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B2B Pricing: Negotiation, Calculation, Strategy

Course code
Course type
MSc Course
Weekly Hours
HS 2020
Prof. Dr. Ove Jensen
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.

The course content is organized around three themes:

1) Price negotiation

  • Understanding the strategy and tactics of professional buyers (Automotive guest lecture)
  • Distributive negotiation techniques (includes cases Hamilton Real Estate, HBS, and Dayton Foundry, Darden)*
  • Integrative negotiation techniques (includes cases Moms.com, Kellogg, and Meo, Meo, WHU)
  • Multi-party negotiation (includes case Windblades, WHU)

2) Price calculation

  • Price, quantity, costs*
  • Standard costs and variances
  • Price vs. payment terms vs. inventory
  • Cost-plus price calculation and activity-based costing (includes case Sippican Corporation, HBS)
  • Economic value calculation (includes case Atlantic Computer, HBS)

3) Price execution & price strategy

  • Price reporting and price analytics
  • Opportunity management (includes case Boise Automation, Ivey)*
  • Implementing price increases and getting paid for services
  • Trade terms systems
  • Ensuring price compliance and building pricing excellence

(*) Three of the 15 sessions of the course (i.e., 20%, topics are indicated by *) have overlaps with my WHU BSc course “Foundations of Sales”. This is necessary to bring the diverse MSc group up to a common level.

Date Time
Monday, 07.09.2020 11:30 - 15:15
Friday, 18.09.2020 09:45 - 11:15
Monday, 21.09.2020 11:30 - 15:15
Wednesday, 23.09.2020 11:30 - 15:15
Monday, 28.09.2020 11:30 - 15:15
Wednesday, 30.09.2020 13:45 - 17:00
Friday, 02.10.2020 11:30 - 15:15
Monday, 05.10.2020 11:30 - 15:15
The course enhances five categories of competences. The practical orientation of the course shows in its emphasis on procedural knowledge:

1) In regard to factual knowledge, participants are enabled to

  • apply sales jargon to discussing the status of a negotiation (such as BATNA, ZOPA, walk-away price, logrolling, good cop – bad cop, and other idioms),
  • understand the specifics and terminology of pricing in various industry sectors (real estate, metals, wind energy, healthcare), and
  • define pricing performance indicators.

2) In regard to conceptual knowledge, participants are enabled to

  • analyze negotiation interests and positions,
  • evaluate alternative price strategies in a given market context,
  • interpret financial data,
  • to analyze economic value to customer,
  • calculate price-trade-offs against other profit drivers,
  • calculate activity-based costs of products and services, and
  • analyze deal profitability,

3) In regard to pricing-specific procedural knowledge, participants are enabled to

  • apply a structured negotiation process and blueprint,
  • demonstrate financial value to the customer,
  • evaluate price strategies in a commoditized market,
  • create a negotiation strategy,
  • deal with negotiation tactics and price objections, and
  • provide constructive feedback on negotiation behavior of others.

4) In regard to general business-relevant procedural knowledge, participants are enabled to

  • prepare for business meetings and internal committee sessions,
  • make the best out of a limited preparation time budget,
  • make concise contributions to meetings,
  • constructively build and comment on contributions by other participants in the meeting,
  • derive a course of action from a careful analysis of the situation and a structured evaluation of alternatives, and,
  • generally, to negotiate anything.

5) In regard to metacognitive knowledge, participants are enabled to

  • evaluate their own negotiation behavior and skills and
  • create a skill profile for price managers.
There is no required textbook. We have not found a book that covers the range of topics discussed by this course. The learning material for this course includes presentation slides, articles, case studies, role-plays, videos, and black board notes. These and further course-related information are available on the learning management system myWHUcourses.
The course uses a hybrid teaching approach: It emphasizes live interactions in the classroom while integrating online participants into the classroom via Zoom. In the unfortunate case of quarantine measures, the classroom sessions will be switched to live sessions on Zoom.

The overall learning method mix across all class sessions of this course is:

  • 33% role-play sessions between students with joint debriefings,
  • 13% case-based discussions with concluding mini-lectures,
  • 53% interactive concept lectures,
  • and one online managerial guest lecture.

This video shows the style of case-based sessions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbNNsq1fC0A. This way of learning requires a great amount of energy, both from the student and from the teacher.

The grading policy in this course has two differentiating characteristics:
  • 100% individual performance. No team grades. No peer evaluation.
  • No sit-down, speed-writing exam under time pressure, no memorizing of PowerPoint slides, no black-out risk.

The course grade is composed as follows:

  • 10%: two class preparation notes (pdf, bullet points are enough, ca. 500-750 words)
  • 30%: two qualitative and four quantitative online quizzes
  • 10%: one role-play video and coaching exercise
  • 50%: one individual take-home paper (pdf, case write-up)
Enrollment in this course is not limited by pre-experience prerequisites. In particular, it is not necessary to have taken my other courses in the program - this course stands alone. However, what you should be aware of before enrolling in this course is:
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