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B2B Pricing: Negotiation, Calculation, Strategy

Course code
MKT603
Course type
MSc Course
Weekly Hours
2,5
ECTS
5.0
Term
HS 2022
Language
Englisch
Lecturers
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 includes four themes:

Theme I: Fundamentals (self-study for sales beginners)

  • The World of B2B
  • Profit Impact of Pricing

Theme II: Price Negotiation

  • Bargaining Techniques (includes case Hamilton Real Estate, HBS)
  • The Strategy and Tactics of Professional Buyers (includes guest lecture)
  • Integrative Negotiation
  • Multi-Item Negotiation (includes case Moms.com, HBS)
  • Price Negotiation Meets Price Calculation (includes case Windblades, WHU)

Theme III: Price Calculation

  • Advanced Price-Quantity-Cost Trade-Offs
  • Price vs. Working Capital
  • Cost-plus Price Calculation and Activity-Based Costing (includes case Sippican Corporation, HBS)
  • Best Practices and Limits of Price Analytics and Data-Driven B2B Pricing (includes guest lecture)
  • Extra Value Calculation (includes case Curled Metal, HBS)

Theme IV: Price Strategy

  • Innovative Revenue Models (includes guest lecture)
  • Pricing Services
  • Trade Terms Systems
  • Multi-Channel Pricing (includes guest lecture)
Date Time
Friday, 09.09.2022 11:30 - 15:15
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Friday, 09.09.2022 13:00 - 14:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 11:15
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Tuesday, 13.09.2022 08:00 - 09:30
Friday, 16.09.2022 08:00 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 16.09.2022 09:45 - 11:15
Friday, 23.09.2022 15:30 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Friday, 23.09.2022 17:15 - 18:45
Tuesday, 27.09.2022 11:30 - 15:15
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 29.09.2022 09:45 - 13:00
Thursday, 06.10.2022 15:30 - 17:00
Wednesday, 12.10.2022 08:00 - 11:15
Pricing is essential to every business because pricing is the key profit driver. There are three types of competitive advantage: value advantage, cost advantage, and price advantage. The roots of these competitive advantages are capability advantages, that is, superior resources and processes.

Today's B2B salespeople face professionally trained buyers who put enormous pressure on prices, cost-to-serve, and working capital. In the pricing negotiation, salespeople need not only to master communication techniques and tactics but calculate price concessions and package deals. Before the negotiation, they need to sell the solution's value to the customer and justify a higher price by overall savings. They require negotiation skills and proficiency in cost accounting.

This course uniquely links cost accounting, price negotiation, and marketing strategy. You will benefit from participating even if you have taken a negotiation course previously. The course goes beyond pricing theory. It dives into pricing practice and embeds price management in sales force management. You will learn that pricing is far more than techniques and analytics. Pricing success critically depends on aligning people. If you have not had a negotiation class before, this course offers a good introduction that you don't want to miss. Negotiation is a crucial social skill both inside and outside business. We negotiate all the time - with business partners, with our spouse, and with others. Some say that, in life, we don't get what we deserve but what we negotiate.

The course conduces to a wide range of career tracks: Entrepreneurs need to know pricing as it is the No. 1 profit driver. General management careers benefit from implementing pricing excellence in a large sales force. Sales careers benefit from price negotiation techniques. Like chess, negotiating is fun if you know the crucial moves – but it can be a painful experience if you don't. Marketing careers benefit from the content on value-based pricing strategy and the interface between sales and operations. Finance students learn how financial indicators such as working capital are driven by day-to-day sales activity. Consulting careers benefit from quantifying how managerial decisions affect profit and cash flow.

The course intends to enhance five categories of competencies:

  • factual knowledge, for example, applying negotiation jargon to discussing the status of negotiation (such as BATNA, ZOPA, walk-away price, logrolling, non-offer offer, good cop – bad cop, and other idioms) and defining pricing performance indicators,
  • conceptual knowledge, for example, analyzing negotiation interests and positions, analyzing economic value to the customer, calculating price-trade-offs against other profit drivers, and calculating activity-based costs of products and services,
  • pricing-specific procedural knowledge, for example, applying a structured negotiation blueprint and dealing with negotiation tactics and price objections,
  • general business-relevant procedural knowledge, for example, preparing for business meetings, making the best out of a limited preparation time budget, making concise contributions to discussions, constructively building on arguments by other participants, and
  • metacognitive knowledge, for example, evaluating one's own negotiation behavior and creating a skill profile for price managers.
There is no required textbook. I have not found a book covering all the topics discussed in this course. The learning material for this course includes presentation slides, articles, case studies, role-plays, videos, and whiteboard notes. These and further course-related information are available on the learning management system myWHUcourses (another name 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 refutes the traditional, passive learning sequence: "First hearing a concept. Then hearing problems that it could solve". It reverses it 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".

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. Watch this video showing the style of case-based sessions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbNNsq1fC0A. Problem-based learning requires a significant amount of energy from both the student and the teacher.

The course grade wholly rests on individual performance. There are no team grades and no peer evaluations. The course grade is composed as follows:
  • 36%: two case preparation notes (pdf, bullet points are enough)
  • 14%: three negotiation preparation quizzes
  • 50%: 75-minute final exam (closed book). The final exam is a laptop-based Moodle quiz, regardless of whether you write on-campus or off-campus. It is composed of quantitative calculation questions and qualitative multiple-choice questions.
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