In This Issue

Brian Pierson, Market Strategist and Pricing Guru, discusses how your company can gain market share, increase profits, and improve customer loyalty by dipping its toes in the Strategic Pricing waters.   full article
This quarter we discuss using resumes as a tool for both the candidate and the hiring manager to determine if there is a match for both parties.
Candidate Tip #105  Hiring Manager Tip #105  full article
In response to requests from our clients, we are pleased to announce the expansion of our Interim Resources program with the formation of the Interim Talent Solutions practice.   read more
Find out what your favorite color reveals about your personality... have fun

Articles

Why Strategic Pricing Makes Sense in Today's Economy
by: Brian Pierson, Market Strategist and Pricing Guru

Do you want to:

  • Take market share from competitors?
  • Be more profitable than your competitors?
  • Have higher customer loyalty than your competitors?
  • Grow shareholder value faster than the market?
  • Have cleaner, more manageable Revenue Recognition?
  • Generate profits more efficiently than cost cutting (by a 3x factor)?

Sound good? Sound even better with minimal resources? Then dip your toe in the Strategic Pricing waters; it's pretty easy.

These results are proven repeatedly in academic studies and through my own painful, scarring pricing experiences over fifteen years.

Strategic Pricing leverages skills, activities and data that you already have but hammers them into a common framework, towards a coordinated goal. The "Pricing" filter (and process) is the rare cross-discipline lever that Executives can leverage uniformly to optimize most (if not all) organizational activities. (You're not doing anything interdisciplinary right now, are you?)

And Pricing is easy. You don't need Six Sigma, or Business Process Re-engineering, or the usual B-school impossible-to-implement theory.

Here are two effective pricing activities that will create a big impact right now in a volatile market.

Activity #1
1. Graph your current/core Product's list price model (units on the x-axis and aggregate Revenue on the y-axis.

  • What do you see? A straight line? A curved line? Stair steps?
  • Identify your true customer sweet spot(s), the typical number of units purchased.
  • Is the model steep? So steep that your pricing really isn't credible for your larger customers (marginally larger sales discounts unhinged from your "Value proposition?")
  • Is the line flattish? Such that your smaller customers (probably an indirect channel) aren't paying enough (to support that channel)?
2. Next graph your competitors' price model on top. (You're not stealing anything, everyone knows everyone else's pricing.)
  • Are you more or less expensive in certain markets? Did you want to be? Do your features warrant a higher or lower price? IS YOUR FIELD TRAINED TO SELL THAT HIGHER PRICE? (Be honest, they probably aren't.)
  • So again, your price model communicates very specific things to your markets. Are these messages what you thought they were?
3. Lastly layer your previous or next generation product price model onto the graph.
  • Maybe you want the new product more expensive to capture the inelastic market segments.
  • Maybe you want the new product cheaper so you can shut down an older development cycle.
4. Congratulations you are a more sophisticated "pricer" than most companies!

Activity #2
A word about "bundles." -- I "HATE" them...(but I love "volume" programs.)

  • "Baked" hard-coded bundles will not survive the first typical Field negotiation, the requested substitutions will destroy your delicate Revenue Recognition policies; big chunks of revenue will get carved out.
  • However, a carefully crafted, "approved" volume purchasing program will provide the Field flexibility and give you cover for clean revenue. You will have a repeatable, consistent Enterprise License Agreement program before you know it.
About the author.
Brian's interest in pricing and licensing began in the early '90s at Borland, when the company defied centuries of economic theory to compete against Microsoft on price. You know what happened next.

Since then, at large and small companies, Brian has run Strategic Marketing organizations: 1) Market Strategy and Verticals 2) Corporate and Business Development 3) Pricing and Competitive - strategic skills that most companies lack or fail to coordinate or execute.

Brian began his career in M&A at JP Morgan, New York. You can contact him at brian@organization-design.com.

Candidates and Hiring Managers: Maximize Your Experience with Recruiters
Our highest priority at STRe Solutions is building long-term relationships with both jobseekers and hiring managers. The Recruiter Relations section of our newsletter offers ongoing tips to help you maximize your experience with a recruiter, regardless of whether you're seeking top talent to seamlessly join your team or searching for the ideal position.

This quarter's focus is resumes and what they mean for the candidates and for the hiring managers. This advice is written from the perspective of using the resume as a tool for both the candidate and the hiring manager to determine if there is a match for both parties.

Candidate Tip #105
Help -- I need to update my resume! Think of your resume as marketing collateral -- a good description that gets the potential buyer to take a look at your product. The product in this case is you. There are two questions that candidates almost always ask: 1) How long should the resume be? 2) Should it be chronological or functional?

Ideally, a resume should be 2 pages, no more than 3. If you believe you have significant pertinent information to offer that won't fit, then include that information in a cover letter. A resume should highlight your career accomplishments, not be a list of your responsibilities. Numbers talk -- if you increased profits by 50%, say so.

Chronological resumes make is easy for someone to see your career progression. A functional resume can be a red flag that is interpreted as 'there is something to hide.' There is a way to combine the two styles by including a summary (or table) at the top of page 1 highlighting your functional areas of expertise, followed by your chronological resume. Keep the highlights section to about a third of a page. And...include an objective if it makes the case for the opportunity you want.

A resume is just a way to get in the door. The purpose of the resume is to get the interview

Hiring Manager Tip #105
What does a resume REALLY tell me? When you look at a resume, what do you see? Some people start at the end and look for the education background; others take a quick glance to see what companies the candidate has worked at, and what the resume shows in terms of career progression, or lack thereof.

A resume is often the first impression you get of a candidate and when it is clean and crisp, well written, and flows well, you get positive vibes. It may be easy to look at the resume and do a quick 'yea or nay,' but you may be missing a hidden gem because a resume doesn't tell the whole story. But the real question is -- does this person have enough of the right skills and experience to warrant an interview? So, how do you make that determination?

If you are working with a recruiting resource, either internal or outside firm, they should look beyond the resume to qualify the candidate before scheduling an interview. Good recruiters will conduct an in-depth interview with the candidate, ask detailed questions related to your requirements and reference check the candidate before submitting them to you. And... you should expect the recruiter to summarize why the candidate is a good fit for your position, both technically and culturally.

Remember, a resume is just the beginning of the interview process.

STRe News -- STRe Announces Interim Talent Solutions Practice
You asked; STRe delivers. In response to requests from our clients, we are pleased to announce the expansion of our Interim Resources program with the formation of the Interim Talent Solutions practice. As former operating executives we understand the pressure of achieving your business objectives with scarce or reduced resources. T he right targeted interim resources can help you meet your business requirements efficiently -- reducing costs or bridging the gaps during a specific project or a lengthy hiring process.

STRe's Interim Talent Solutions team has you covered. Our Interim Talent Solutions practice provides top-notch, skilled professionals immediately available for short to long term engagements in finance, accounting, HR, legal, and IT. To ensure we can provide you with the highest quality talent with the least amount of work on your part, we thoroughly assess all our consultants in person to ensure they meet your requirements.

Some of our most recent placements include an interim Corporate Controller for a $1B+ Public Company, an interim CFO for an early-stage services company, an Accounting Manager for an early stage software company, a Compensation Consultant for a $1B Public Company, and an HR Director for a late stage software company.

Dave Mason, former Corporate Controller with experience managing a major Interim Professional Services organization will head the STRe Interim Talent Solutions team. Dave can be reached at 408-861-1204 or david@stresolutions.com.

Candidates interested in being part of the STRe Interim Talent Solutions team please email interimtalent@stresolutions.com.

Message from the STReWay Editor
A special thanks to Brian Pierson for his thought provoking advice on how strategic pricing can positively impact your business. Please let us know if you liked the article or have any questions.

And...if you would like to write a featured article for a future edition of STReWay, please contact editor@stresolutions.com.

STRe Fun -- What Color Is Your Mood
What is your favorite color? And.. what does it mean?.

White: peaceful and simple.

Yellow: joyful and optimistic.

Orange: warm and enthusiastic.

Red: powerful and energetic.

Green: generous.

Blue: stable and trustworthy.

Purple: wise and spiritual.