Aug

The rise of pricing professionals in the business world

by Heather Porter and Sydney Olszewski
Charles Aris Inc.

The Charles Aris team has recently seen a rise in organizations seeking pricing professionals for their teams. This increased demand isn't just about the need for individuals who hold the technical skills for pricing roles; it’s also about the opportunity to influence senior leaders and help them see the value of pricing.

Why is pricing important?

Whether your organization sells a product, a service or both, it will need to consider pricing. That's the surface-level answer, but let's dive deeper.

Pricing plays a direct role in your organization's ability to make a profit. In fact, Dr. Rainer Meckes of Simon, Kucher & Partners reports that a 5 percent improvement in pricing, without volume loss and average margins, can boost profits between 30 and 50 percent.

For your organization to remain competitive, pricing needs to be a focus – and having an individual or team dedicated to it can result in great rewards for your business, team members and stakeholders.

The challenge lies in one simple thing: time. Is your organization willing to take the time to examine pricing? Are you ready to hire a pricing professional? Do you have the tools and team in place to ensure that you’re able to make the changes needed to implement strategies this person recommends?

It all starts with leadership. If your leadership team won’t embrace and emphasize pricing, it won't work. The cliché "it takes a village" holds true here. Even if you hire strong professionals to lead pricing for your organization, their efforts won’t be maximized if the organization’s senior leadership team and board aren't ready to listen to and act on their findings and recommendations.

Pricing as a career

With pricing historically recognized as one of the duties of sales and marketing professionals, some organizations do not yet see the value of adding pricing pros to their full-time teams. Deloitte surveyed 317 pricing professionals about their past experiences, current jobs and future expectations in the pricing space. Here are some key takeaways.

Because pricing-specific roles are relatively new, the biggest question individuals often ask revolves around the background that pricing professionals typically have. The top five functions in their collective backgrounds: finance, marketing, operations, sales and consulting. These common backgrounds make sense, given how – and by whom – pricing duties have historically been handled in many organizations.

Is pricing a long-term career path worth taking?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is slightly more complicated, considering the short amount of time in which pricing roles have gained attention.

In the same study by Deloitte, 50 percent of survey respondents reported that they planned on staying in the field for five years or fewer, and 27 percent reported they planned on staying for six to 10. When asked where they plan to go next with their career, 40 percent answered: "Stay in pricing.”

These survey results, in combination with the recent influx of pricing-based talent searches we've been conducting for client organizations, lead us to be optimistic that pricing roles will be long-term additions to the most successful organizations on the planet.

Looking to add a pricing professional to your team? Contact Chad Oakley at (336) 378-1818, extension 9101, or email him at chad.oakley@charlesaris.com.