Impact Pricing Podcast

Ep178: The B2B Innovator’s Map: Let Customer Champions Do Selling for You with Daniel Elizalde

Daniel Elizalde was an IoT Product Manager Instructor at Stanford University. He used to work as the VP Head of IoT at Ericsson, but he has now narrowed his focus from IoT to climate tech firms. Daniel now helps climate tech product teams accelerate their product’s time to the market.

In this episode, Daniel talks about his book, The B2B Innovator’s Map, as he explains why delivering value to your champion is a huge game-changer in the business world.

Why you have to check out today’s podcast:

  • Discover what the book The B2B Innovator’s Map is all about
  • Understand why you, as a vendor, should understand what value means both to your company and to your customers
  • Find out why you should look for champions and not for buyers, especially when you’re still starting in doing business

“When you are testing a potential solution, pricing has to be one of those things that you have to prototype. You have to prototype the packaging and the offering and how you actually present it to the customer.” 

Daniel Elizalde

           

Topics Covered:

01:55 – A Narrower Focus: Daniel shares the backstory on how he’s decided to shift his focus from IoT to climate tech firms

04:11 – Daniel talks about the benefits of running his own consulting practice

06:18 – Helping other people, still, in the space of IoT

07:41 – Why Daniel wrote his book, The B2B Innovator’s Map

09:46 – The difference between B2B and B2C in terms of the way people do innovation + the content of Daniel’s book

14:35 – Relating Mark’s Selling Value book to Daniel’s B2B Innovator’s Map

18:51 – Understanding the strongest problems that your customers have as one of the main points in the book

21:50 – Looking for a champion, not a buyer persona + the goal of innovation

28:36 – Daniel’s piece of pricing advice for the listeners

Key Takeaways: 

“For an actual advisory project where I’m involved at the strategic level, I’m going to give priority to the climate tech companies, but that doesn’t mean that there are no other avenues where people can get access to some of my experience.” – Daniel Elizalde

“In my experience, a lot of the B2B products fail because they don’t deliver value to their customers, like, customers don’t see the benefit, they don’t want to buy it, so they’ve failed. Value has to be delivered throughout, and so, therefore, value plays an immense part throughout the journey.” – Daniel Elizalde

“Granted, as a vendor, your own solution is not going to be the fix for the whole problem, and you’re part of the whole puzzle. But as a vendor, you have to understand what are those pains, what are those problems that your customers are having, because that’s where the opportunity to deliver value lies.” – Daniel Elizalde

“The value needs to be big for a big problem so that you can get a solution in the door.” – Daniel Elizalde

“It’s not about the users at this point. It’s about delivering value to the champion because ultimately, that’s the person that’s going to open the door for you.” – Daniel Elizalde

People / Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Daniel Elizalde:

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.)

Daniel Elizalde

When you are testing a potential solution, so you understand the pains of your customers and now you’re starting to figure out what solution you’re going to provide or you could provide and you start prototyping ideas of solutions, pricing has to be one of those things that you have to prototype. You have to prototype the packaging and the offering and how you actually present it to the customer.

[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 innovative relationship between them.

I’m Mark’s Stiving, and today, our guest is Daniel Elizalde. Here are three things you’d want to learn about Daniel before we start.

He was an IoT Product Manager Instructor at Stanford University; he must be smart. He was also VP Head of IoT at Ericsson, a huge organization, if you’re not familiar with them. And one of the things I’m most impressed with is he’s narrowed his focus from IoT to climate tech firms. Oh, and he just released a brand new book, [The] B2B Innovator’s Map.

Welcome, Daniel.

Daniel Elizalde

Thank you for having me, Mark. I’ve always enjoyed talking with you, so I’m looking forward to this conversation.

Mark Stiving

Oh, good. It’s going to be fun.

Hey, first, before we jump into the book, tell me about your shift from IoT to climate tech. I’m just always impressed when people are willing to say, “I’m going to focus on a narrower focus.”

Daniel Elizalde

Yeah. Thank you for asking.

I’ve always been very passionate about climate tech. In fact, I live in Austin, Texas now, but a few years back, I was looking to work in climate tech, and my wife and I decided to move to Silicon Valley so that I could pursue a career in climate tech. I ended up working as Head of Product at a Silicon Valley startup – the now public, big company now. And so, I’ve always been very passionate about it. And then when I moved to Ericsson, I was involved in the sustainability aspect as well.

With the pandemic, I moved back to Austin, Texas, to be with my family. I took a sabbatical a little bit to take care of our daughter during the pandemic. And then coming out of the pandemic, I wrote my book, and then I kind of thought, what do I really want to do?

And so, I enjoyed the work that I do as an independent advisor; but if my passion is climate, that’s where I believe I can have an impact and it’s a purpose that I have. So, I thought, “You know what? I’m going to narrow my advisory practice to climate tech.” And it’s been fascinating to figure out what that looks like. It turns out that 95% of climate tech is B2B and IoT is one of the most important technologies in climate tech, so it’s not a huge shift. I know the technology. I know the innovation space. I’ve been Head of Product at a company like that. But it’s a little bit scary because narrowing down means focus, but at the same time, it’s like, what if I get it wrong? What if I’m leaving stuff on the table? What if nobody believes in me?

And you and I talked offline. You gave me a lot of advice from this perspective. That’s been the journey. And in my book, I actually talk about narrowing down your focus, but it’s amazing how difficult it is to take your own advice sometimes, right?

Mark Stiving

Oh my gosh. Yes, it is so scary to be able to say that. And in fact, just to be completely blunt with everyone, I intentionally don’t narrow my focus, but I always tell people, if I was really trying to make more money, I would pick a niche and I would go after it really hard instead of doing what I do. So, I’m so impressed. I love it when you’re able to do this.

Daniel Elizalde

And you know what? I think, if I may add, because the type of work that I do, it’s product management coaching, it’s innovation advisory, there are some really, really amazing folks out there, from large companies to independent folks that I look up to. And so, it’s really hard to be known in that space. The way I can differentiate myself is by being the IoT guy in a particular space that is climate. And so that way, I can defend my positioning, I have the expertise, and the people that are looking for that, they’re going to say, “Yeah, these other guys are great, but Daniel knows my space.” At least that’s the piece as well. Ask me in a year and we’ll talk, right?

Mark Stiving

Well, the thing is that when I first ran into you, first met you, or heard you on a podcast, in fact, you came across and you became, in my mind, the expert in IoT. So, in my mind, you already had this in a relatively broad marketplace, and then you said, “Okay, I’m going to narrow this down even more. I’m going to go for climate tech.” And that’s just so powerful, because if you think about it, you really want to have competition. It’s really hard for someone else to come along and say, “Hi, I’m the IoT guy in climate tech.”

Daniel Elizalde

Right. Exactly.

Mark Stiving

Really great position.

Daniel Elizalde

And it’s interesting to think about those kinds of things because I have the expertise in all these different areas.

And one of the benefits of running my own consulting practice is that I can get to choose the space I’m going to go after. I realized when I was working as an advisor for generic IoT, I ended up working with amazing companies in asset management, in finance, in health care – industries that are great but are not really what fuels my passion. So, I thought, if I’m going to be helping these companies, I rather focus on areas that I feel passionate about and I can dig a lot deeper. That’s one of the reasons as well. It’s like, every conversation that I have with prospects and clients and mentees today has to do with energy transition, renewable energy, virtual power plants, electric vehicles – things that I’m passionate about, and so it keeps it very exciting.

Mark Stiving

Nice. However, just for the audience, I want to put in a plug for Daniel. If you’re not in climate tech and you want to hire an IoT expert, you can still call him. He’ll answer the phone.

Daniel Elizalde

Yes. I’m also trying to run a business here, so yes. It’s interesting.

Mark Stiving

And I think the point that I’d love all my listeners to get is when we pick off a target market, essentially, what we’re saying is where we’re going to focus our marketing efforts, our sales efforts, our content efforts, but it doesn’t mean that if I can help someone that’s not in that specific target market, I can still accept the work, right? That’s not a big deal. It’s just saying, where am I going to focus my energies? So, absolutely; I think that’s easy for you.

Daniel Elizalde

Exactly. And I have a couple of offerings, as you know. There’s now my book, there’s my online courses for IoT, I still teach at Stanford – I’m going next month, to teach at Stanford again, and those courses are open to anybody. Anybody can take those courses, can read my book, can consume my podcast and my articles, etc.

Now, for an actual advisory project where I’m involved at the strategic level, I’m going to give priority to the climate tech companies, but that doesn’t mean that there are no other avenues where people can get access to some of my experience.

Mark Stiving

Absolutely.

Well, speaking of your book, let’s talk about it. The book is called The B2B Innovator’s Map. Why did you write it?

Daniel Elizalde

I wrote it for a couple of reasons.

I’ve always wanted to write a book. I know that’s not a reason, Mark, but when I was working purely on IoT, I developed a series of frameworks; the main one – the IoT Decision Framework on how to drive a consistent product strategy on IoT.  So, when I was working with a lot of my students and my clients, I realized that that framework starts once you understand your market, understand the challenges of your customers, understand your users, and now you’re thinking about building a solution. And so that’s where all those frameworks kick in. And so, a lot of the work that I had to do at the time with my clients was, okay, they’re not there yet, so we had to backtrack into “What’s your strategic alignment? What market are you going after? Who is your customer? Who are your buyers?” Etc.

And so, the book really feels in that gap of having a cohesive structure for the innovation journey, from idea to early customers. And then of course, if you’re building a narrative product, once you get to the solution stage of the B2B innovator’s map, all my other frameworks still apply.

So, it’s for me to kind of compliment my whole philosophy and have a structured approach that people can follow in B2B, specifically. There’s not a lot of B2B information out there for innovation. That was the goal. Plug some of the holes and provide this structure approach with my experience to B2B innovation, which in the product world, a lot of it is B2C.

That’s some of the reasons. And I like to write.

Mark Stiving

Yeah. Well, my perception is I love to write, but I hate everything after I finish writing the book. I hate the publishing. I don’t know if you had that experience or not.

Daniel Elizalde

Well, the book just released, so ask me in a couple of months. This is my first one. You have four under your belt. So, I will take that to heart.

Mark Stiving

I think you’ve been through the hard part. The editing, the layout, the design – all of those decisions are challenging. But let’s jump into the content of the book.

First off, another kudo, we talked earlier about focusing from IoT down to climb attack. Well, this book says, “I’m not going to give you an innovator’s map. I’m going to give you a B2B innovator’s map.”

Daniel Elizalde

Yes.

Mark Stiving

Which is interesting. What do you think is different between B2B and B2C in terms of the way people do innovation or we should be doing innovation?

Daniel Elizalde

That’s a great question.

A lot of the innovation advice that you find out there is targeted to B2C. What that means is that that person buying the product, and using the product, the person that you’re solving for is the same. When you’re thinking about B2B, you’re solving the problems of a corporation, of a group of people. Therefore, there’s going to be what’s typically called the buyer, and I call it the champion in my book and we can go into details on why. So that person has a mandate from the company to deliver some business outcome. And then there’s going to be all the users of the product that are going to operate together to achieve that outcome. So that, from an innovation perspective, is way more complex.

And so, if you add that to the whole journey, the strategic alignment that you have to have, how you choose your markets and the challenges with B2B markets where you are selling to corporations, how did you do discovery? How did you do testing and experimentation in a B2B context, right?

A lot of the advice that I hear out there is like, “Yeah, just park your team at a Starbucks and people are passing by and ask them something,” and you’re like, “I need to talk to the head of operations of utilities doing virtual power plants. There’s no Starbucks that I’m going to just park my team there.”

So how do you actually get access to your people? How do you actually collate all that data and make an insight? How do you deal with pilot projects? In B2C, you don’t have pilots, but here in B2B, you have to have pilot projects. So, what does that look like from an innovation perspective?

So, all those different things are the differences. And as I was writing the book and talking to a lot of people, getting early feedback, people would tell me, it’s like, “Daniel, if I’m just here again to do an AB test, I’m going to flip. That does not work for B2B.” And so, I knew that I was on to something when people were like, “Finally. Can I have your book now?” And it’s like, “I started a month ago.”

So that’s a little bit of a genesis of the book.

And all my experience throughout my 20 years of career, coincidentally, has been through B2B, and so every single story in the book is something that I’ve experienced personally. I’ve changed the names of the companies and the people to protect the innocent, but it’s based on my B2B experience throughout the years, from startups to large corporations to teaching to consulting in multiple industries.

Long answer, but that’s kind of what’s behind it.

Mark Stiving

No, it was a very good answer. I was just trying to relate that to myself and what I do, because I use a ton of B2C examples even though most of my work is B2B. And the reason I do that is I think most people resonate with B2C. When I talk about the price of popcorn at the movie theater, you get it, right? If I were to talk about this option on this one platform of a software that you’ve never used in the B2B world, you’re like, “Yeah, I don’t care.” And so, I tend to use a ton of B2C just to make the points so that people could remember them.

Daniel Elizalde

It’s interesting. For me, what I’ve seen has been refreshing. People giving me feedback on the book, or when I present this talk or other podcast, the examples I give are very strong B2B examples, and so people immediately relate. It’s like, “Oh, okay.” And then the questions I get asked from the audience is “How do you deal with partnerships or multichannel things selling to a different location?” And so, these are the real problems. And a lot of the times, when I’ve been to kind of hybrid product or innovation events, where they took me to see B2B alternative, their answers are always super vanilla, they’re super high level; they really don’t apply. And so, people, really, I’ve noticed value the fact that I can speak their language. And it’s like “I have all the scars if I show you my bag for all the B2B challenges.”

So, it’s been really good as an element of narrowing down and showcasing like, I actually have this experience.

Mark Stiving

Yeah. And I could see how B2B and B2C have to be really different in this respect because of the fact that you can’t go do an easy market research project, right? You can’t sit at Starbucks; you can’t put out a survey questionnaire and ask for people percentage. So, it’s really challenging.

Let me ask you to tie what you’ve done to my newest book, if I can.

Daniel Elizalde

Of course.

Mark Stiving

So, my last book was called Selling Value, and it’s really about how I help companies, salespeople, and I’m going to say product managers, product marketers, everybody, to understand the way customers perceive value. And in my mind, that is an easy spot in your innovator’s map, which by the way, as we talk, I’m sitting here looking at your innovator’s map. Do you have that on your website, anywhere, so people can download it?

Daniel Elizalde

Yes, for sure. You can go to b2binnovator.com. That’s the text to the page of the book. It has the diagram. You can download one chapter for free. It’s all there. Thank you.

Mark Stiving

Okay. So now, let’s talk about value. Where would you have put value, and how are people going to understand what value means to them?

Daniel Elizalde

That’s an excellent question. And by the way, as an aside, I love your book. I think it’s one of the best books about the topic because this is a book that finally brings down the concept of what does value mean and how can you have these conversations to get to the bottom of what value means in a quantifiable way. I love the book. I’ve been recommending it to people. I really appreciate that work.

Mark Stiving

Okay, I’ll invite you back, Daniel. Thank you.

Daniel Elizalde

My $20. I’ll send you an email to pass me that. No, it’s true. I mean, it is true. It is really interesting because the premise of my book is how to go from idea to delivering value to your first ten customers. And so, value is there in the premise of it.

In my experience, a lot of the B2B products fail because they don’t deliver value to their customers, like, customers don’t see the benefit, they don’t want to buy it, so they’re failed. Value has to be delivered throughout, and so therefore, value plays an immense part throughout the journey.

So, from the very beginning, when you are in the strategic alignment stage of the journey, which is the first stage, you have to understand what value means for your own company before you do it for your customers. Like, what does the company want to get out of this innovation initiative? And then as you go through each of the stages, you have to be focusing on value.

So, as you go from strategic alignment to market discovery, which is the second stage, you are narrowing down on a market that you want to focus, and then you’re going to work to find the biggest pain points of your champions in that target market. So basically, who has the pain in that market? The pain has to be articulated in terms of value, because that early on, you’re already starting to figure out, is this pain a $10 pain or a $10 million pain? Is it prevalent in my market so they actually have a business or not?

And if you do, if you find that essence of value, then you can move to the third stage, which is user discovery, and then you’re going to talk about all the different users of that solution whose value should add up to the value of the champion. And again, you have to discover that value. So, it’s not about just understanding the pain, but the value.

And then as you move into the different stages, solution planning, which is number four, prototyping, which is number five, in the prototyping stage, the objective is to understand whether your product is desirable, viable, and feasible. Well, desirability of viability, by definition, they work around value. If you are not able to build something that solves that pain that the customer considers valuable enough to pay, then you have nothing.

And so, I say value goes throughout the whole journey and it has to be, right? And in fact, the exit point of the last stage, which is early adopter, is delivering value to your first ten customers. If you’re not able to do that, then you better go back into the previous cycles, because otherwise, you won’t have a business.

So, I think product people should have, an innovator should keep a copy of your book in the back pocket and mine on the other pocket, because I think they’re really tied together. But what else am I going to say?

Mark Stiving

I’ll support that and be with you, Daniel.

Daniel Elizalde

That will be a good meme for us to put on the Internet.

Mark Stiving

Yeah. One of the things I liked about the way you talk about value, and I actually don’t remember, you don’t seem to use the word value a lot, which I use all the time, of course, but you use the word problem a lot, and I love that. Do you want to just talk about how you think about problems?

Daniel Elizalde

Yeah. So, really what I wanted to get up with the book is understanding the strongest problems that your customers have. And really, it’s not sugarcoating it. If you are – and I’ve been in that position of being the buyer – you are tasked by your COO or your CEO to deliver 30% operational improvement or this many millions of dollars in product or whatever it is, you have a big problem on how you’re going to do that. And so, you’re looking for solutions to that problem.

Now, granted, as a vendor, your own solution is not going to be the fix for the whole problem, and you’re part of the whole puzzle. But as a vendor, you have to understand what are those pains, what are those problems that your customers are having, because that’s where the opportunity to deliver value lies. If it’s something that is just a nice to have or it’s not that painful or problematic, then, especially in B2B, you’re never going to get a sale, because in B2B there are many other factors that determine whether your customer is willing to buy your product, like the cost of switching between the incumbent and the new, the training of the new people – all these different things, right?

So, the value needs to be big for a big problem so that you can get a solution in the door.

Mark Stiving

Yeah, and that makes a ton of sense when you start thinking about what problem are we really trying to solve for our customers? What’s the $10 million problem? I love the way you think about that.

Daniel Elizalde

And I have an example in the book, just kind of a little tip there, about finding that problem and understanding, like you said, what is the $10 million problem, but also understanding the context of that problem within your champion’s world. Because I work with multi-billion dollar corporations where $10 million problem is a nuisance, and they’re just like, “Just let it go. We don’t care.” A real problem for them is like a billion dollar problem or a $100 million problem. And so, we tend to sometimes think about generic numbers like, “Oh, they’re going to save $1,000,000.” For a lot of managers in Fortune 500 companies, they don’t even answer an email for a million dollar problem.

So as a vendor, you have to be very clear on those things so that you can provide the corresponding value of what they’re expecting. And that’s B2B.

Mark Stiving

I think that’s true. And I wish some of those people would spill a million dollars into my pocket. Just thought I’d point that out.

Daniel Elizalde

Yeah. Exactly, man. If you can figure that out, let me know, because that’s a perk right there.

Mark Stiving

It doesn’t mean anything.

So, you’ve talked about this several times in our talk, and I know it’s in the book. Let’s talk about the champion and personas. I usually think of, and as a pragmatic instructor, I always thought of buyer personas and user personas. And so, you created a word called a champion for buyer persona. And in my sales work and my purchasing work, as I think through what I’ve done in my world, finding a buyer is hard, right? Saying that someone is going to be responsible for pushing this project or saying, hey, we’re going to spend $10 million to buy this thing. How do you think about that and how do you talk about that?

Daniel Elizalde

Yes, for sure. That’s a big distinction. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what is the right nomenclature that I want to use in the book, so I landed on champion. And yes, it’s true. You have the buyer persona and the user persona.

What I realized after talking to a lot of people is that because I’m talking about the innovation journey and to early customers, so my book is about your first ten customer, so we can talk about why ten. When you’re looking for those first ten customers, you’re really not looking for a buyer per se; you’re looking for a champion, meaning, somebody within the organization that will champion your untested solution to solve their needs.

Usually, that champion might or might not have budget, but they know how to maneuver the organization to get that budget. So, they might not be the economic buyer as we know them, but they are the ones who are going to connect the dots, who are going to bring you in, who are going to take a risk on your untested solution so that you can move forward.

So that’s why I think it’s important to say, okay, this is different. Once you go to scale and once sales and marketing kick in, yeah, they can call it whatever they want. In fact, in sales, it’s a pretty well-known term – your champion – which is a person that has opened the door for sales. Here, that champion usually plays the role of opening the door, but this person is going to partner with you because you have a new solution that hasn’t been tested and they’re going to co-create that with you. So, you have to find that champion. And the characteristics are different.

Mark Stiving

That is an excellent description because what you’re looking at is you’re trying to find someone who’s going to be on the leading edge of an innovation, who wants to take the risk and say, yes, is this something that we should be pushing or not. And that’s very different from finding a buyer who has a problem that knows they need to go out and spend money to go solve their problem.

Daniel Elizalde

Yes, exactly. And that’s why throughout the book, and especially the last stage of the innovation journey, I called it early adopter. So, I piggyback on Jeffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm definition of an early adopter, which is somebody that has a pain that’s big enough that they’re willing to work with an untested solution, and they have very specific characteristics.

So, it’s very important from the very beginning when you’re doing market discovery and you’re talking to potential champions to really understand the need of a champion, because they’re going to have different expectations. I see a lot of projects from medium to large corporations that get no traction because they just talk to whomever they could, and instead of an early adopter, it was more of a pragmatist that is expecting a full-blown solution, with customer support, with partnership, etc., and that’s not where you are.

And so, you have to find that right person, but not only when you’re closing the first pilot. You have to find that, you have to do the research from market discovery with those people in mind, and that’s why I carried that concept of champion throughout the book. And so, you have to make sure that you solve the pains of the champion ultimately.

And this is a little bit controversial, I know. My friend said designers and UX folks are not going to like this, but the reality is that in B2B, your goal is to solve the problem of the champion. You have a user ecosystem and the work of all of those users together adds up to solving the problem of the champion, right? But your solution might not be super polished for all users, might be clunky, you might not include some users, and that’s okay. Because if what you provide to the users is enough to provide the value to your champion, then you get a chance to close your first early adopter, second, or third until you get to the tenth. So, it’s not about the users at this point. It’s about delivering value to the champion, because ultimately, that’s the person that’s going to open the door for you.

Mark Stiving

I think that’s brilliant. And we oftentimes see products where you could tell the product was designed for the buyer – I’m going to say buyer instead the champion in this case – and then the users suffer because nobody really thought about the user experience, but they’re successful products because the buyers are solving their problems.

Daniel Elizalde

Exactly. And throughout the book, I talk about examples on how you can accelerate the pace of innovation by being smart about it. So, I actually have an example about a H.R., let’s say a VP of H.R. being your champion, and they need a new recruiting software, because their goal is to improve retention and acquisition by 10%, whatever. And so, your user ecosystem includes the recruiters, the applicants, the managers, the people that interview people. So, all of those are going to put their information in the system. And so, if you are able to say, you know what, the experience for the person that submit their resume is terrible, at least in the first stages, but your focus is just to gather that information so you can demonstrate your real value, which is, let’s say, apply machine learning to surface the best candidate, well it doesn’t matter at this stage that the experience for that particular person is terrible. Because if you spend your time at this stage polishing the experience for all these users, you’re going to run out of money and you’re not going to demonstrate your value to the champion. There will be a time later when you start going to scale to polish all this items. But if you have to focus on your most differentiatable feature, that adds a value to your champion.

Some users might get the royal treatment and they get this amazing thing because that’s where the value lies. That’s what’s going to accelerate the process. That’s going to help the champion reach their business goals. Some other users might suffer. They might get nothing, and you have to support them manually for the first year, and that’s okay. Because again, the goal of innovation is to get to success of this early customers as soon as possible.

Mark Stiving

Nice. Daniel, this has just been brilliant. I love this conversation. But I now have to ask you to take off your innovator’s hat and put on your pricing hat, because I always ask this last question. What’s the one piece of pricing advice you’d give our listeners that you think can have a big impact on their business?

Daniel Elizalde

Excellent question. And what I would say is, you know, if we go back to this B2B innovator’s map with different stages, when you are testing a potential solution, so you understand the pains of your customers and now you’re starting to figure out what solution you’re going to provide or you could provide and you start prototyping ideas of solutions, pricing has to be one of those things that you have to prototype. You have to prototype the packaging and the offering and how you actually present it to the customer, because you can’t just not do any research and just launch it like that, especially in complex industries like the ones I work with, where you have hardware and software and networking and services and installation and regulation. You might need to break down all these different components and you might have a SAAS pricing for the software alone and a one-time hardware pricing and this and that. And together, you create an amazing pricing package for your users, for your champion in this case. You have to test that out and use the prototyping stage to also prototype pricing, and that’s going to help you a lot when you go to market, because you have true customer evidence that not only the solution but also the offering on the packaging is desirable.

Mark Stiving

Nice. Absolutely brilliant answer. We are going to be out of time.

Daniel, thank you so much for your time today. If anybody wants to contact you, how can they do that?

Daniel Elizalde

Thank you, Mark. This been a fantastic conversation. I always like getting together with you. They can contact me on my website directly: https://danielelizalde.com. And again, they can go to a b2binnovator.com and that takes you to the page of my book and you can download a free chapter there if you want to get into the B2B innovation journey.

Mark Stiving

Which chapter did you give away for free?

Daniel Elizalde

It’s the intro and chapter one.

Mark Stiving

Chapter one?

Daniel Elizalde

Which is basically the whole method. And then the rest of the chapters go deeper into the techniques of each stage of the method.

Mark Stiving

It kind of like the free-mium model huh?

Daniel Elizalde

It’s a little bit of the free-mium. Yes. Exactly. I need to figure out how they can do just like a click here to upgrade your paper copy or something.

Mark Stiving

Nice.

Episode 178 is all done. Thank you for listening.

If you enjoyed this, would you please leave us a rating and a review? Those are the currency in podcasts. Also, please tell your pricing colleagues about the podcast. I hear from a lot of people new in pricing, they find this invaluable, so maybe you can help one of your colleagues. And finally, if you have any questions or comments about the podcast or pricing in general, feel free to email me: mark@impactpricing.com.

Now, go make an impact.

Mark Stiving

Thanks again to Jennings Executive Search for sponsoring our podcast.

If you’re looking to hire someone in pricing, I suggest you contact someone who knows pricing people. Contact Jennings Executive Search.

Tags: Accelerate Your Subscription Business, ask a pricing expert, pricing metrics, pricing strategy

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