Month: May 2016

SPASigma Featured in The Distributor Channel article “Sales Training for Distributors – Don’t forget Inside Sales”

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SPASigma was featured in a recent The Distributor Channel article, “Sales Training for Distributors – Don’t forget Inside Sales”, which discusses how for many distributors the first line of price negotiations has been switched to the inside sales team.

Excerpts of the article follow.

“Don’t forget about Inside Sales.”

Last week I threw out some thoughts on sales training for distributors. The response was great, but I received more than a half dozen challenges from inside sales groups. The overall feedback could be summarized as: Don’t forget about Inside Sales.

The comments reminded me of a couple of points:

  • Outside Sale people may make the phone ring, but it is the service the customer receives when they call that keeps customers coming back (aka customer retention).
  • Most customers gauge Distributor customer service by the quality of the Inside Sales team.

“the first line of price negotiations has been switched to the inside sales team”

Today customers look to inside sales for more.  For instance, for most distributors, the first line of price negotiations has been switched to the inside sales team.  Front line technical support falls on to inside sales to do some logistical matters like expedites, freight issues and invoice clarification.

“Proper pricing can improve the inside sales role.”

Proper pricing can improve the inside sales role.  First, without a well-developed pricing system, inside sales teams devote lots of time looking up last prices paid and checking on price levels with their outside sales counterparts.  Inside sales should be trained to spot poorly maintained price files and provide the feedback required to get these fixed.

“inside sales people should learn a few basic negotiating tricks to avoid being “duped” by procurement”

Second, inside sales people should learn a few basic negotiating tricks to avoid being “duped” by procurement professionals who have been trained in the science of negotiation.  If you have not yet see the information provided by Strategic Pricing Associates or their sister company SPASigma, we recommend you check out this really funny video.

Click here to read the complete article.

It is not too late to join us at our upcoming Pricing Strategy Seminar and Negotiation Training Event in Las Vegas, NV !

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Battle for Margin > SPASIGMA Negotiation Workshop & Pricing Strategy Seminar

Date: June 9-10, 2016

Location: The Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

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.

Webcast: Improving Margins Through a More Strategic Approach to Pricing

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Register soon to attend our June 1, 2016 webcast at 2:00 pm Eastern where you will learn how to leverage science-based strategic pricing tools to improve margins through a more strategic approach to pricing.

Program Description

Learn why hundreds of manufacturers and distributors have implemented a solution that enhances profitability, develops pricing discipline, and removes emotion from the pricing function.

SPA’s Dave Lienert will also discuss how our solutions, which leverage experience from working with hundreds of companies to drive 2-4 margin point gains on affected revenue with minimal customer pushback, can help your company.

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

“We dabbled in strategic pricing on our own but never got the results that we needed until we hooked up with SPA. The greatest benefit we have seen is the margin enhancements. The process has been great with SPA! There is not a single investment that you can make at your company that will get you the kind of returns that we have achieved by working with SPA.”

       – Industrial Distributor

Click here to read SPA Client Testimonials

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

Other SPA Events

battle-for-margin-las-vegas

Battle for Margin > SPASIGMA Negotiation Workshop & Pricing Strategy Seminar

Date: June 9-10, 2016

Location: Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

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 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 > Measure: Build Measurements and Metrics Plan for Pricing Team Member Assessment and Incentives

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This is the third 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 what to consider in building measurements and a metrics plan for pricing team member assessment and incentives.

All pricing practice leaders know a disciplined process is needed to create and maintain Pricing Excellence – how to measure and incent the team to achieve excellence is key.

“Discipline is the defining fire in which talent becomes ability”

     – Roy Smith

Applying Six Sigma to pricing is clearly a better way to go to make pricing processes optimal – but…

How do we measure our progress?

How do we set proper incentives for team members?

This crucial step lays the foundation for success and requires building measurements and metrics to identify what needs improvement thoughtfully, completely, and in alignment with your business goals.

A company must properly identify anything that impacts pricing performance and measure it mindfully. Identifying “Critical to Quality” (CTQ) components for each person’s role in the process is foundational to correct measurements. It is very important to choose wisely which measurement is appropriate for each role and incentives must be tied to these.

Few things have the ability to motivate people more than performance measures tied to their pay and incentives. Focus on a limited set of measurements that are tied closely to profitability and then hold people accountable for their performance against those measurements.

Features of CTQ’s:

  • What: must have specific and correct criteria.
  • How: must have a method to measure the criteria.
  • Must be impactful to you and the business
  • Define what you are trying to evaluate
  • Give a precise description that everyone will understand.
  • Decide how you will attach a value to what you are measuring.

Measurements must be simple, possess real business impact, reflect improvements over time, and be compared to business goals and market realities.

Criteria for an excellent pricing measurement:

  • Tracks the differences of value across the customer segments.
  • Tracks the differences in cost to serve across the customer segments.
  • Easy to measure & enforce
  • How does the measurement position versus competitors price levels?
  • Align the measurement with customer’s value received by using product or service

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 three 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. Analyze: use reporting tools to find opportunities to grow or challenges to fix
  2. Improve: build processes, systems and tools to assist teams and create reporting tools to track improvements
  3. 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.

Battle For Margin Comes to Las Vegas June 9-10, 2016 (Video)

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Watch a short video about the “Battle for Margin” two day event in Las Vegas, NV. Attendees will learn valuable lessons on how to increase their competitive advantage and improve financial performance with the SPA Solution portfolio and negotiation training services.  

battle-for-margin-las-vegas

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

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.

Watch the following short video to learn more about the upcoming Battle for Margin event in Las Vegas.

 

Registration

If you are responsible for sales, profits, or pricing related decisions at your company you will benefit from this seminar. Register soon as enrollment is limited.

You will receive additional information once you enroll.

 

Other SPA Events

Click here for other SPA event dates and times including our upcoming webcasts.

 

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.