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B2B Pricing: Negotiation, Calculation, Strategy

Course code
Course type
MSc Course
Weekly Hours
HS 2021
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 (includes guest lecture)
  • Bargaining techniques*
  • Integrative negotiation techniques
  • Multi-party negotiation

2) Price calculation

  • Price, quantity, costs*
  • 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

  • Selling vs. pricing (includes case Boise Automation, Ivey)*
  • Managing pricing excellence (includes guest lecture)
  • Trade terms systems
  • Service pricing
  • Analytics: The Future of B2B Pricing?

(*) 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
Thursday, 02.09.2021 13:45 - 17:00
Friday, 10.09.2021 11:30 - 15:15
Thursday, 16.09.2021 15:30 - 18:45
Monday, 20.09.2021 08:00 - 11:15
Wednesday, 22.09.2021 11:30 - 15:15
Friday, 24.09.2021 08:00 - 11:15
Monday, 27.09.2021 11:30 - 15:15
Wednesday, 06.10.2021 13:45 - 15:15
Thursday, 14.10.2021 16:00 - 17:30
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 customer value,
  • 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 (another name for it is “Moodle”).
The learning method in this course follows the ideas of problem-based learning and the “reversed classroom” (a.k.a. “flipped classroom”). The “reversed classroom” replaces classroom lectures (“Frontalunterricht”) with a blend of self-study at home and interactive discussions in the classroom. Problem-based learning reverses the passive learning sequence of “First hearing a concept. Then hearing problems that it could solve” to an active learning sequence: “First trying to solve a problem oneself. Then discussing solutions with the group, led by the professor. Finally, getting additional insight from the professor”. Using WHU’s hybrid teaching technology, online participants are integrated into the classroom via Zoom.

The learning method mix includes role-play sessions between students with joint debriefings, case-based discussions with concluding mini-lectures, interactive concept lectures, and managerial guest presentations. This video shows the style of case-based sessions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbNNsq1fC0A. The problem-based way of learning requires a great amount of energy, both from the student and from the teacher.

The course grade is completely based onindividual performance. There are no team grades and no peer evaluations. The course grade is composed as follows:
  • 30%: three class preparation notes (pdf, bullet points are enough, ca. 500-750 words)
  • 10%: learning reflection note (pdf, bullet points are enough, ca. 500-750 words)
  • 60%: 90-minute final exam (closed book). The final exam is a Moodle quiz with quantitative calculation questions and qualitative multiple-choice questions.
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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