Dave Roller on pricing strategy, client stratification, and turning data into profit
“One of the most important assets any distributor owns is their transaction data and it could make them a lot more money.” ~Dave Roller, Profit2
If you haven’t addressed your company’s pricing plan in a while, Dave Roller says you’re leaving good money on the table. As president of Profit2, Dave has built his career helping distributors optimize their strategy - even against e-conn’s biggest names.
Jason chats with Dave about the art and science of pricing as well as overcoming pricing challenges - even in challenging times. It’s an episode dense with profitable information.
There’s little wonder as to why distributors avoid picking through their pricing. “There are very few businesses that have the scale [or] the challenge we have.” To prove his point, Dave contrasts a restaurant’s few hundred pricing decisions or a manufacturer’s several thousand items against Profit2’s average distributor client who makes upwards of 300,000 pricing decisions annually.
For many family-owned wholesalers, even those with shaky margins, the task seems too overwhelming to bother.
Distribution Talk is produced by The Distribution Team, a consulting services firm dedicated to helping wholesale distribution clients remove barriers to profitability, generate wealth and achieve personal goals.
This episode was edited & mixed by The Creative Impostor Studios.
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Much of the pushback is steeped in long-standing, first-generation traditions and ancient client relationships. But Dave sees a tidal shift happening as second- and third-generations take over decision-making duties. “When we start talking to the younger executives in distribution...there's a little bit different sensibility and a greater comfort with the concept of data mining and utilization.”
That robust ERP data presents opportunities for distributors to sort out their chaotic pricing methodology and make solid gains. Dave points to client stratification as an example. “You can use transaction data and a few other metrics to be able to enrich your customer stratification for pricing that allows you to differentiate what you charge, one customer versus another.”
Segmenting customers into groups based on various factors (such as profitability, revenue, loyalty, and cost-to-serve) minimizes the rote renewal of underperforming contracts.
As for the importance of maintaining customer rapport, Dave says, “I think we all value the relationship, sure. but you have to also step back and take the bigger picture.”
Ultimately, Profit2 sees their role as helping distributors utilize data tools to break out of the cookie cutter pricing approach. A more potent pricing model - one that fits seamlessly into a company’s culture - ultimately leads to better customer service. “That creates a profit annuity over time. It stays around. It keeps bringing you more over time.” And that’s a win-win on both sides of the sales counter.
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