To make it as a successful Pricing Manager, there are many desirable skills/traits to have in your arsenal. Pricing Managers today are very different to pricing managers of 10 years ago (if the role even existed in many companies).
While having the capability to ensure that your team delivers the right pricing strategy for ultimate profit maximisation, it is also equally as imperative to keep up to date with the latest in marketing techniques, changes in economic and political environments and an ability to work closely in partnership with the sales team – an 'all-rounder' perhaps?
If the Pricing Manager gets the right pricing strategy they will help their company drive sales, increase profits, meet productivity standards and remain competitive – so a lot rests on his or her shoulders.
Let's look firstly at what are the main duties of a successful Pricing Manager – he or she needs to:
lead and direct pricing strategy formulation and ensure pricing actions that enhance profitability
manage total pricing procedure, enhance processes to make the most of efficiencies and ensure timely response to market conditions
review business accounts to ensure accurate pricing
establish criteria to achieve the best customer pricing. Evaluate new products and price them accordingly. These include the base price as well as discounts that may be extended to specific retail partners and dealers.
help a company's sales force with how to price a product and pricing negotiations
analyse contracts for under performance
eliminate waste or overspending
ensure integrity and accurate costings as well as related financial information
prepare clearly BAFO (Best and Final Offer)
conduct oral presentation as well as cost revisions
prepare cost support packages
maintain and update regularly pricing history database
stimulate market-based segmentation to collaborate with purchasing, product managers as well as sales department to ensure integrated profit maximising approach to market
perform financial evaluation to assess pricing action effectiveness
define new business procedures and evaluate resource requirements
manage and supervise pricing analysts to support activities inclusive of new price generation and discrepancy resolution etc.
analyse financial impact of price in view of overall history as well as profitability of customer.
It's fairly obvious from the above that this can be a demanding job requiring some strong personality traits that take you in the the role of Pricing Manager from mediocre to high performing.
Some of the traits required are:
A strong vision for what you want to accomplish for the company in the short and long term and an ability to articulate this vision across multiple platforms and communications channels.
2. Strategic Thinking
With the marketing manager, be able to develop a marketing strategy that is in line with the overall business strategy and ‘think’ strategically in all aspects of marketing. A Pricing Manager needs to have a firm understanding of market trends and be able to develop a targeted pricing strategy to meet company goals.
Pricing specialists should also employ pricing strategies that meet their company's standards, policies and procedures. They must also ensure that all salespeople and marketing employees comply with any pricing changes.
3. Business Acumen
The Pricing Manager must understand and deliver on the overall company business plan. This means understanding the fundamentals and influencers of business, knowing the market, what makes it tick, how it is going to develop, change and evolve. If you get the pricing right you can drive business and improve growth through innovative business solutions.
4. Be Customer-Centric
A successful Pricing Manager needs to understand the customer, their traits, likes, dislikes, drivers and willingness to pay for the products their business offers. All high level level pricing experts walk in their customers shoes regularly to understand how it feels to be the customer. They take on board feedback from the marketing department and adapt product prices accordingly. They should be aware of just who the target customer is and how much money the customer generally has to spend.
You don't have to be larger than life in this role but you should be straight-forward and a strategic planner. Be on top of your game, innovative and confident. Remember also, you need to be flexible in your approach . Be confident and competent – but leave your ego behind the moment you enter the office!
6. Leadership and Communication
Pricing specialists may be responsible for ensuring the productivity and efficiency of a team, as well as enforcing policies and procedures. It also helps if you are a good communicator with excellent inter-personal skills, comfortable working both in a team and independently. If you work in a team you have to be a role model for your team members.
Like any other manager, a Pricing Manager is successful only when he is a strong source of inspiration and motivation for his team members. You must frequently communicate with senior management to acknowledge successes, solve problems and move forward.
Pricing Managers should have the ability to see problems in the wider context. This is known as the ‘helicopter factor'. Ask yourself:
i. Where are we now? This helps to answer questions about the competition, product or service ranges, market share and financial position.
ii. Where do we want to be? This question helps senior management in formulating strategies and setting financial targets for the company.
iii. How do we get there? This question helps senior management in evaluating different routes to overcome difficulties while trying to go all out towards success.
iv. Which way is the best? This question helps senior management underline one or two routes most suitable for achieving goals. It does require adequate financial back-up as well.
As demonstrated here, to be a high performing Pricing Manager can be challenging – but you will achieve excellent results if you are a clear thinker, remain decisive, are good at negotiation and problem solving. Be assertive without being overbearing – and remember the key is to communicate well at all levels.
- 5 Ways Price Management is Changing
- Should you publish your prices online?
- How to talk about pricing without scaring people
- 5 signs you're a pricing genius
SourcesHow to improve your leadership and management skills – effective strategies for business managers, Meir Liraz 2013
Managing Up, Harvard Business Review 2014