What makes for good pricing talent?

We were recently asked to share our thoughts on what qualities make for good pricing talent. It’s a good question, and seems fitting given the current demand for pricing resources. It goes without saying that there is more than one role profile for pricing resources. We could get carried away talking about all the flavors of pricing roles, but let’s keep it to three.

Leaders. This is the director/VP level role that owns pricing, or maybe even a chief pricing officer. At this level, you need a highly influential driver, someone who can execute well, and is very focused on results. Pricing is still a fledgling practice area for most companies, especially in the B2B space, so pricing leaders need to be able to sell the vision, win, and demonstrate the results.

Managers. This role is primarily charged with the delivery side of pricing. They should quickly grasp the leader’s vision, and understand how to operationalize it to deliver the promised or expected outcomes on time. They also need a healthy dose of business savvy, clearly understanding how their function contributes to business performance and how to effectively align to business teams. They also need to help guide the leader’s thinking by providing valuable feedback and guidance back into the strategic decision-making process.

Analysts. These roles make up the engine of any pricing function. Whether they’re coordinating price changes, identifying opportunities, or managing performance, analysts create and gather the information the business needs to keep making progress. Predictably, good analysts are detailed, process oriented, and understand numbers and basic statistics principles well. Top notch people in this space also understand how to tailor or innovate analyses to uncover business-relevant opportunities, as well as how to define and answer strategically relevant questions in data-rich ways.

There is one trait that we believe all roles should share in common – pragmatism. The analytical side of pricing can capture the attention of idealists and purists, the kind of people who like everything to tie out cleanly – but pricing often isn’t that tidy. Instead, practitioners need to be able to move at the speed of business, delivering good-enough answers in a comprehensible way while staying focused on the real business challenges that need to be resolved.

Pricing is a team sport, and having the right people in the right seats will have a big impact on how successful your organization can be.

As a closing thought, we know that finding the right resources can be hard. Beanstalk offers scalable support arrangements that offer our clients the ability address gaps in their team, all while benefitting from our tenured expertise and proven methodologies. Find us on the web at www.beanstalkrm.com, or call us at 651-356-8148.

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