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Head Of Pricing Jobs: Things Managers Will Never Tell You About Pricing 🤑

It can take a lot of time and skill to break down someone’s “interview game face” for the head of pricing jobs. Thus, the real person behind the corporate mask can be difficult to reach. For instance:


  1. What if you’re presented with lots of excellent head of pricing CVs and some of them have embellished or lied on their CV to get an interview?
  2. What if your pricing director job descriptions don’t get enough applications or attract all the wrong types of people?
  3. If an internal candidate you know wants to move forward for a new head of pricing role; but their past record of achievement is in a totally different domain of expertise, what will you do?
  4. What if someone’s not being honest with you about their salary expectations and over inflate their current salary to get an extra $50K+ to their base salary?
  5. What if you’re given misleading references that say either wonderful things about someone or irrelevant things?


How many times have you asked someone during an interview for head of pricing jobs: “Do you think you can improve pricing across your organisation?”


What do they say?


They’ll invariably recite several lengthy but often irrelevant financial, marketing or sales related experiences. Their pricing examples will be largely focused on cost-plus pricing or price administration. Their interview examples will probably be long, meandering and unstructured. In addition, the majority of case examples provided will have only tenuous links to best practice pricing.


Is that about right?


It would be fair to say that both parties walk out of most head of pricing job interviews feeling dissatisfied or underwhelmed with the meeting.


Table of Contents:

I. Head Of Pricing Jobs: Things Managers Will Never Tell You About Pricing

II. Pricing Jobs: The Secret To Winning Better Pricing Jobs – Uncovered



Head of pricing jobs

Head Of Pricing Jobs: Things Managers Will Never Tell You About Pricing


In this article, we contend that CVs and interviews for the head of pricing jobs do not provide enough objective data for CEOs and executives to select the best pricing manager or director for their business.


What’s more, we believe that the traditional recruitment model does not give candidates enough relevant information to make informed career decisions; creating in turn serious talent churn issues that many Australian businesses are struggling to deal with right now.


CVs are by far the worse indicators of success for the head of pricing jobs


For many CEOs and HR executives, it’s very difficult to know whether you have good candidates from the shortlist of pricing managers you’ve received for your new head of pricing jobs.


Gone are the days when you can trust what someone has written on their CV. Sometimes, candidates applying for head of pricing jobs get help from a professional CV writing agency in preparing their CVs.


There are plenty of highly crafted CV marketing documents out there now. Many CVs have been designed solely to get people interviews for head of pricing jobs. Often, regardless of whether or not they’ve got the relevant pricing skills or experience.


Korn Ferry research shows, for example, that traditional methods of assessing corporate talent during the hiring process often don’t provide an accurate picture of what someone can really do and or what they are capable of doing in the future.


Gartner research shows that there’s almost zero correlation between what a candidate writes in their CV and how well they end up performing in a senior or management role.


Leadership Institute research shows that success in prior roles often has little impact on performance success in new or more challenging leadership and management positions.


Taylor Wells research shows that skills learned through seemingly similar roles like accountancy, financial reporting or marketing often don’t translate well to pricing roles and can even impede individual and team pricing performance.


The current recruiting model for the head of pricing roles often set up to fail right from the start


Now we’re not saying that you should scrap CVs and interviews altogether for head of pricing jobs. Furthermore, we believe that traditional means of assessing corporate talent for pricing director job descriptions or pricing specialist job descriptions can be helpful to acknowledge past accomplishments or find out if you like someone or not. However, we do believe that relying exclusively on traditional hiring sources for head of pricing jobs will increase the risk of bad hires.


In fact, we think that standard hiring practices are failing Australian businesses because they generate limited value to either the hiring manager or candidate. Many people fear “being honest” about personal weaknesses during a head of pricing interview. Even fewer candidates can admit they don’t have all the pricing skills you want.


There are millions of dollars of investment, resources and time going into a wide-scale pricing transformation project. Make sure you choose the absolute best person for your head of pricing jobs.


Current base salaries for head of pricing jobs or pricing director job descriptions are substantial – anywhere from $180K – $350K. Then, there are bonuses, perks and other incentives on top.


There’s also a lot riding on improving your pricing system too. With this in mind, the board has a particular ROI they want you to obtain from your price improvement project. Current estimates for building world-class price leadership and culture is between 2 – 7% of additional margin across total revenues.


Pricing manager interview questions rarely get to the truth about someone’s actual capability or potential for head of pricing jobs


Interviews, CVs, references or even gut feel alone will not give you enough information to make good selection decisions for pricing director job descriptions. Most pricing manager interviews questions are not reflective of real-life pricing scenarios, they’re artificial.


The majority of pricing manager interviews are not real-life examples of ability. In fact, some people bluff their way through interviews for head of pricing jobs.


It’s also really difficult to tell if a pricing director or commercial executive has good interpersonal skills or strategic influencing capability based on their often highly polished performance. A lot of answers pre-rehearsed interview responses. Interviews are not real life, they don’t get the best or the worse out of people.


Granted, every executive should prepare well for interviews as best they can. Preparation shows respect for you and the business. Mostly, people also want to make a good impression during a meeting or interview (this is only natural). But the point to draw out here is that we shouldn’t presume that someone is being 100% authentic when they answer pricing manager interview questions.


It takes courage for a candidate to say “I don’t know” during an interview


It also takes someone with the self-awareness to provide an honest picture of what they can and can’t do. Hence, most people lack that sort of courage and conform to safe, predictable answers. Many people fear that a lack of pricing skills and knowledge will count against them. And are they wrong?



From a personal perspective, we talk with senior directors, managers, and analyst daily. Very rarely do we meet an executive with the capacity to have a frank and informed discussion about their pricing issues or mistakes.


There is a very little mature and open discussion about areas of development, aspirations, concerns and possible skills gaps in pricing and revenue management.


We’ve also read thousands of commercial executive CVs for head of pricing jobs and pricing director job descriptions.  Hence, some of them don’t even mention an interest or passion for strategic pricing at all. Others list every pricing skill, revenue management software or systems, and challenge under the sun.


It’s only until we probe a manager or director a bit deeper that we start to get a clearer picture of their individual pricing capability and style. Additionally, this includes identifying incongruities in their stories. Thus, finding new strengths or even uncovering unhelpful habits they didn’t even realise they had.


We believe too many senior managers appointed to head of pricing jobs based on star power and marketing rather than evidence and capability


We commonly hear of executives and senior managers appointed to head of pricing jobs or pricing specialist jobs. Even without possessing the requisite pricing skills, experience or leadership skills or potential. Therefore, it is little surprise to us that the latest high potential studies from Gartner shows that 73% of high potential programs fail to deliver any significant business outcomes.




Our research shows that there are only a handful of executives or managers in Australia having demonstrable price mastery suitable for head of pricing jobs.


In 2015 and 2016, we assessed 857 pricing and commercial executives in Australia, the US, EU, and South America to measure individual pricing capability across 9 pricing competencies.


Most notably, we found:


Over 80% of participants did not have the pricing skills. Or qualifications for head of pricing jobs or even pricing specialist job descriptions.


26% were unable to accept or learn from feedback.


68% had difficulty with conflict and or handling change.


28% didn’t want involvement in coaching or mentoring others; and or didn’t see it as their responsibility to build buy-in across the business.


23% were unable to manage their introverted tendencies; or were completely unaware of potentially destructive beliefs, attitudes and behaviours that could endanger team performance and transformation efforts.




Do not use the traditional recruitment model in hiring the head of pricing jobs. Standard recruitment practice is inhibiting individual growth and learning opportunities. Thus, failing to identify or reward high calibre people that can actually make a positive difference to businesses.




To improve selection decision for head of pricing jobs, use non-traditional hiring sources.


The majority of interviews for pricing director job descriptions or even pricing analyst job descriptions are set up to avoid discussing real challenges or exploring differences of opinion.


Most interviews gravitate to what both parties have done in the past as opposed; to how both parties can work together to contribute shared goals. There’s rarely any real investigation into what someone really values or how they think. This includes: how they prefer to be managed or how they lead people through change.


Hiring a commercial executive for a price leadership role based on what they say they can do is not enough anymore. Oftentimes, pricing knowledge is rarely demonstrated from either side of the interview table. The majority of interviews for head of pricing jobs tend to be formulaic and boring.


The interviewer asks ‘safe’ questions and the candidate provides even safer answers. Hence, all parties walk out of the room none the wiser about the suitability or fit.


Use proven alternatives other CEOS and boards are using (other than interviews and CVs) to hire executives for head of pricing jobs and pricing director job descriptions.


Click here to obtain your free guide to pricing recruitment for your business.


⇑ Table of Contents

〉〉〉 Contact Us for a FREE Consultation〉〉〉


Pricing Jobs

Pricing Jobs: The Secret To Winning Better Pricing Jobs – Uncovered

Pricing Jobs: Do you feel like you are wasting your time dabbling in pricing and not learning much at all? Were you moved into pricing jobs from another department and wondered what it’s all about? If you have moved into a pricing leadership team, and want to make a meaningful and lucrative career in pricing, then it’s not just a great CV you’ll need. To make it to a director of pricing or VP of Pricing, you’ll need to build your pricing knowledge. Then leverage what you know to drive profitability. Are you ready for the challenge?


When people explain to me how difficult it is to find a better pricing job, they tend to get quite operationally focused in terms of their personal drama during the job search process. Things like: what they had to do to make hiring managers interested in their LinkedIn profiles; how many times they had to re-write their CVs to get a call; how recruiters don’t care; and how HR just doesn’t understand the discipline; or how many online applications or assessment they have completed.


We have been trained as a society to view a bad CV and poor interview as clear indicators of under-performance in some shape or form. What if it’s a flawed hiring process and we were okay all along? A debate on whether CVs and interviews are deeply flawed business assumptions is discussed in more detail in article: ‘CVs or Interviews are poor predictors of success‘. You can also see talent management Sydney.


What are the best indicators of success in Pricing Jobs?


Our research shows that one of the best indicators of success in pricing is mastery of the domain. In this instance, your pricing knowledge is an indication. However, the real x-factor in building a successful career is knowing when and how to apply your knowledge to solve problems and achieve collective business outcomes.


Right now, business knowledge in specialist areas like pricing, revenue and commercial management is scarce and in need of urgent attention. Business model disruption and advancements in technology have smashed conventional thinking about how we do business and price.


Some people view price as a summation of the total economic value the business can offer to its customers. While others see it as a % mark up on approximate cost calculations. The former is heavily focusing on customer value while the latter on costs and operations.


People who relate pricing in terms of cost put a ceiling on pricing and therefore profitability. People who relate pricing to value seek to unlock a business’s pricing power. They do this by discovering new ways to translate value into additional revenue and margin.


There are always going to be differences in how we perceive the world. This is no different for pricing or finding really good pricing roles and revenue management jobs. However, there are fundamental pricing and scientific principles that are the basis of modern revenue and pricing management; and key to solving and thinking of complex commercial challenges in an entirely different way. People that think of pricing a little bit differently, may not always be right. However, they will eventually unlock the team’s potential to achieve complex outcomes.


For people who want better pricing jobs, the key point in all of this is to re-visit fundamental pricing principles and basic research in: pricing, science and technology.


All these disciplines are technical in nature, yes, but are all driven by human behaviour, the discovery of value, curiosity and imagination.


Not everyone is ready to see pricing differently. Whatever your perspective, you will inevitability get the opportunities you are subconsciously driving towards. Learning to break the endless cycle of negative scripts in your mind of why you can’t do something is the first step to better jobs. Then, moving away from Band-Aid fixes to suboptimal pricing thinking and operations (by this, I mean antiquated strategy, basic price rise logic, data and systems issues, and de-centralised price admin) will be one of the biggest long term investments an individual and business can ever make.


Want a better pricing job?


Taylor Wells talent strategy firm connects our members to the best pricing roles in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and internationally.

Visit us and join the Taylor Wells Talent network. Build a more meaningful career in pricing today.

Check out our blogs on top skills for commercial managers and getting a better pricing manager salary.


Click here to download the whitepaper.


⇑ Table of Contents

〉〉〉 Contact Us for a FREE Consultation〉〉〉


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1 Comment

  1. John Kearney February 28, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    So to upset the idea of pricing specialists being uncomfortable with conflict; i’ll offer some thoughts;
    Buried in the article is some really useful information for Pricing experts on how to differentiate themselves from more generalist applicants for Head of roles, But your article addresses those hiring Head ofs and is little more than an advertorial. Either configure the article to be read by both hiring and candidates or tag/link correctly. Your head of candidates are also pricing recruiters and potentially in the best place to guide HR depts to the right agency/consultancy for hiring

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