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Getting Your SaaS Pricing Strategy Out of the Silo

Posted by Origins Ecommerce - May 22, 2015 in

Determining an effective SaaS pricing strategy is one of the biggest challenges your company may face. Added to this task is the frequent disagreement on which department is best positioned to determine price. Depending on who you ask, people often believe marketing, sales, accounting or another team knows what the optimal price is or they have the best perspective for figuring it out.

But the best answer to this debate is that no one department should be solely responsible for setting the pricing strategy for your product. Effective pricing requires a lot of information and, as such, input from departments across your company is essential to strike an objective balance between business goals, costs, customers’ perceived value and your competitive landscape. No one department will have the insights into all of these areas so it’s best to bring it all together when setting your price structure and then have one person in charge of the final pricing decision.


Effective Strategies Need the Most Information Possible

The most successful SaaS companies re-examine the effectiveness of their pricing every six to nine months. Although playing the ‘price guessing game’ (setting your price slightly above or below your competition) may work to some degree, more strategy will maximize your revenue and boost your profit margin. This is especially true as a SaaS company because you have to have a price that accounts for the ongoing value you are providing which is very different from traditional one-time software sales. Instead of maximizing your upfront price, you’re looking to maximize your customer lifetime value (CLV).

This means you need to know not only where your customers are purchasing from but also how long they are staying, what they are using on an ongoing basis and what they are actually saying about your product. In other words, you have more touch points with customers that different departments are responsible for. It can be a challenge to stay on top of all of this information but it is also gives you a huge advantage over one-time sales when it comes to pricing because you can have a much more detailed understanding of how your customers value your service.


What Each Department Brings to the Table

Different departments bring different perspectives and interests to a pricing decision.


  • Marketing provides knowledge on how customers will likely respond to prices and where your company stands in regards to competitive pricing.


  • Product Development can provide the best information on the value of your product in relation to others in the market. They know the superior features and benefits that are an integral part of a value-based SaaS pricing strategy.


  • Finance can provide guidelines on margins and costs. They are often the ones to provide the hard numbers regarding break-even points, cost breakdowns and revenue. In addition, they can provide what-if analysis and monitor actual and expected results.


  • Sales are the front-line communicating and executing the pricing strategy. They receive direct and immediate feedback on whether your current strategy is effective. Your customer service team can fulfil a similar listening role to strategies already rolled out.


While crafting an informed strategy is important, it is also vital not to get stuck in an endless analysis. You won’t know if your SaaS pricing strategy will work until you actually test it with real customers. So, be sure to get the insights provided by different teams in your company but also don’t be afraid to get out there so you can start testing.


If you liked this article, download our free ebook, "The Ultimate Guide to B2B SaaS Pricing."

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About the Author

Origins Ecommerce

We love sharing our expertise in online payments and helping our customers succeed. From the technical team to our customer service team, everyone at Origins Ecommerce is ready to support your success. Our goal is to reduce your expenses and risks while optimizing your revenue, by managing your online payments for you. The Origins Ecommerce payment solution is there to keep your payments in motion, so you don’t have to.
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