“Automating the B2B Salesperson Pricing Decisions: Can Machines Replace Humans and When?” by Yael Karlinsky Shichor and Oded Netzer (Columbia University)
Pricing processes in the Business to Business (B2B) industry rely to a large extent on human expertise and interpersonal interaction. This research introduced automation to pricing decisions in Hadco Metal, a US-based company that sells aluminum and other metal products to business clients. Providing salespeople in the company with real-time automated price recommendations increased gross profits to the company by as much as 10%. By incorporating the automated price recommendations as an aid tool to salespeople, the company will be able to not only substantially increase profits, but also increase institutional salesforce knowledge preservation and decrease sales costs.