Q&A: What Are the Product Team’s Tasks in Pricing?

Question:  Hi Mark, I just enjoyed reading your article on pragmaticmarketing.com about why Product prices a product. I was curious what that really means though – does that mean Product develops agreement/contract length, go to market model and things like the terms + conditions? Would love your input – Alex
Answer:  The challenge is defining what it means to “price a product”.  Most people, when thinking of who owns pricing, think about who sets the list price.  Definitely product teams should do this.  They are typically the only ones who understand the value of the product (besides sales?).
The problem is, as your question points out, there are so many other aspects to “pricing”.  You mentioned contract length, go to market models, and terms and conditions.  Here are several more off the top of my head:  sales discount authority, escalation process, negotiations, quoting, promotions, monitoring, pricing model, and offer packaging.  There are tons more.
Pricing, from a big picture, belongs to many people.  If you look at the list above, different people probably own different parts.  Sales, marketing, and finance all play a big role.  The real key is being explicit about which person/department owns which role.  Often, who owns which part is less important than knowing that someone owns it.
That said, here is a reasonable way to think about it.
Product teams should own anything where knowing the value of the product, including the competitive landscape, is critical.
Sales should own the pieces that require frequent interaction with the buyers.  They should learn about value from the product teams.
Finance should own the pieces that require monitoring results and reporting anomalies.
To be fair, these are the first time I’ve written those generalizations, so they are subject to deeper thought and suggestions.  Yet they seem reasonable.  What do you think?
**Note: Mark will participate in the conversation about this post on LinkedIn which you can get to here.**
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