آیا سیاست های قیمت گذاری، مانعی برای موفقیت راه حل های مشتری هستند ؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1864||2011||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 40, Issue 5, July 2011, Pages 723–729
In an era of declining pricing power and increased global competition, customized solutions appear to be an effective way to build competitive advantages without the debilitating effects of price competition. Solutions involve provision of an integrated combination of goods and services that are designed to meet a business customer's specific needs. Premium prices and higher margins can be extracted by solution providers, who now have considerable incentives to design and market innovative solutions for their customers. We examine the applicability of various pricing frameworks and pricing practices in the context of two industries — business process outsourcing and power generation equipments. Our interviews suggest that firms predominantly use traditional pricing strategies; new strategies for solution pricing are only emerging; and, successful firms are currently using hybrid pricing models. We find that the solutions that we observed among practitioners are not what theory would suggest as true solutions but what would be described by theory as bundled products. We also find that solutions are in the eye of the beholder, i.e., if customers can de-bundle offerings, they are not true solutions. We extend our findings to academic theory and to the practice of developing and pricing solutions.
In the last two decades, increased competition due to globalization and therefore, increased commoditization of products, have led firms in several industries to competitively differentiate their offerings through the development and sales of solutions (Cova and Salle, 2007 and Mathyssens and Vandenbempt, 2008; Tuli, Kohli, & Bharadwaj, 2007). Solutions represent a move away from product-centric marketing in an attempt to integrate services into the product within a customer-centric marketing approach (Sawhney, 2006, Sheth et al., 2000 and Vargo and Lusch, 2004). As Evanschitzky, Wangenheim, and Woisetschläger (2011) note: “Solutions are individualized offers for complex customer problems that are interactively designed and whose components offer an integrative added value by combining products and/or services so that the value is more than the sum of the components. Solution Selling is a relational process comprising the definition of the customer requirements, customization and integration of goods and services, their deployment, and post-deployment customer support.” A few critical dimensions of solutions, as evolved from prior literature, can be explicated from such a definition. One, solutions involve a high degree of integration of various product components as well as services (Cova and Salle, 2007, Krishnamurthy et al., 2003, April and Sharma et al., 2008). Two, the solution is an offering customized for the customer as compared to a pre-designed and developed offering that needs to be sold (Davies et al., 2006, Sharma, 2006a and Tuli et al., 2007). Three, a well-developed solution offered to the customer must be greater in value than its component products and services (Sharma and Molloy, 1999 and Sharma et al., 2008). One important motivation for developing integrated solutions is meeting customer needs more specifically with a resulting increase in revenues, margins, and/or share of customer spending with the solution provider (Sawhney, 2006). However, while there is evidence that several firms are moving from products to offering solutions to their customers (Davies et al., 2006 and Sawhney, 2006), it is not clear whether they are able to recoup the additional costs of customization, integration and organizational changes that are pre-requisites to success in solutions selling (Gulati, 2007, May, Krishnamurthy et al., 2003, April and Sawhney, 2006). From the customers' perspective, the higher-priced solution should offer benefits greater than what may be obtained from component products and services. Thus, from the solution provider's as well as the customer's perspectives, appropriate prices appear to be critical for solutions selling success. However, extant literature offers little guidance on pricing strategies that solution providers could use or how prices affect customer perceptions of the solution. In this paper, we examine the importance of appropriate pricing of solutions to solution selling success. We complement a theoretical review with insights obtained from a qualitative study and conclude on the importance of pricing as well as the prevalent practices that may hinder solutions selling success. In the following sections, we review the literature on solutions selling and understand the points of views of both buyers and providers of solutions. We focus on the issue of how solutions could be priced and review extant pricing approaches and apply them to the specific instance of pricing solutions. We then examine pricing practices in two industries — business process outsourcing and utility equipment manufacturing. The data from these two industries suggests that firms predominantly use traditional pricing policies and such policies may be one of the reasons for the lack of success of solution selling. Based on our review and empirical study, we conclude with some suggestions for future research and implications for managers.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
We have discussed the rise of solution selling and highlighted three distinct pricing strategies that can be used for solution pricing — traditional, information asymmetry based and value based pricing. Traditional models are predominantly based on products and may have fewer insights for pricing services or integrated combinations of products and services. The information asymmetry model relies on accurate knowledge of customers and sellers, something that may not be prevalent among transacting parties. For example, literature suggests that salespeople are not particularly accurate about their customers (Sharma & Lambert, 1994). Finally, the value model is very relevant, but in our interviews, we did not see sellers and buyers evaluating prices in terms of quantity and outcomes, most probably because they were not selling true solutions. Future research could examine more closely the applicability of these pricing approaches in different solution selling contexts and environments. Future research could also shed additional light on how effective pricing strategies play an important part in the successful provision of solutions. Given that solutions selling is driven primarily by the quest for greater value for the customer and greater margins for the provider, it is imperative to understand how and what types of pricing strategies could offer the best value for customers while providing the greater margins sought by solution providers. Another interesting area for future research is the customers' ability to de-bundle so-called solutions. In both the industries that we studied, customer either had the internal capabilities to de-bundle solutions or some competitors were willing to unbundle solutions for customers. We could not find true solutions that are so well integrated that they cannot be de-bundled. It would be interesting to study this phenomena so as to determine if in competitive markets, firms provide similar benefits and customers can find the value of “integration.” Future research could also focus on the competence and capability building when moving from products to solutions. Some research is already underway (e.g., Ceci & Prencipe, 2008), but more is needed on traditional industries whose very survival may depend upon successful transition to solutions.