You’ve found the one: the pricing tool that will change everything. You know it will help you better manage price lists, set optimized prices, and spend less time on manual tasks. It’s customizable and easy to use.
But there’s one big step you need to take before you can start implementing it: you need to convince your boss, team, colleagues, and/or other decision-makers it’s the right pricing tool for your company.
You need more than just budget approval, you need a fast and easy adoption so you can start seeing better margins and ROI sooner.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to make your case for a pricing software and prove it’s worth the investment, both if you’re just getting started with a pricing solution or you’re switching from a different pricing tool.
First get some proof to support your pricing software needs
You should already have a general idea of how a pricing tool will address one or more of your company’s major pricing pain points.
However, the pitch to your team will be much more convincing if it’s backed up by proof.
If this is going to be your team’s first time using a pricing solution, you’re probably currently using spreadsheets to manage your price rules and price lists. Spreadsheets are great—especially in the early stage of business—but you know you’ve outgrown them.
Look for data that supports the move from spreadsheets to a pricing software. For example:
- – Your team is repricing more frequently, so it takes much longer to update and maintain information
- – There’s a lot of repetitive work, such as following up achieved price effects each month, that could be automated
- – Not everyone can’t use spreadsheets efficiently and error causes costly errors & lost customer trust
- – Sensitive price data isn’t as secure as it should be in spreadsheets
- – It’s harder to collaborate in spreadsheets, as people use them in different ways
The more specific you get about the benefits of price software, the better. Use numbers whenever you can, such as the value of made pricing errors or of hours that could be saved on admin.
If you’re switching from your current pricing tool, identify reasons to switch. For example:
- – Is it lacking a key feature?
- – Is it unable to keep up with your company’s growth?
- – Have you noticed your current pricing software is falling behind its competitors?
To collect this information, talk to your teammates, and store all their feedback in one place. Next, get feedback from companies that are already using the product. Many SaaS product sites have a “Customers”, “Testimonials” or “Case Studies” page. Pick a couple of the organizations on that list and ask them what they like, what they don’t like, and what results they’ve seen. If you can find those similar to your industry and/or company size, even better. If you can’t get in touch, read their customer stories to find out more.
You can also ask the SaaS representative to introduce you to current customers, but be aware they will only give you the names of the happiest ones.
Identify key pricing software features that will improve your price setting
As you document your key pain points and collect the information that supports it, you’ll likely notice some similarities and patterns.
Divide these into categories and then list the must-have pricing software features that address each pain-point category.
For inspiration, here are a few examples of features and the pain points they tackle.
Feature 1: Team collaboration (team reports, live dashboards, etc.)
- – Price lists are stored in spreadsheets locally, on team members computers
- – Pricing team members don’t know their current contribution towards team goals
- – Difficult to make price adjustments on the fly
Feature 2: Pricing software as a single source of truth
- – Searching through emails for the latest progress with a price revision
- – Maintaining separate documents for different customer price lists
- – Deals are made using wrong or old prices
Some other key features you may find in your research are customizability, AI-driven price optimizations, and agility/simplicity of use.
Your list of pain points will also be super helpful when talking to a member of the pricing software provider sales team. They should be able to help you identify pricing tool features that will supercharge your pricing process.
Find out which of your tools the pricing software will integrate with
Are you already using great tools that support your pricing activities? If so, it may be more important to look for a pricing software that integrates with it than the one that replaces it.
In other words, you don’t need an all-size-fits-all pricing software, you need the one that will give you flexibility and customization that makes it powerful on your terms.
Here are some categories of tools you’ll likely want your pricing software to integrate with:
- – Easy price rules control
- – Approval processes
- – Price list management
- – Email alerts
- – Price automation
- – AI-driven price optimizations
Remember: your pricing software doesn’t need to do everything under the sun, it just needs to easily integrate with tools that make you efficient and focused.
Prepare an investment-benefit analysis
Another impactful step you can take to build a business case for a pricing software is to show how much more money you and your team can generate with it
With the data you gathered so far, figure out approximately how much you’re more you can make with an advanced pricing software.
1. Price can overall be increased by 2% without any loss in revenue and customer trust.
2. The yearly revenue is $20 000 000
With these numbers, you can say: “We could increase our yearly profits by $400 000 (minus the cost of the pricing software)”. If applicable, you can also add on the cost gains from increase pricing efficiency.
Then, calculate the return on investment (ROI). With everything included, the product might cost $40,000 a year, but you’ll be making $400,000 more. So your ROI will be 10x.
Develop an implementation plan
When it comes to buying new products, inertia can often hold you back. So, before you can create company-wide buy-in for your pricing software you’ll need to present a solid action plan for your pricing team.
Here’s what to consider:
1. When will training and onboarding take place? If this will interfere with the team’s daily activities, how will you make up for the drop in productivity?
2. How will this tool work with the ones you already use? If it’s replacing another tool, how will you phase out the old one?
3. Who will be involved? Will you be leading the project, or will someone else be in charge?
If you’ll be using a pricing software for the first time, the switch will likely be quite intense for your pricing team members. As you plan your pricing software implementation, map out how the pricing software’s features and functionalities will replace processes that lived in spreadsheets until now.
Be sure to slightly overestimate the time the team will need to fully transition to the pricing software. This will help with any unforeseen roadblocks.
If you’re switching from a different pricing software, it will probably be an easier transition. You can create a simple list of new pricing software features and possibilities and how they relate to (and improve upon) the functionalities of your previous pricing software.
In both cases, make sure you’ve created the space for everyone to ask questions and share feedback. Don’t rush the process—getting this right will give you great results in the long run.
Rally internal support
Showing there’s a strong demand for this pricing software will understandably help your case with your decision-makers.
Once you’ve got quotes from customers and your pricing team, estimates on price improvements and efficiency savings, and an implementation plan, you’re ready to present.
How you do this will depend on what you know about your boss. Do they like carefully planned, detailed presentations, or would they be more receptive to a casual conversation over lunch? Do they always zero in on the data, or are they more of a “gut feeling” decision-maker?
By customizing your approach to your manager’s style, you’ll definitely increase your odds of success.
It’s also a good idea to ask your decision-maker(s) about any reservations they may have. Maybe they’re concerned about how reliable your choice is, or how expensive, or how secure. Once you know what’s holding him or her back, you can figure out how to address the issue.
Present to your team
If you’re a pricing manager and you need your team’s input on the new pricing software, here are some tips to get the best insights from them.
Walk them through what their day-to-day will look like with this pricing software. For example, how much more time will they gain back to focus on pricing strategy instead of manual admin tasks?
Use a real-life recent example to demonstrate the pricing software compared to their current pricing process. For example, if a deal was lost because the rep followed up too late, you can show how the new pricing software helps with automated follow-ups.
Show them that this is about them. Get them to have a trial run of the proposed pricing software solutions and ask for feedback and detailed input. If you’ve followed the strategy from the first section of this guide and asked them questions early on, you can have a 1:1 meeting with each team member and personalize the way you present your pricing software selection to their needs.
This will help you not only with getting valuable feedback but also with pricing software adoption later on.
Present to other stakeholders
There’s a chance you and your team are fully on board with the new pricing software solution, but there are other decision-makers that still need convincing.
They might be in departments such as:
- – IT
- – Sales
- – Finance
While your goals are focused on your pricing process and strategies, a new pricing software impacts these departments in entirely different ways.
The best way you can prepare to present to these stakeholders is by understanding their short-term and long-term goals for the business and how you and your team play a role in it. From here, you can show how this pricing software will impact them.
Here are some examples of goals these stakeholders may have:
- – IT: Fully secured business data, advanced encryption, compliance across the board
- – Sales: High close rate of deals thanks to segmentation, quicker processing, etc.
- – Finance: Best ROI based on the way they’ve allocated budget for software
Remember that these people don’t need every detail about the pricing software —they need to know how it contributes to their objectives, so use that to tailor your presentation to each of them. It will be a much easier ‘yes’.
Prepare your Plan B
What if, even after all that, your decision-makers still aren’t on board? You have two options. First, you can move on. You never know if they’ll come back in six months or a year and say, “We’ve been thinking. Let’s go with that pricing software you suggested”.
To make this more likely, create a document with everything you’ve presented, including:
- – Your pricing team’s pain points
- – Benefits of the specific solution you’ve chosen
- – Direct quotes from your pricing team members feedback
- – Success stories from pricing software’s customers similar to your company
- – Frequently asked questions and answers you’ve identified during your research
Make this document shareable and available to your decision-makers so they can refer back to it at any time.
Your second option is to propose a trial or pilot. Most pricing solutions offer a trial or pilot option, so your team can try out all the features and test the fit without any large investments.
Tell your decision-makers you understand the concerns about X and Y, but before the final decision is made, you’d like to do the trial. By the end of the month, when your company’s productivity has shot up (along with its revenue), they might finally be convinced.
Go forth and win them over
Remember that more often than not, people are resistant to change. The idea of change can create uncertainty and fear of failure. It feels risky.
That’s why the best thing you can do is to answer the why behind the switch to a (new) pricing software with data, examples, and planning. Track the time spent on pricing tasks. Collect numbers like lost money due to pricing errors. Quantify everything that can be done better with your new solution.
Then, by mapping out the positive impact of the pricing software to each person you need to convince, you’ll create buy-in and trust. You’ll be winning with your new pricing software in no time.
About The Author: Radu Marin
Radu is a former Pricing Manager at HP and is now actively working in our pricing projects as a Pricing Analyst and contributes to Price Edge marketing efforts when possible.
More posts by Radu Marin