Impact Pricing Podcast

Ep148: How to Design an Effective Sales Compensation Plan that Motivates People and Boosts Sales with Jennifer Kerr

 

Jennifer Kerr is a results-driven professional with a proven track record of delivering top and bottom-line profitability. She is a strategic thinker with the ability to create a strategy, vision, and execute to promote business growth. With a focus on capturing customer value, she consistently delivered projects on time and on budget.

In this episode, Jennifer talks about designing your sales compensation plan and structure to drive behavior and incentivize salespeople appropriately.

 

Why you have to check out today’s podcast:

  • Discover how to use sales compensation to motivate salespeople to bring in more revenue for your company  
  • Learn how to use KPIs to motivate your sales team to close deals at higher prices by incorporating them into your compensation structure
  • Find out how salespeople can sell value rather than price

              

Value-based pricing has to meet value-based selling in order to be effective. 

Jennifer Kerr

           

Topics Covered:

01:25 – What led to a pricing role for Jennifer

02:24 – How the pricing tool she created impacted the company

04:34 – A general overview of sales compensation 

08:26 – Strategic initiative that is a win-win for both the company and the salesperson

08:50 – How to drive better performance from salespeople

13:27 – The importance of sales compensation base salary to incentivize salespeople

17:23 – What you can do when salespeople don’t close any deal after taking the necessary steps

18:38 – Framing an incentive plan side-by-side with value-based selling

20:21 – What is selling value all about

21:40 – Why do salespeople not able to articulate value selling naturally?

25:08 – Leveraging behavioral economics and behavioral insights on salespeople

25:27 – Sharing a tip on how she’s using behavioral economics

28:46 – Salespeople wanting a path of least resistance and why they do and how not to let them lead with price

         

Key Takeaways: 

“When you think about more program-based selling, if you’re a company or an organization that are on a more mature level, then I think you might want to stop considering widget-based pay, which, in and of itself, could be the lever to pull to get salespeople to sell deals at higher prices and get more margin.” – Jennifer Kerr

“If you have four or five steps, and you’re not aware, then the design might be off. I go back then to, is the plan design right? I mean, plan design harder.” – Jennifer Kerr

“Sales are hard. And that’s where I think as pricers, we can certainly help frame up that value base, that value pitch, and flip it into value-based selling. And I think organizations that really focus on that end up winning more than they end up losing.” – Jennifer Kerr

“When I say selling value, I think it’s how does my product, how does my service impact the P&L of the person I’m selling that to whether it’s B2B or how does it impact the household that I’m selling this to. To me, that’s value selling because you’re not starting with price. And if you start with price, you’ve already lost in the war of price.” – Jennifer Kerr

“Price the product based on its value and the value to the customer. And then go value-based sell it. That’s transformational for any organization.” – Jennifer Kerr

             

Connect with Jennifer Kerr:

                    

Connect with Mark Stiving:   

                          

Full Interview Transcript

(Note: This transcript was created with an AI transcription service. Please forgive any transcription or grammatical errors. We probably sounded better in real life.)

Jennifer Kerr 

Value-based pricing has to meet value-based selling in order to be effective.

[Intro]

Mark Stiving  

Today’s podcast is sponsored by Jennings Executive Search. I had a great conversation with John Jennings about the skills needed in different pricing roles. He and I think a lot alike. if you’re looking for a new pricing role, or if you’re trying to hire just the right pricing person, I strongly suggest you reach out to Jennings Executive Search. They specialize in placing pricing people; say that three times fast.

Mark Stiving

Welcome to Impact Pricing, the podcast where we discuss pricing, value, and the crazy interesting relationship between them. I’m Mark Stiving, today our guest is Jennifer Kerr, and here are three things you want to know about Jennifer before we start. She started as a billing supervisor at Ecolab and, 13 years later finally made it to a pricing role. She’s been in pricing for over 10 years and is now VP head of relationship pricing at a major financial institution. Welcome, Jennifer.

Jennifer Kerr  

Thanks, I am excited to be here.

Mark Stiving  

Good. Okay, so how did you get into pricing? How did you make that transition?

Jennifer Kerr 

So, I feel like I dabbled in pricing a lot, you know, billing deals with pricing. And then I actually went to a role that was, before, I did at a time with Incentive Comp, I actually spent the time developing a pricing tool in-house. And it was really down to that’s where I really learned about the P&L, how to deal with a corporate account customer and how to think about profitability, and really spent some time designing a tool to make the sales team’s life so much faster and easier when we were implementing price changes. So, I spent a great deal of time there. Then I went into Incentive Comp. And when that was time was over, I ended up doing some pricing strategy for the organization, which was really fun and interesting.

Mark Stiving  

Nice, well, so let’s talk about that first sales tool. The first pricing tool that you built, really quickly, was that mostly execution, or were you already thinking about value-based pricing that early in your career?

Jennifer Kerr 

So, it was a little bit of both. I mean, the primary reason for it was really about execution. I mean, back in the early 2000s, we were still doing everything routing through the organization in paper. So, it was really about getting the tool online, getting price changes faster. So, you could actually start to realize that revenue much quicker. But in that we actually developed a little module called product solutions. And in that, we were giving some margin, and there was a little bit of value-based, right, when we start to think about from a customer’s perspective. What product they could or should be buying, it really came down to, what was the product’s use? And how would you get it, and so we kind of started on that path, then, obviously, the results of that module were really focused on gross margin and operating income? But at the same time, you had to start to have that thought process like what does it look like? When you think about good, better, best, how do customers respond to that? How do they think about that? And what kind of products should you be offering your customers based on their needs and the margins and profitability of your overall deal?

Mark Stiving 

Nice. So, we may not have stepped back and said, what’s the value of customers getting and at what price should we charge? But we were saying, here are the right products to be looking at for this type of use case or problem set that we’re trying to solve. And these are the ones that give us the best return. And by the way, it also helps our customers the best.

Jennifer Kerr 

Right. The best return at the best price. And again, you know, they were very focused on the operating income of the overall deal. But this really helped them in that step to make the right choices.

Mark Stiving 

Yeah, so from there, you moved into you said Incentive Compensation. I’m going to assume that was for sales. Was it for more than sales?

Jennifer Kerr 

Nope. Just for sales. Alright, so

Mark Stiving 

Alright, so this is a big topic. Let’s try to unpack sales incentive compensation. So, before I even ask a pointed question, just wax pontifically about sales compensation for a minute. Would you please?

Jennifer Kerr 

Sales compensation plans that don’t drive behavior and incentivize people appropriately are useless. Yeah, we’ll start there. You know, it’s really, I find, here’s one of the things that I find very, very interesting. You know, when you move into pricing, there’s all this behavioral economics, behavioral how people buy, how people think, value add, you have all of that data. And when you move into sales compensation, there’s almost nothing on how you behaviorally incentivize your customers and I think it’s very, very interesting. When you think about pricing, you think about good, better, best. And there’s that concept of people self-selecting to the middle. When there’s no clear differentiation and products or offering or that clear differentiation isn’t really expressed well, then people will self-select to the middle. And I saw that, like, our salespeople would self-select the middle, and that would be the product they’d offer. And so, once a marketing executive asked me, you know, I don’t understand if they sell the high-end product, the best product, they would get more money because it’s more money. And I looked at them, and I went, that’s interesting. All they see is that it’s a 6% commission. And yes, I think intuitively, they know that you know, it is the commissionable rate and 6%, I made that up. But you know, they know there’s a rate on that. And they look at it and say, you know, as long as my paychecks go up, I don’t really pay that much attention because there are so many products in that. So, for them to pay attention, what the commission rate was on all of that really becomes hard and difficult. Right? So, I think it’s very interesting to see them automatically self-select and that there’s not a lot of that kind of behavioral information happening in sales comp. Now, sales comp, obviously, how do you drive more behavior? How do you help them come up with the things that they pay attention to? It was really interesting to me that sometimes I don’t think it was always compensation, right? It was some other things; it was some of the key performance indicators driving some of the behaviors. And I found that really interesting, as well.

Mark Stiving 

Okay, well, it seems to me… what you were just talking to me about is that we’re going to pay commission based on revenue. And most companies when they’re worried about sales comp, they worry about it, because the salespeople have the ability to negotiate prices, and I want them to negotiate hard to keep the price up as high as possible and not give away too much margin. You were using it to say; I want you to sell the products that have a higher margin, which by itself is pretty fascinating. But, real quickly, are you familiar with the Freakonomics story with the realtors in Chicago? Oh, my God, do you know well enough to tell it, or should I tell it real quick?

Jennifer Kerr 

You tell it real quick.

Mark Stiving 

Okay, so the whole story was simply that in the first book of Freakonomics, they went out and looked at Chicago real estate agents. And they looked at the average discount and the average time that a house was on the marketplace. And that’s because a realtor tends to get a flat commission. And you know, it’s about one and a half percent of the sales price goes into the realtors pocket. But when the realtor is selling their own house, the houses stayed on the market longer and sold at higher prices, or it will say smaller discounts. And the reason for that is the realtor at that point in time, was getting all the game, not just one and a half percent of whatever game comes in. And what that says to people like Jennifer and me is that salespeople, although they’re incentivized, because they get a portion of whatever additional revenue they achieve, it’s not that important to them. And what we need to do is find a way to align their incentives with the company’s incentives. Does that make sense to you?

Jennifer Kerr 

Absolutely, totally agree. It’s that alignment to that strategic initiative, to really think about how the salesperson is really benefiting the organization and thinking about how they’re benefiting themselves. It’s creating that win-win, right, that mutually beneficial.

Mark Stiving 

Absolutely. Okay. And so now, what did you do? How did you fix the problem?

Jennifer Kerr 

How did they fix the problem? Well, so I think there are a couple of different things, right? You have to start thinking about plan design; it’s the plan, right? If the plan is not driving the right behavior, then it is fundamentally an issue with the plan design, right? So, you have to think about it from a couple of different perspectives, you know, the carrot and the stick? You know, if you’re in a sales job, it’s about the carrot, not the stick. And how do you think about that? Does that mean the stick doesn’t have a goal? Call performance, you know, plan, but your performance, you know, appraisal, your, how are you doing your goals in that? And that’s where I think, and it’s kind of an interesting, I think, dichotomy to say that that’s where, you know, does base salary matter? And what are the inputs in that matter to that because those are going to be clearly not compensable items because you’re not going to pay for every little thing? There’s just part of fundamentally doing the job, which is your base salary. So, I think that’s a really interesting thing. So, then I would say, and I would ask the question, is the base to commission to incentive, right, bonus other things are that the right makeup or not? And I think that that is a very interesting concept because if we have, you know, lots of consultants and I’ve been to lots of conferences on this. And I think it’s really interesting because just like pricing, I don’t think there’s the magic formula; you got to kind of test and learn and see what’s working, right? What the real intent is going to be, is to pull up those middle performers to more high-performing, and all the low performers up higher or make it so maybe they don’t want to work there anymore based on the comp plan. And that’s harsh to say, but you can’t have this 20% higher performance, you know, 60% in the middle and 20% in the bottom, because that’s a really hard thing to manage when you’re trying to achieve operational goals on revenue. And so, I don’t know, I think it’s really figuring out how do you help them learn? And how do you attempt to learn in a way that isn’t detrimental to the business? And I think that’s the hardest concept, right? It’s like, nobody wants to mess with sales compensation. If things are going in the right direction, and we’re meeting our numbers at that 20, 60, 20 splits, then it’s really, really difficult to play in a… and I would argue that that’s the time to play a little, right? I mean, to really test and understand, can I drive better behavior and better performance if I tweak this lever, or I pull this knob like that to drive more of the behaviors that I want to see? And I think it’s better to do it when the flow of the river is going well, rather than when you’re really struggling to meet sales. That’s my opinion. But I think it’s really hard for organizations to do that.

Mark Stiving 

Yeah, I might actually argue that it’s always a good time to be thinking about sales compensation, right? Let’s think about it. And if we’re going well, let’s think about it. So that bottom 20% Yeah, thank you, I don’t want the world to feel bad about the bottom 20%. Because it’s very possible, they’re just in a role that they’re not cut out for, and that they’ll have a much better life if they find a different role that actually works for them that fits for them.

Jennifer Kerr 

Yeah, I totally agree. And it could be another sales role. It’s just that sales at this company aren’t the right fit.

Mark Stiving 

Right, maybe they don’t believe in the product or something. And so, it just didn’t make sense. So, okay, I spend a lot of time… When I think about sales compensation, I spend a lot of time thinking about the commission structure. And because that’s where I see the individual behavior, can I get a salesperson to win the deal at a higher price? But I never spend any time thinking about the base. Am I making a mistake by not doing that? Now, mind you, I don’t ever pay salespeople. But that’s not the issue. But how does the base incentivize salespeople to win deals at higher prices?

Jennifer Kerr 

You know, that’s a really, really good question. I think the base is really important. I also, it depends on the maturity of the organization. I also believe if a company is more on the mature side, commission doesn’t always make sense. And you can think of commission very differently than a bonus or incentive structure. And that incentive structure can pay, quite frankly, monthly if you want it to, right? And so now I’m getting into the depths of how you could design a plan because a commission is really widget-based. And when you think about more program-based selling, if you’re a company or an organization that are on a more mature level, then I think you might want to stop considering widget-based pay. Which, in and of itself, could be the lever to pull to get salespeople to sell deals at higher prices and get more margin, right? I mean, you can obviously intent on margin or operating income; most companies will stay away from operating income. But you know, they look at the gross margin level. But if you don’t understand down at the OI level, what you’re actually getting and you know, money in the bank, you know, which is one of my favorite terms in pricing, like what’s the money in the bank? And if you’re not paying attention to that, I think that can start to create some consternation if you move into and away from a commission base because of the maturity of your organization. And maturity is not to be mistaken with share. But if you move into a different kind of compensation structure, I do think the salary is really, really important because, and depending on the lifecycle of closing a deal, right? So, if you’re closing deals, you know, at a different pace, then I think it does become really important on the base salary, because otherwise you’re going to risk attrition and losing those salespeople just because I’ve got a mortgage to make, right?

Mark Stiving 

So, to be fair, I’m not suggesting we don’t have a base salary. I’m suggesting I don’t ever think about that base salary when I’m trying to think about how to incentivize salespeople to sell at higher prices. Now, what I did just hear you say, and so I’m going to put some pieces together, which might make a lot of sense, is, if I’m making some stuff up. Still, if I have a long sales cycle and salespeople have to eat. By the way, we as an organization know what steps those salespeople should be taking in order to win those deals that I price, I could be setting out KPIs to measure the steps and paying on KPIs, paying bonuses, or incentive structures on KPIs as opposed to waiting for the deal to come through and paying the commission. Is that what you said to me?

Jennifer Kerr 

Yes, that is definitely part of what you could do. I would say, sometimes KPIs can, you know, you got to gauge and balance what’s real and what’s not real. Right? So, you know, don’t over inundate sales sometimes with, you know, the administrative oversight, that’s part of the job, I get that that’s part of why you get the base salary, but at the same time, make them really strong milestones and levers. And, you know, I think when you think about that and have a really good clawback, like have a really good consequence if you’re faking it, right, because, and I’m not saying salespeople do that, certainly not implying that. There are a few bad apples in the basket. But you know, really, you know, think about, how do I clawback? How do I think about that? How do I deliver that pay in a way that makes sense, and in a way that can help the organization and help the salesperson really propel and want to move forward and want to continue to close deals at higher prices?

Mark Stiving 

Yes, what I find hard about what we’re talking about right now, is, let’s pretend that I know, these are the three steps that it takes to close a deal. And I’m going to incentivize salespeople to go do these three steps. It turns out, there was a fourth or fifth step in there that I didn’t really know about. And so, they do those three steps really, really well. And we never closed any deals, but I’m paying the heck out of them because they’re doing what I told him to do.

Jennifer Kerr 

That’s where I think you need to have that strong kind of sense of are you going to claw back until the deal doesn’t close? So, if you have four or five steps and you’re not aware, then the design might be off, right? I mean, like most of the salespeople, what are we doing, right? I go back to then, is the plan design right? So, I mean, that’s… plan design harder. I mean, I know some people in the space who do a really great job. And they have fantastic ideas. And certainly, you know, you want to be as directionally accurate as close as you can be.

Mark Stiving 

Yeah, that’s actually what I was referring to as me, as the plan designer messing it up. Not the salespeople cheating.

Jennifer Kerr 

Yeah.

Mark Stiving 

Right, because they’re doing exactly what we pay him to do.

Jennifer Kerr 

Yeah.

Mark Stiving 

And I love salespeople in the sense that you can predict how they’re going to behave based on how you pay them.

Jennifer Kerr 

Assuming the incentive plan is actually doing the incentives. I mean, I’ve seen good plans, I’ve seen plans that don’t really work as well as they should. That’s what I mean by the carrot and stick, you know, definitely the incentive plan is the carrot. I’ve seen the stick come in, and certainly the overlay of the carrot. And that’s fine. You know, I mean, but I don’t know that it’s fine moving forward. Like, I don’t know that the next generations, you know, the millennials, and the Gen Z’s are going to really respond to that as well, as you know, maybe prior generations have. So, you know, it’s also being thoughtful about the salespeople, what are they doing, and the incentives? Do incentives matter? And make them meaningful and understand that, you know, these people are out there, and sales is hard. Like, it’s not easy, right? Sales are hard. And that’s where I think as pricers; we can certainly help frame up that value base, that value pitch that value, and flip it into value-based selling. And, you know, I think organizations that really focus on that end up winning more than they end up losing.

Mark Stiving 

Yeah, so can I say one of the reasons I think I’m a good pricing person and why I empathize with salespeople is because I was a horrible salesperson for five or six years.

Jennifer Kerr 

Wow. Experience is the greatest trainer.

Mark Stiving 

Exactly. I had to find something I could do, right? So, yeah, you said the word selling value. And I dearly love that topic. It’s the topic of my next book. When you think of the word selling value, what are you thinking of?

Jennifer Kerr 

So, when I say selling value, I think it’s how does my product, how does my service impact the P&L of the person I’m selling that to whether it’s B2B? Or how does it impact the household that I’m selling this to, right? So how is it going to improve their life? So, I think of value selling as really being able to differentiate and say, this is how it can impact your life and your business. And to me, that’s value selling because you’re not starting with price. And if you start with price, you know you’ve already lost, right in the war of price, right? We know that. So, I definitely think it’s coming at it from that mindset, like how is this really going to benefit the customer? It’s not about me, it’s about how my product can solve your problem. It’s about how my product can improve your operations. And, you know, again, whether that’s B2B or B2C, it’s just different words. And when you think about that, I think that that is how I think about it.

Mark Stiving 

I think that was a great answer. Why is it that salespeople don’t do that naturally because it just seems so obvious?

Jennifer Kerr 

That’s a really good question. You know, is it overly presumptive? Have I not done a good job establishing the need of the client? Have I not done a good job understanding the problem statement? You know, I think it’s those things, you know, you probably get as many emails and sales pitches as I do, either on LinkedIn or, you know, at my job. And it’s always about, you know, you need this, and I’m like, I’m not even the right person. Like, I don’t do that, you know, it’s just really interesting that they’re assuming the need, they’re assuming this. And then I need five minutes of your time to tell you why you should look at my organization. And that’s just kind of an outdated, in my opinion, approach. Because I think if you can identify what the problem the customer is trying to actually solve, and actually talk to the person who’s trying to solve that, I get that you have to figure out who that is. And that takes a little bit of mining and understanding. But once you understand that, once you’ve spent a little time really understanding the problem from their point of view, rather than how your solution can solve it. And then working on it, I think that’s hard. I think that’s harder than some of the other traditional methods that have worked in the past, but quite frankly, I don’t think they are successful today.

Mark Stiving 

Yes. And if we’re talking about salespeople selling, then I’m less worried about the email, and what’s my marketing message? And I’m more worried about what the conversation looks like, between the salesperson and the potential buyer. The feeling I get is that salespeople have, it’s either going to be a slight bit of laziness, or it’s going to be the curse of knowledge. And that is, well, I know my product so well, I know that this feature solves that problem. So, I just say the feature name, and you should know that it solves your problem. I don’t even have to bother going up to that level. And I think that many people don’t know what problems our features solve.

Jennifer Kerr 

I would agree with that. That’s a really good way to think about it. Yeah.

Mark Stiving 

Yeah. And as you know, I love salespeople. So, I’m not trying to pick on salespeople, but we all take shortcuts.

Jennifer Kerr 

I always say that the salespeople are the heartbeat of the organization.

Mark Stiving 

Oh, without a doubt, without a doubt. In fact, one of my favorite lines is, and I’m talking to product managers for a second, right? And I’ll say, if salespeople aren’t winning deals at prices you think they should be winning at, it’s because you haven’t given them the tools, the skills, and the confidence to go win at those prices.

Jennifer Kerr 

Yep, absolutely agree. So.

Mark Stiving 

I don’t want salespeople all the time. Although, you know, we have to work around salespeople. Actually, you started this whole conversation off on something that just struck me as, oh my God, that’s such great insight. And I wanted to know if you’ve thought about this more, but you brought up the concept of behavioral economics. And behavioral economics is all about how is it that buyers behave irrationally? And can we predict it? Can we take advantage of it? And I thought we were going with this, and maybe it was, salespeople behave irrationally. Can we predict it, and can we create plans so that they do the things we really want them to be doing?

Jennifer Kerr 

Not that I would want to confess to this, but I might have leveraged some behavioral economics and some behavioral insights. And I have used them on a few salespeople, or the entire sales force once or twice in my own little wicked test and learn. And yeah, it works.

Mark Stiving 

All right. So, can you share a technique that you tried?

Jennifer Kerr 

I mean, the concept of friction, right, the concept that if I tell salespeople, you need to go in and put this price, and because I have done the full analysis, and it comes out that I need the weighted average pricing to be X and I need you to enter that in the system, they won’t do it. So, I’ll seed the system, I will put it in for you. So, what I got when I was you know, so it’s that concept if you think about it, why are there so many organ donors in other countries where they have it as you have to opt-out, versus the US where you have to opt-in? It’s a checkbox, but most people don’t uncheck it when they’re getting their driver’s license or whatever, in some countries with high organ donor participation. And then you think about it in the US, where we have very low organ donor participation. I am an organ donor. If anyone needs a heart or kidney, and I’m no longer using it, you’re welcome to it. But, so why is that such a hard thing to do? And it’s a checkbox, and it’s really not that big of a deal. I think most people would want to save somebody’s child’s life, or somebody, whatever, if they were, again, no longer using it. So it was that kind of mindset that I took. And I said, well, let’s try this. So, we tried it, where we wanted them to enter the pricing, by the way, that had almost meant, fractional percent of participation. But then I switched it, and we’re like, we’re going to seed it. And you change it based on your customers’ reluctance for that one product to go up X amount. And you know, what happened? 98% stickiness. So that was a huge change in how we actually got some pricing that we needed on products that were, quite frankly, a little undervalued. And because most customers didn’t say anything, there were a few, you know, hey, you know, nope, that product can’t go up that much, whatever. So, you know, you dial it back, you know, okay, let’s talk about it. But that 98% stickiness had a huge impact on the overall margin attainment, the goals that we were shooting for.

Mark Stiving 

That is a fabulous example. Can I share one with you now? Is it okay?

Jennifer Kerr 

Yes.

Mark Stiving 

Since you brought up the word friction, one of my favorites is to imagine for a second that we give a salesforce a discount authority level, and we’ve assigned them 5%. So, you can discount the 5% without asking for permission. And of course, what you end up with is every deal as a 5% discount. What we did with one client was we said, okay, you’ve got 5% discount authority. But if you’re going to discount any more than 4%, all you have to do is send an email to your boss and explain why you’re doing that. Guess what happened?

Jennifer Kerr 

4% was the new floor.

Mark Stiving 

 4% was the new floor. And is because that little bit of friction, it’s like, well, I don’t really want to have to do that. And if I can win a five, I could win a four. So, we’ll just do that.

Jennifer Kerr 

Again, they’re predictable. And yes, you know, again, fight for the things you have to fight for because that’s fair. But to just have that mindset and apply that race to the bottom for everybody. Everybody doesn’t need it; they find great value in what you do. The customer has, you know, a great assessment of your value, and they’re like, okay, whatever. I mean, I’m fine. It’s within my budget, you know, I need to negotiate a little because it makes me feel better. But other than that, you know, there’s a great amount of value that you come to me with, and I’m not looking so. But there’s the other side of that coin, where the salesperson has walked in, and they’re like, I am under huge budget constraints. I have enormous pressure to deliver more profitability at my organization level, and I cannot pay this right, so I almost feel like that hunt. Some salespeople it is almost Halloween, right? It’s hunt like I think that hunting is really in their psychic and can really just that race to the bottom kind of concept like, I want to take the path of least resistance. And I don’t want to say people are lazy, but I love the analogy of like, it’s like water. I’m going to use a, like water, to take the path of least resistance. And you know what salespeople do too, because they fight a lot of battles and a lot of things. So, they don’t want to climb uphill all the time.

Mark Stiving 

Yeah. And another way to look at that is that salespeople have X number of tools to try to close a deal. And one of those tools happens to be price. Why would they not use that tool along with all the rest of the tools?

Jennifer Kerr 

Right? It’s just we have to help them not lead with price.

Mark Stiving 

Yes. Jennifer, this has just been fantastic. I’ve loved this conversation. But we’re going to end with the last question. What’s one piece of pricing advice you would give our listeners that you think could have a big impact on their business?

Jennifer Kerr 

Value-based pricing has to meet value-based selling in order to be effective.

Mark Stiving 

Well, that’s going to be what I put in my memes. That was beautiful.

Jennifer Kerr 

Yeah, I mean, that’s just, you know, price the product based on its value and the value to the customer. And then go value-base sell it, right? I mean, I think that’s transformational for any organization.

Mark Stiving 

Yeah. Okay. So now, after I think about this for a second, that is so obvious. If I’m going to use value-based pricing, I have to use value-based selling if I’m going to capture that value. So brilliant. Absolutely. Brilliant. Nice. Jennifer, thank you so much for your time today. If anybody wants to contact you, how can they do that?

Jennifer Kerr 

You can include a link to my LinkedIn below. I will get you that information, or I think you have it. Yep. And they can reach out with any questions.

Mark Stiving 

Excellent. Episode 149 is all done. Thank you for listening. If you enjoyed this, would you please leave us a rating and a review? And if you have any questions or comments about this podcast or pricing in general, feel free to email me at mark@impactpricing.com. Now, go make an impact!

Mark Stiving

Thanks again to Jennings Executive Search for sponsoring our podcasts. If you’re looking to hire someone in pricing, I suggest you contact someone who knows pricing people. Contact Jennings Executive Search.

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