Simon-Kucher & Partners’ 4th Annual Atlanta Pricing and Sales Strategy Forum

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Sales and pricing are two key levers used to harness TopLine Power® for companies across all industries. During the Atlanta Pricing Strategy Forum experts provided insight into how digitalization is impacting all aspects of revenue growth, and the needs to adapt with this global megatrend.

Atlanta – Simon-Kucher & Partners’ annual pricing study of 2017 shows that less than 25% of companies see top line impact due to digitalization initiatives. Most companies that fail are investing in the wrong initiatives. Digitalization Heroes average a 37% higher EBITDA than other companies due in part to superior practices in strategy, marketing, sales, and pricing.

How can you position your firm to be ahead of the curve with regard to digitalization and top line growth? These challenges were addressed during Simon-Kucher & Partners’ 4th Annual Atlanta Pricing and Sales Strategy Forum: Commercial Excellence in the Digital Age. The forum assembled a diverse group of industry experts who shared their experiences on how to drive toward increased revenue and enhanced profitability. The key topics and speakers of the forum were:

  • Sara Yamase (Yamamoto), Senior Director with Simon-Kucher & Partners, discussing digitalization as a cross-industry strategic imperative
  • Kevin Howser, EVP of Grimco, spoke about the challenges of growing top line and online sales
  • Erik Charles, VP of Strategic Marketing, Xactly and Adam Echter, Senior Director with Simon-Kucher & Partners, joined forced to talk through the advantages of digitalizing a sales force through territory alignment
  • Jeff Goodman, former turnaround executive at a number of firms including Kodak Alaris, spoke about embracing the impact of digitalization on corporate transformation
  • Brad Soper, Partner and Member of the Board with Simon-Kucher & Partners, stressed the importance of the monetization of these digital transitions

This event was successful in bringing together points of view across multiple industries and segments, including Building Materials, Health Care, Software, and Retail/Apparel, discussing B2B and B2C considerations. Cross-industry thought leadership brought about great conversation among all attendees.

Sara Yamase (Yamamoto), Senior Director with Simon-Kucher & Partners, started off our presentations by discussing how the impact of digital engagement spans from increasing customer retention all the way to completely transforming business models. She continued to provide insight into how providing better products, increasing customer engagement, and creating new channels for customers also serve to increase revenue for a company, regardless of the industry.

Kevin Howser, EVP at Grimco, followed up by taking the audience through the systematic development of an online sales channel for a company that traditionally sells their products through a large sales force. He shared that while empowering the sales force, autonomy in the field also created a complex pricing matrix with millions of unique price points across tens of thousands of customers and SKUs. To maintain the trust and relationships of their customers, giving B2B customers a B2C experience was paramount. Individualized logins for customers provide an avenue to differentiate price while allowing customers to maintain current pricing.

Switching gears, Erik Charles of Xactly and Adam Echter of Simon-Kucher & Partners, discussed how the digitalization of the sales force is an increasingly important aspect to a full digital transformation. They spoke about the state of software solutions and how they are able to support the movement away from yesterday’s pain points in the sales force. Erik and Adam brought together how territory planning underlies the entire sales performance of a company, how to use a high-level framework to modernize territory planning, and the influence of territory optimization on a business.

The final invited speaker, Jeff Goodman, had the opportunity (and challenge) over a very successful career to turn around a number of businesses, and was able to relay his perspective on how digitalization is playing a critical role in the future and fate of both mature and nascent companies, addressing four critical points: Having a Business Critical Focus, Financial Management Rigor, Ongoing HR and Cultural Investment, and a Timely Shift to Marketing Drivers. Utilizing case studies including Kodak, Procter & Gamble, and Cypress Semiconductors, Jeff provided plenty of food for thought for anyone considering how digitalization may impact their path forward.

The event was capped off with a discussion led by Brad Soper, Partner, Board Member, and Managing Director of Simon-Kucher & Partners’ Atlanta office. Brad discussed monetization strategies for digital transitions, a topic on the mind of almost all C-Suite executives, and core to Simon-Kucher & Partners’ latest Global Pricing & Sales Study. Brad was able to discuss the movement from an analogue past into a digital future, covering how companies are reinventing their revenue models as they make these digital transformations.

After wrapping up the formal agenda, a networking event provided additional opportunity for all attendees to continue discussion on these impactful topics. Brad was able to recap the event as follows: “Given the current megatrend of digitalization, and the impact we are seeing on the global business environment, strategically addressing top line growth opportunities will create sustainable competitive advantage. Today’s discussions highlighted a number of actions companies can take to leverage digitalization and find even more top line impact for their companies via sales and pricing excellence.”

Simon-Kucher & Partners, Strategy & Marketing Consultants:
Simon-Kucher & Partners is a global consulting firm with more than 1,100 professionals in 34 offices worldwide focusing on TopLine Power®. Founded in 1985, the company has more than 30 years of experience providing strategy and marketing consulting and is regarded as the world’s leading pricing advisor.