Der-Preis-Ist-Heiss-Logo-2017Zur Steuerung des Gewinns gibt es nur 3 Ansatzpunkte: Kosten, Absatzmenge und Preis. Aber während sich viele Unternehmen intensiv mit einem effizienten Kostenmanagement befassen (Prozessoptimierung, Einkauf …) oder mit Hochdruck an der Wachstumsschraube drehen (Innovation, Marketing, Internationalisierung …), scheinen die wenigsten das Potenzial des Preismanagements zu erkennen.

Der Preis ist oft der größte Gewinnhebel. Dennoch bauen viele Unternehmen im Pricing auf Faustregeln und Intuition und verschenken so Gewinne. Dabei kann mit einem systematischen Prozess nicht nur eine suboptimale Preisbildung vermieden, werden. Unterwegs erfahren Sie zusätzlich, was Kunden wirklich wollen und wofür sie zu zahlen bereit sind.

Dafür, dass auch die Durchsetzung der Preise am Markt gelingt, sind Regeln und Kontrolle eine wesentliche Voraussetzung. Entscheidend ist aber die Verkaufs- und Verhandlungskompetenz der Vertriebsteams.

Hinterher ist man immer schlauer, aber dann ist es meist schon zu spät.“

Die EVEREST-Methode® bietet dafür das erforderliche Rüstzeug: EVEREST stellt eine systematische Vorbereitung sicher und liefert für jede Preisverhandlung das passende Drehbuch. Stärken, Schwächen und Zielkonflikte werden rechtzeitig erkannt und können berücksichtigt werden.

In B2B, products and services are not always self-explanatory, and this is one reason why many vendors have been slow to make significant investments in online sales channels. They often focus on a qualified salesforce to explain their complex solutions face-to-face to their customers.

But new research by McKinsey indicates that B2B suppliers cannot choose between a great sales force and great digital assets and capabilities. To drive growth, they need both.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • Industry sector is not a factor. What determines the channel of choice is whether or not the buyer is making a first-time purchase.
  • The majority of buyers still asks for the expertise of a salesperson when making about first-time purchase decisions.
  • Online functionality will have to meet expectations for speed set in the B2C world. Buyers are frustrated if they cannot complete a repeat-order easily.
  • Be they online or off, B2B buyers want an immediate response. Slow response times are by far the biggest frustration for buyers, bigger even than pricing issues!

Investments in digital assets will indirectly help the sales force meet customer needs, freeing them up from dealing with routine inquiries. So, they can devote time to help customers with more complex needs, as well as seeking out new customers.

Relatively simple tools will help salespeople directly, for instance to track customers’ previous questions and help anticipate needs. Virtual product demonstrations on a tablet will assist in a sale. Customer-segmentation and value-proposition engines help sales representatives build tailored offers in the field that quantify the value for the customer. And as in the online world, advanced analytics can prompt buy recommendations.

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At what point should you mention your price? As Mark Stiving puts it, the correct answer is “it depends.”

However, if there is one guideline on this topic it is this: Communicate price only after value is understood.

In most B2C sales situations customers see the price of the product immediately. Consumers often already know the product, the brand and the quality – and decide if the price is worth it. In automobile-sales though, it is a negotiated deal. The (good) salesperson doesn’t just quote you their best price. Instead, he will try to figure out how much you are willing to pay.

This same thinking transfers to B2B pricing as well. In B2B sales we often use direct salespeople. The most important role of a direct salesperson is to communicate the value of a product to the buyer.

If we can lead with price, we don’t need a direct salesperson.

If you agree with that, your salespeople have to listen to their customers first, and then communicate value to the buyer. Only after that, they should quote prices. If you sell a product where the value is already known—think office supplies—the price can be delivered right away. In all other cases: never lead with price! Or as Mark says: „When a salesperson leads with price, either we have scared a customer away or we have a price that’s too low. If we can lead with price and don’t scare the customer, … we don’t need a direct salesperson … .

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You can develop bad habits over time. Just like in many – maybe all – other areas, it’s fascinating that many Salespeople tend to fall into similar patterns of behavior.

Inc.“ author Barrett Riddleberger has compiled a list of 50 bad sales habits to eliminate.

Here’s what I find most important:

  1. Stop chasing unqualified buyers who can’t or won’t buy. „Off-target“ buyers are low-probability opportunities.
  2. Educate yourself about your prospect.
  3. It’s about the buyer, stupid! Don’t lead-off your sales pitch with your product or service. Stop talking, and listen. Listening to customer concerns means you learn something new. Stop guessing what the customer wants. Instead, try to find out, what he or she is thinking: ask the right type of questions, clarify using follow-up questions.
  4. Still: make sure you know what your talking about. You’re the product-expert. If not: read the manual, take a class, bring an expert.
  5. Customize, instead of giving a standard presentation. Translate features and benefits into „buyer value“.
  6. Don’t sell on price! Some customers buy on price, but most buy on value.
  7. Follow-up and follow-through during the sales process.
  8. Fire bad customers! Not all business is good business.

And, don’t waste time constantly checking your email, but (spell-) check before sending, be on-time at meetings, and be well prepared. Anything else is an offense and implies a lack of appreciation

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