In this episode of Pricing College, Joanna and Aidan discuss what sort of skillset a great pricing manager or leader should have.


Whilst not saying one needs to have all the skills mentioned – pricing is a very varied discipline.


Numerate, driven, smart, good team worker – the list goes on!



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[00:00] Introduction

[00:29] Good with numbers and data analysis

[01:54] Sales focus

[02:16] Psychology in pricing

[02:49] Building relationship

[03:20] Entrepreneurial mindset



What Makes a Great Pricing Manager?


Now, if you’re thinking about a career in pricing and you’re wondering what type of people go into pricing. Am I suitable? Would it be a good fit for me?


We’re going to just go through all of those and address those questions for you today. Then, talk about a profile of pricing managers today that are successful in businesses and do get the outcomes that businesses want from the pricing.


Now to start, we’ll go from the basics. Pricing by its very nature and even the title, you can see it is a numbers-based career. But it’s not all of the careers, I would say. Because of the change management aspect of the job, it would sort of be roughly 40% of the job.


However, you have to be good at maths and data:

  • good with numbers
  • figuring out
  • sorting out the data
  • manipulating data
  • analysing data and then interpreting data

All of those three areas of data analysis are very important to pricing managers. Now, you don’t need to be a mathematician. No, you don’t. But you do need to understand what you’re looking at.


Okay. So, point two.


We’ve covered the numbers but you also have to have a real sales focus.  In many companies, we separate salespeople from financial people. But pricing sits between the two.


  • You need to know how to sell
  • why big customers buy
  • and how to emphasise the value and the pluses


So, yeah, have you sold anything in the past?


Number three. So, as you listen to us before, there’s a lot of psychology involved in pricing. Especially in value-based pricing and customer-focused pricing. And as businesses try to reconnect or connect closer to customers to think about their pricing, you can understand that psychology in pricing is becoming a key skill.


So, not only do you need to be good with people and data. You need to start to understand people, why they buy from you. And that’s another key aspect.



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  • Are you a politician?
  • Are you naturally good at stakeholder management?
  • Can you build relationships internally with accounts, with finance, with marketing, and with senior executives?
  • Do people trust you and want to work alongside you?


Because being a Pricer, it’s…you know, it’s everywhere and is nowhere. So, the real skill is to not be isolated. You have to have that buy-in from the key stakeholders. Make them feel that you’re working alongside them. And that helping you will help them.


Another key skill mindset would be that entrepreneurial mindset. Always thinking ahead:


What’s happening?

How do I make more money?

Where are the opportunities?

Where’s that margin opportunity? 

Is it where it used to be?

Where in the market should I be focusing?


Looking at segmentation as a key driver to fulfill that curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit to find those revenue opportunities for the business. But when we say entrepreneurial but doing it in a very safe way, that is always checked by data and systems peer reviews.


So, yeah. That would be another skill. And I think that’s something that senior management respects in the more successful pricing managers. All of those characteristics are quite dominant in successful pricing leaders. And I wouldn’t say any one of those attributes would be greater than the other. It’s a real sense of balance.


Bottomline: What are the Skills for a Great Pricing Manager?


And I think finally, I’d like to just mention that personality, that’s almost the energy. Successful pricing managers have this innate burning energy to just succeed. They’re very positive. They’re not tired. They look after themselves both physically and mentally. They know it can be tough.


There are a lot of objections and questions that they have to address daily as a lot of firefighting happens. And a good pricing manager is always positive, up for that discussion, and never closes down conversations. And, yeah, always looking for the upside.


Sometimes, I think the perfect pricing manager is somebody who should be an entrepreneur but doesn’t want to set up their own business. They almost drive a business. They look at the business model that hopefully improves it. And they get involved in all the tough parts and places where you can’t hide. The customer negotiations, the pushing back on price negotiations. Those sorts of things.


The place where no one generally wants to go is where you have to go as a pricing manager. So, it’s somebody who could potentially be a great business owner themselves but just for whatever reason doesn’t do it. 


So, that’s it for me today. Thank you very much!


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