Problem: Company offered one price for comprehensive set of data editing rules. This resulted in some customers paying for rules that were not applicable to their business and customers felt they were paying for too much. Customers also faced long implementation times as a result of having to purchase all rules. The result… slow market adoption and a high level of discounting required to close deals.
Solution: Worked with Product Management, Analytics, and Product Marketing to develop a value-based approach to packaging solution rules into meaningful bundles. Customers only purchased the bundles of rules they needed. This reduced the time-to-value of the solution for customers and lowered the price-to-value ratio.
Result: Year-over-year double digit revenue growth; Reduced discount rate by over 15 percentage points; Captured majority share of market
Price Metric Misalignment
Problem: Strategic SaaS solution was encountering customer concerns on perceived price-to-value trade-offs – especially given long implementations and slow user adoption. The result was heavy discounting, increasing customer churn, and stagnant net new sales pipeline.
Solution: Worked with Product Management and Sales to realign pricing strategy and metrics to better reflect delivered value and shared risk. Incorporated a transaction-based approach to lessen the risk customers faced early on due to low user adoption rates. Adjusted price point to reflect “provable” cost savings and not “expected” cost savings
Result: Within 6 months, new pricing strategy and transaction-based pricing resulted in pipeline growth, higher customer satisfaction and increased sales; Customer resonated with shared-risk approach
Low Training Uptake
Problem: For a flagship solution, only a small portion of customers were participating in training services offered… and even fewer were paying for them. Customers were not getting full value of the solution due to under-trained users. In customer satisfaction surveys, customers that did not buy training services more frequently reported they were not getting the value of the solution. This led to higher churn and increased price pressure.
Solution: Worked with the solution’s Customer Education group and Sales Leadership to re-package and price training services. Developed solution education service packages (train-the-trainer, virtual classrooms, and on-site training) at three different price points. Included training services as part of the base solution.
Result: Led to ~8% revenue growth in the first year of launch; Nearly all deals included training services; 75% of deals were multi-year training contracts; Higher customer satisfaction scores
Onerous Price Change Process with CRM Tool
Problem: Complexity of legacy pricing tables housed in highly customized CRM resulted in inability to make changes to pricing tables in less than two months’ time. This complexity was compounded due to multiple product groups and different pricing models. Wholesale, or even single product, changes to pricing became prohibitive.
Solution: Re-engineered CRM quoting tools by adding logic to pricing tables that allowed the pricing office to make changes quickly and easily without any programming changes from IT.
Result: Price changes could be made across all products or a single price table in minutes instead of months; Increased revenue growth (~2%) and EBIT growth (~5%) due to small, incremental cost-of-living increases; Greater price management responsiveness and flexibility; Lower CRM programming costs
Problem: Discounting is a cost of doing business depending on quantifiable value of solution, customer size and past deal history. However, discounting strategy was not explicitly aligned with the company’s product strategy, resulting in the perception that Sales too often resorted to discounting and was giving away the solution’s value.
Solution: Analyzed sales data to determine levels and trends of discounting. Gained insight on discounting levels and reasons for discounts. Identified sales training and price adjustment opportunities. Worked with Sales, Product Management and Technical Accounting to develop discounting policies and approval levels. Identified negotiation “asks” when giving discounts.
Result: Discounting levels dropped ~50 basis points over time; Deal approval times dropped; Better alignment between Sales and Product Management on price-to-value trade-offs
Pricing Approval and Management Oversight
Problem: Pricing decisions were decentralized and made with varying levels of support for rationale or economic impact on the business. Sales teams often could not explain the rationale of pricing when defending price points in negotiations. Sarbanes-Oxley regulations required greater management knowledge of pricing decisions.
Solution: Established cross-functional pricing steering committee that included Sales, Legal, Finance and Product Marketing. Developed templates and information requirements for varying levels of pricing decisions (price increases versus major launches). Triaged pricing approval decisions depending on strategic importance.
Result: Developed process and tools that streamlined approvals and meet Sarbanes-Oxley requirements
Growth Planning Misalignment
Problem: Account Planning and Market Opportunity estimates were not integrated for long-range planning. This lack of alignment led to discontinuity between Product Management’s growth expectations and Sales’ booking targets. As a result, revenue growth targets were periodically missed leading to cost cuts in order to meet profit goals.
Solution: Integrated market opportunity models with account planning processes. Estimated growth opportunities for renewals and net new business. Identified realistic Addressable and Serviceable market opportunities based on new and upsell opportunities, and eliminating accounts with low-likelihood of conversion.
Result: Created a basis for candid conversations between Product Management, Sales and Product Marketing to create realistic short-term and long-term growth goals; Identified and quantified opportunity for product enhancements to grow Addressable Market Opportunity; Identified and quantified strategic account initiatives to grow Serviceable Market Opportunity; Enabled realistic revenue growth targets based on delivered value of solution offerings
Problem: Sales teams found it difficult to justify premium prices due to highly competitive nature of business. Unique value drivers of solution were not quantified and specifically tied to customers’ business economics. Deals often won based on relationships and price discounting. Customers felt their feedback was not incorporated into product development pipeline. Product Management did not have tools to effectively evaluate and prioritize development initiatives and relied on qualitative feel or largest customers’ (or most vocal customers’) needs.
Solution: Conducted Value Analyses for all strategic solution launches to articulate and quantify value proposition – particularly how solution is differentiated from competitive offerings. Developed a “Value Conversation” construct to support customer engagements with value communication tools and capabilities. Re-structured customer product councils and developed Strategic Leadership Councils with senior customer leaders. Launched “Voice of the Customer” programs such as Net Promoter Score and customer satisfaction surveys.
Result: Contributed to double digit revenue and profit growth; Improved customer satisfaction scores; Developed a better understanding of vision and pain points of senior customer decision makers
Value Communication Tool Development
Problem: Product Management built and positioned solutions as premium solutions in the market. The sales collateral communicated the general value of the solutions, leaving customers and Sales Teams to cross-walk the value of the solution to each unique sales opportunity.
Solution: Developed Excel-based value calculators to enable Sales Teams to easily estimate economic value of the solutions based on specific customer characteristics. Value calculators provided estimates of value that the customer used internally to justify purchase of solution. Templates were created to allow Sales Executives to easily present economic value specific for each customer.
Result: Used as basis for highly successful direct marketing campaign that increased customer adoption of a solution workflow tool by 20 percentage points; Value Communication tools Identified by Sales Leadership as THE most critical Sales Enablement tools; Supported launch of new solutions by demonstrating financial impact to customers’ business
Deal Negotiation Support
Problem: The “puts and takes” of large transactions were not fully understood… often relying on the “gut feel” of key negotiators and Sales VPs. Financial impacts of proposed negotiated deal terms not explicitly quantified to optimize deal terms. Large RFPs often did not fully explain points of differentiation and value drivers of solutions resulting in lower conversion rates and sub-optimized deals.
Solution: Provided direct support for business development deals and large solution pitches. Built deal profitability tools for sales leadership to use during negotiations. Worked with Proposals Team to develop RFP templates that outlined key differentiators
Result: Better understanding of deal economics and value/cost trade-offs of “Puts and takes”; Shifted focus from revenue quota to deal profitability; Better positioned solutions to win more business based on differentiated value
Market Persona Creation
Problem: Marketing collateral is typically generalized for market segments, but typically not changed to reflect varying market dynamics. However, in reality, the value of solutions will vary from market to market based on the market dynamics customers face. This resulted in broadly focused marketing collateral – either understating or overstating the value proposition depending on the customers’ ability to effect change in the market.
Solution: Identified the critical market dynamics that affect value of the solution. Developed “Market Personas” based on characteristics of markets along these dimensions. Worked with Product Marketing to adjust collateral materials to reflect dynamics. Trained Sales Teams on points of emphasis for discussions depending on markets.
Result: Developed more communication collateral that was on point with customers’ market dynamics; Enhanced Sales’ understanding of customers’ businesses