Is a pricing page right for your SaaS business?

Have you ever contested your client for their own benefit and failed to get your point across? It can be dreadful and time-consuming. At least that was our recent experience with one of our clients. Sometimes you just know something will work out and will align with your clients business goals but it just doesn’t work out that way. Your client may have different priorities or different views on the subject.Recently, we suggested a pricing page to one of our clients with a SaaS business but their confusion about it left us wondering as to how a sure-fire way to get more conversions can be turned-down or left hanging so easily. It made us wonder if we were even right with our theory, to begin with. So we decided to do some supporting and conflicting research to understand trends better before we shaped our opinions. Here are our findings.Seeing authorities like HubSpot, ConversionXL and SixteenVentures showcasing pricing on their website told us something about this phenomena. It showed us how much the user cares about having all the relevant information as well as pricing on the website.

Google’s Research shows that those involved in the B2B buying process are already 57% of the way down the path to a decision before they’ll actually perform an action on your site. You might wanna reconsider the information you provide on your website. Today’s customers are well-equipped with comparison websites, blogs, reviews on your SaaS product. The last thing they want is you not displaying all that information or not being completely transparent with your potential client. As much as some of us will hate to admit it, it is true that the pricing of a product plays an important part in the buying decision. Who doesn’t wanna be aware of the finances involved in one go? Whether or not it will work for you is what we’ll find out. Another thing to note is the customer attention span in today’s world. Is your bounce rate high? Are the people not spending as much time on your website as you might like? If you see your advanced analytics, you will find users that jump off of your websites within 10 seconds. Yes, it’s really heartbreaking.

We are living in an impatient economy. As one person put it “Our attention span is less than a goldfish” which is 7 seconds. You better find good reasons for the visitor to stay if you want his attention. So is it really important or relevant to post your pricing on your website?It is one of the most controversial decisions for any SaaS business to post pricing information on their website.  But why’s that the case, when it is one of the most important pieces in the buying cycle (Forgot weepy negotiations?)? Let’s look into the pros and cons of having a pricing page on your website.

The Pros

  1. Better User Experience
  2. It is imperative in today’s scenario that most buyers are trained to search for the price as part of any purchase decision. They will be happy to search until they find a price.Marcus Sheridan from IMPACT has emphasized the same for years. Moreover, HubSpot CTO and Co-founder, Dharmesh Shah reiterated the same in his keynote at INBOUND 2018. According to Dharmesh, “If you do not have a pricing page on your website, prospect guards will go up. They will immediately wonder, why so? What are you trying to hide? Then they will become frustrated as you’ve made it harder for them to evaluate if you are a good solution for them.”A well-thought-of, transparent pricing page will let people know you’re not just trying to trick them into a sale. It creates a better user experience, enabling the visitor to complete their research (as any modern buyer wants). You may want proof of that theory for your SaaS business. For that, we recommend you put out an experimental pricing page on your website for a specific duration. You will quickly realize that it is one of the top visited pages on your website.
  3. Enjoy Higher Conversions
  4. If someone likes your SaaS product and they have to fill in a form or request a demo to get the pricing, you might never hear from them. That is because they dread having to take action on your website. A lot of times they are apprehensive of a sales pitch or someone consuming up their time with a demo or a sales call (neh, no one wants that today) when they clearly understand the value of the product on the website. If they see the pricing and it falls under what they can afford, they will quickly convert as a lead in whichever way possible. Some people just want to see and pay the dollar amount.
take my money
  1. Here are two example case studies of how conversions went up for 2 websites just by putting up their price charts on their website. Example A in the case study had their conversions doubled up just by installing the price chart. Below is the visual representation, for example, A.
case study pricing
  1. Quick Sale
  2. How will it feel if you wake up on a normal day and see you added 2 more B2B customers while you were sleeping?  BAM! That’s a good feeling! You closed the deal even before you had any contact with the buyer. You have a good chance to close your sale even before the first email with a pricing page on your website. Save yours and your prospects time by staying away from lengthy emails about the pricing quote and negotiations and a series of emails on it.  There is a really high chance that your prospect might stop responding at some point through your buying cycle. That dropped prospect might cost you a lot. Avoid that and give your buyer full control over how fast they can join you.
Quick Sale
  1. Better Qualified Leads database
  2. A lot of times, looking at Request Demo or “Talk to Sales” might dissuade casual buyers. Yes, there are casual buyers who need your product but don’t want to go through the hassle of requesting a demo and then following up on it. Countless people sign up for the demo but never turn up because they lose interest in the offering. Moreover, not every person will value your product the same way or even be able to afford it. Let the buyers, qualify or disqualify themselves, preventing your sales team from wasting time on someone who isn’t a good match.In other words, providing the pricing upfront will weed out qualified leads from unqualified leads making your sales pipeline stronger and cleaner. Anyone who is not able to afford the product will automatically not sign up for a demo. And the ones who do will be the ones who are already negotiated on the pricing upfront.
  3. Put A Price on your Worth
  4. There’s so much pleasure in putting a value on the worth you are bringing to your client. Why? Because first, you have figured out what benefits your client is getting out of your product in terms of revenue. Secondly, you have taken down all your costs and have gone through the margins of your product. The price you put is optimal according to the metrics you set like the above two which makes your value transparent and clear to the buyer and your team in one go (get away from your buyers scrutinizing you over loose pricing). Things start getting clearer and you start closing more leads thereafter.

We have seen quite a few benefits of having a pricing page(just like I hoped), but could there be a flipside to all of this? Let’s investigate.

The Cons

  1. Bigger deals are sold differently than smaller deals.
  2. In other terms, a $100k deal will be sold differently than a $10k deal. Why? Because you are gonna deal with your high paying accounts differently than the low paying ones. Pushing both down the deals on the same track is risky because you want to make sure that the big clients are on the priority list for the sales and customer care reps. Sometimes the higher management of SaaS businesses is directly involved with high paying clients giving their time and energy to them on a regular basis. It automatically calls for different pricing as more resources are deployed to that particular account.
  3. Enterprise customers care about solutions over pricing.
  4. As Znbound’s founder Rajagopalan C points out, that price doesn’t matter for enterprise customers. More than 70% of the time, they just want to get set up with the solution offered as efficiently as possible. Price comes after features and benefits. This statement really holds true as one of our SaaS clients tells us that the pricing discussion comes at the end for enterprise buyers and most of the times the discussion ends sooner than we imagine.
  5. All about the price?
  6. Pricing might make your product look cheap, and not enterprise-oriented. Some enterprise owners are well-adept with knowing how much the pricing can vary over the same product offering. Why so? Because different enterprises have different needs, payment terms, number of users and moreover need a customized package tailored towards their present and future commitments.
  7. Rigid pricing structure might blow your deal
  8. With a rigid pricing structure in place, you’ll put off most of the enterprises. Your biggest customers will require a discount on your pricing for good reasons. Enterprise clients bring huge value to your business in terms of both revenue and recognition. As the account grows the enterprise client will ask for more and more discount and with a rigid pricing structure in place, you might have to go below than the most discount you can offer, leading you to blow a good deal in hand.
  9. Complex deals can get you perplexed
  10. You will have deals that you will not be able to put a price tag on. Deals get complex over time. Your company evolves, your client evolves, putting a similar dollar value to each of them will be bewildering. Giving a custom solution and dollar value to each of your clients will be more fruitful in the long run.

Let’s look at what some of our clients have to say about having a pricing page up on their SaaS business.

Daniel Golub, GM, Hippo CMMS (Maintenance Management Software)

Hi Daniel, we would love to have your views on if we should have a pricing page on our SaaS business website. Let’s start with the plus side.

Daniel – On the plus side, the pricing page is likely to get some of the highest traffic along with the home page. It allows businesses to easily segment bottom funnel visitors who are closer to making a buying decision and it shows buyer intent. It is great for companies who have a proven pricing model, who are competitively priced and who want to be transparent and avoid haggling over software price to buyers.

That’s great insight, what about the negatives?

Daniel – There are a few negatives though. First, it is best practice to save the pricing discussion until after you have demonstrated value to the potential buyer. It is often premature to discuss price when the buyer has not seen all the benefits and value that your product offers. If you are going to show the price on your website, make sure that value offering is easy to see from the content on the website. Visitors who don’t understand the value offering or the pricing model may get deterred and scared away from the price shown.Another potential drawback for SaaS companies putting pricing on their website is that it gives competitors information to compete on price. It’s best to have different pricing packages with options; one entry level, a mid-tier, and a premium. That way you don’t scare away those buyers who are price sensitive. We also advise having a CTA to contact the SaaS company and get more info and a firm quote.

Key Takeaways

There is actually some merit in not putting up the pricing page up-front. If you can have a pricing page or not on your website will depend a lot on the copy of it. If your website, web copy, product copy and portfolio are not precise and to-the-point your pricing page may not do any justice to your conversion. It may, in turn, decrease the value of the product.For many businesses with a large customer base( over 10000+), the pricing page on your website will work the best. For eg, Grammarly and Drift. These websites have thousands of individuals signing up every day and they need a pricing upfront.For enterprise customers, pricing does not really matter that much.  They are more concerned about the solution the SaaS company is offering. Moreover, rigid pricing can hinder the process of client onboarding as they may want customized packages specially tailored for them. We have now officially debunked our own myths about the relevance of pricing page on SaaS websites.Hope this article helps you in deciding if a pricing page is right for your SaaS business or not.

Team Znbound
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