesperson is stuck negotiating every single sale. 

To summon up something said by my friend and pricing expert David Bauders of Cleveland-based Strategic Pricing Associates, you never see a dog beg just once.  His point is simple: If you give your dog table scraps one time, they turn into constant beggars.  When our salespeople lower their prices once, the customer becomes conditioned to request a lower price on each opportunity.  Negotiations take away from, you guessed it, selling.

Unless the distributor employs a full-on pricing process, salespeople are left to determine price.  Customers bombard them with the message “your price is too high,” and it ruins the selling moment.  This constant bombardment of negative energy causes many sellers to lose perspective on the value their organization provides to customers.   Sales experiences, without the presence of value-creating solutions, are about as exciting as the paint page of the 1964 Sears catalog.

Click here to read the complete article.

SPA Events

Battle for Margin > SPASIGMA Negotiation Workshop & SPA Pricing Strategy Seminar

Date: October 27-28, 2016

Location: Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

Register Now

Click here for other SPA event dates and times.

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.

SPASigma Negotiation Training Seminar Series

Posted on

SPASigma Seminars are dynamic one-day and two-day events, specially crafted to provide you with a fundamental understanding of the art and science of negotiation. Entertaining case studies, eye-opening critiques and interactive group exercises equip you with the skills and knowledge to negotiate more profitable agreements immediately.

The SPASigma training program helps you build, expand, and retain world-class negotiation skills throughout your organization. Using a unique combination of in-person seminars and an online academy with reinforcement activities, videos, and quizzes, SPASigma will set your team on the path to mastery of the art and science of negotiation.

PUBLIC SEMINARS

There is an SPASIGMA seminar coming up in a major city near you. We offer public seminars in 30 cities throughout the United States and Canada. Enjoy making new contacts with business professionals from a variety of industries and disciplines. If you want negotiation training for yourself and a few colleagues, a public seminar is a great choice.

CUSTOMIZED ON-SITE SEMINARS

Do you need to train your team? If so, SPASIGMA will work with you to create a customized on-site seminar just for you. Customized seminars are an excellent choice if you want specialized negotiation training geared to the specific needs of your team. We can deliver the training on-site or at a location of your choice.

Email customerservice@spasigma.com for more information.

Click here for a list of cities and dates

 

Improved pricing increases profit – Negotiation excellence defends profit

SPASigma’s parent company, Strategic Pricing Associates (SPA) is the leading provider of pricing analytics to complex companies around the world. Since 1993, SPA has helped companies quickly and easily maximize their pricing performance and competitive position. A typical client improves profitability by two to four percent of sales. The benefits are staggering; and they are typically accomplished in less than 90 days.

But pricing is only half the battle. That’s where SPASigma comes in – SPASigma provides a path to negotiation mastery.

Negotiation is like a sport. It requires specific skills, techniques, training, coaching, equipment and continuous practice. SPASigma offers the systematic, holistic, long-term approach professional business people need in order to achieve true mastery of this critical skill-set.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?

What does success mean to you?  More money, more power, bigger orders,  higher customer satisfaction, strong business relationships, and hey, maybe even getting a sweet deal when you buy a new car.  Whatever your version of success is, SPASigma makes it that much better.

HOW IT WORKS?

SPASigma believes in a powerful new concept called “Edutainment.” Human beings learn better when they’re having a good time.  Our action packed one day seminar is guaranteed to make you laugh and keep you fully engaged.  No death by PowerPoint and no hours upon hours of lecture.  Our seminars are fast paced, interactive and, of course,  eye opening.

Click here to read “An Interview with Tony Perzow – Negotiation Strategy Expert”

WHO ATTENDS?

  • C-Level Executives
  • Owners and Management
  • Sales & Marketing Professionals
  • Purchasing Professionals
  • Product Managers
  • Engineers
  • Project Managers

Type of negotiation hurdles addressed?

  • “You need to do better than that”
  • “Your competition is a lot cheaper”
  • “This is all the money I have in my budget”
  • “Your competition wouldn’t treat us this way”
  • “I need your best price by 4pm today”

If you have ever heard any of these statements above, you need to participate in a SPASigma Competitive Negotiation Seminar.

COURSE DETAILS

Learn how to…

  • Plan and Prepare
  • Probe for information
  • Use powerful tactics as well countermeasures
  • Talk value and not price
  • Say ‘No’
  • Properly make concessions
  • Take more risk
  • Persuade
  • Increase opponent satisfaction and a lot more

Click here to learn more and find a negotiation seminar in your area.

Tom Bylow

 

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can subscribe to our Strategic Pricing Pays blog or follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.