Part 1: The Digital Product Manager - Today's Corporate Superhero
Yesterday I had the pleasure to conduct the webinar From Steel to Silicon: Pricing in the Digital Era in partnership with the Professional Pricing Association (PPS). With over 200+ pricing and product professional attendees (wow!), it became very apparent there's a BIG appetite for best practices that better address the challenges and nuances that come with this more complex (and higher value) digital, and software-enabled, world.
Future technology value creation will be driven by the rapidly changing world of software-enabled systems
(Mark Andreessen, Why Software is Eating the World, WSJ.com, 2011)
Especially in the world of B2B, every organization is going through (or have already gone through) some sort of transformation impacting not only their ability to drive better value for their clients, but also a transformation that impacts their company's very own business models and selling mindset. Everything from product and go-to market strategies, to pricing and offer (re)design, to change management, to sales enablement, and to flawless deal execution. This techtonic shift around how one's company conducts business requires breaking out of the old mold, and creating a new well-coordinated model that, in many cases, impacts every department's people, processes, and systems.
There will not only be roadblocks, hurdles, and gaps in know-how experience, but also newfound opportunities for some. Leadership during this transformation will most definitely be key to succeed: Enter the need for the Digital Product Manager (aka. our champion).
Part 2: Accelerating Skill Sets in PM Pricing Know-How
Product leaders in the digital era have quite the list of responsibilities; many past hardware PMs, for example, are finding themselves managing a portfolio of innovative solutions that includes release planning for software. And not only are they responsible for product delivery, but companies also heavily rely on the "Digital PM" for company-wide leadership, sales support ("we need you to help demo onsite with a client"), post-sales support ("we have a client fire drill!"), technical know-how support, marketing support, ... AND pricing. To name a few.
Many Digital PMs need to quickly overcome their skill set gap around pricing & offer design to maximize the full potential of their company's innovation investments
But in this fast-paced environment, pricing often takes a back seat on the priority list, or perhaps "Digital PMs" need to quickly bring their skill sets up to speed around best pricing & offer design practices to maximize the full potential of their company's innovation investments.
If you're a Digital PM looking to quickly accelerate your, or your company's, skill sets in pricing, these tips & resources can be a useful starting point:
Apply The Software Pricing Framework as your Process. Have your team(s) use this framework as a process to help apply a logical, value-based pricing & offer design approach to your portfolio. This approach also takes into consideration the company-wide implementation of new pricing structures (enablement & deal execution) to maximize results. Learn more here.
Pricing Bootcamp (2-3 days). Here's my pitch: You live in a fast-paced world and need to quickly accelerate your team's knowledge around pricing with hands-on workshops to address your product lines. We can help. Whether its "virtual" (esp. with COVID-19 "work from home") or onsite, these hands-on workshops can identify quick wins and set the stage for pricing improvement initiatives that drive bottom and top-line improvements.
Pricing e-Learning Course. Consider adding an e-learning course on pricing to your company's learning management system to quickly bring your PM members up-to-speed around processes and tools for pricing software, new innovation (AI, IoT,etc), SaaS, and RFPs. Particularly useful for B2B and venture firms with 5+ software product groups.
Webinars. We can offer hot topic 1hr webinars that can quickly get your teams thinking about best practices relating to their product lines. Webinar topics include: Best Practices in Software Pricing, Pricing SaaS, Pricing RFPs in the Digital Era, and Pricing in a Downturn.
Scott Miller is the founder of Miller Advisors Inc (www.miller-advisors.com), a pricing, monetization, and offer design consulting firm with a specialty in B2B software. He is also a speaker and instructor on best pricing practices with the Professional Pricing Society (PPS), International Software Product Management Association (ISPMA), and Carnegie Mellon University bringing over 15 years of experience from a variety of consulting and global corporate pricing roles.