In this day and age, new technologies are constantly emerging. This means everything is moving at a faster pace, especially in business. Disruptive technologies are also changing job opportunities. We’ll be taking a look at how these disruptions are having affecting jobs, particularly in pricing, and what you need to be aware of in order to keep up. We’ll be doing a comprehensive overview for pricing advisory in B2B disruptive pricing.


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Pricing advisory in B2B: Disruptive Pricing


Written by Joanna Wells, Author of TeamBuilder360 and Director of Taylor Wells – specialist at building pricing team – a specialist advisory firm that has developed a specialist recruitment program for pricing, commercial and sales management.


How does disruption affect jobs in pricing?


B2B Pricing advisory: I have been noticing a lot more pricing transformations taking place cross-industry and in a wide variety of organisations. I am curious about what pricing transformation and B2B pricing advisory mean for pricing teams and jobs, now and in the future.


My observations of the market and future for pricing and B2B pricing advisory are that:


  1. There seems to be a correlation between the transformative times in which we live and more headcount reductions, departmental restructuring, and leaner pricing teams in large corporates— whether through automation, digitization, or disintermediation.
  2. There is more and more pricing work (currently at the consultative and expert level) being done on a freelance or “contractor” basis than ever before.
  3. Global hiring plans for large corporates are diminishing. Compared to global hiring plans for innovative consultancies and smaller entrepreneurial businesses are actually increasing.
  4. There is almost twice the proportion of pricing jobs being created currently by external consultancies, innovative businesses in all industries, and entrepreneurial businesses (start-up and IPOs) in comparison to large corporates with traditional operations, control, and direct power structures, siloed cultures and outmoded business, pricing and revenue models.



Pricing advisory in B2B: Disruptive Pricing In The Digital Age


The digital age is disrupting the way the professional sector does its business. The standard office hours are no longer applicable and old pricing strategies are being revised, especially with the advent of the work-from-home model. More people are working remotely instead of a four-walled cubicle. They choose the hours they want to work and how to be paid. Salaries are paid either through digital bank transfers or through a debit card.


The old established businesses are trying to catch up to smaller start-up companies that embrace the digital age wholeheartedly and making more money. This is because new companies today have become more tech-savvy and want older companies to follow their lead when doing business in the digital world.


To stay relevant in the digital world, the old-time and material pricing schemes must be discarded. No longer is the hourly or product pricing considered as part of today’s pricing model. But more people are looking for outcome-based pricing models to pay for the service or materials. They are moving away from the bundled schemes and pay what they need. Not the other embedded services that, in reality, they don’t need.


The digital transformation in the business world is inevitable. This is true, especially in the service industry. They are adapting to the new business methods and according to the needs of the customers. Services like transportation, legal, and consulting sectors are embracing these changes.



The Transportation Sector


Nothing is more affected by the digital transformation than the transportation industry. Companies like Uber and Lyft have disrupted traditional taxi services all over the world. Commuters are tired of hailing a cab and riding with unreliable taxi drivers. Now with a touch of a button on their smartphones, they can book a ride instead of hailing one in the middle of a street, not having to rely on chances. Another advantage is the cars are a lot cleaner and wholly owned by the driver and this stimulates driver accountability and responsibility. Customers also have the option of leaving feedback or reporting bad experiences straight through the apps. No more undermaintained and unregulated cabs and drivers. 


Another innovative change is changing the lifestyle concept of owning a car. The car rentals and ownership dealers are worried this could disrupt their businesses. The Zipcar provides a more convenient ride to work and other commuting activities. Instead of owning or renting a car, the cars are strategically located all over the city. All you have to do is swipe your card and you can drive anywhere you want to go. After using the car, just simply return it to its original location. It eliminates the driver’s need to spend on fuel, mileage, and insurance. 


Once upon a time, the concept of owning a car was a symbol of status. Nowadays, the convenience of not having to pay for car maintenance, gas, and insurance may be the new trend and solution.



The Law Profession


Law firms are no longer using the traditional hourly or compensation based pricing models to bill their clients. New and high-calibre law firms are emerging and competing against the traditional law firms with their unbundling of legal services and more flexibility.


More clients are using social media to gauge how effective law firms are with their cases and how much they charge. Called the “Yelpification of law,” price, flexibility and customer satisfaction are factors that law firms must adapt to stay relevant to their clients.


An example of this is the Lawyers on Demand. They charge their clients only on what they need and not on bundled services. They can be adjusted according to the client’s needs and priced on projects or outcome-based. The fees are set in advance and can be set daily, weekly, or monthly depending on the skills of the lawyer.


Freelance lawyers use this to attract clients online with three working models: instant on-call services managing teams for specialized projects and on-site services. This gives the client an option to hire them either in the short-term or on long-term. The outcome sets competitive prices, high quality consultancy, and complete control by the client.


Consulting Firms Transparency


Most clients have no idea how consulting firms process the projects assigned to them. Consulting firms deliver the end product without showing its resolution. Therefore, it is difficult to place value and evaluation of their services. It allowed the consulting firms to maintain control over the transactions and bill the client according to the result of the consulting services.


But today, clients want the consulting firms to be more transparent and detailed in their processes. Such as, billed for services they do not need. Faster response, quicker outcome, and greater control over the consulting services are what they look for.


Other firms like the Business Talent Group, are taking advantage of this by using smaller teams of a top-notch freelancers at affordable prices. Instead of the time-based billing given to the clients, they bill the client by smaller, outcome-based results.


Another large firm, McKinsey Solutions, offers time tested solutions with self-service packages. It gives the client the flexibility to use the solutions without the expensive costs. The pricing is either a subscription or licensed based.



What does this all mean?


Is there a direct link between disruption and growth in B2B pricing advisory roles? Is there a direct link between disruption and job losses in pricing?


It may be too early to tell whether there is a direct link between disruption and growth (or job losses in dinosaur businesses). What is emerging from our era of disruption, however, is that disrupting the status quo is vital to value and wealth creation and more importantly, job creation.


The more inquisitive and involved you are in disrupting your sector or producing innovative pricing strategies, it’s more likely that your business will take care of you and invest in the pricing advisory function. Why? Because people who help grow profitability (for the business and their customers) are valuable and rare assets. Whereas, people who stifle creation are not.


There are also clear warning signs to policymakers and governments to pay attention to new workforce trends and disruptions. I see clear signals for us all to think about what is happening around us. I believe that we all need to care and contribute to job creation and future employment. Your job security is not someone else’s problem.



Implications – Pricing advisory in B2B: Disruptive Pricing


  • Professional service sectors must embrace the digital landscape. If they don’t, they will disappear like the dinosaurs.


  • Customers are becoming more tech-savvy. They want more transparency in their transactions.


  • Some of the companies will continue to resist but change is inevitable and they must adapt.


  • More clients will flock to new companies that adapt to the new digital transformation.


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Bottomline – Pricing advisory in B2B: Disruptive Pricing


  • Digital disruptions benefit businesses in the long run. More transparency and reduced pricing models are what clients want.


  • The traditional office hours and pricing models are obsolete. More freelancers are going online and follow more flexible working hours.


  • Most of the pricing models in the digital age result from outcome-based pricing.  Hence, the bundled pricing is no longer applicable.


  • Most businesses now do their transactions digitally, making the ability to adapt essential



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