A lot can be learned by studying B2B SaaS pricing pages.
Once you’ve honed in on a market, you can find business opportunities by analyzing the technology landscape, looking at what business customers are already buying.
You can speed up product-market validation by identifying gaps in the product offerings on the market and capitalizing on those opportunities. This is what this post is all about.
What You Can Learn by Analyzing B2B SaaS Pricing Pages
B2B SaaS pricing models are usually representations of the company’s business model.
The features, plans, price points and omissions all say something about the way the business delivers value to its customers. In other words, every line in a pricing table is intended to get a certain reaction from prospective customers.
By going through different pricing pages in the market you’re targeting, you can learn about:
- The features that are most-valued by customers;
- The “whole product”, or the features that customers expect;
- Customer segments and the functionalities they value and pay for;
- Typical engagement length and churn rates.
How to Analyze B2B SaaS Pricing Pages
You’ll need 3 things to successfully analyze pricing pages in your market:
- A clear definition of your vision: When you know what you’re trying to achieve it’s easier to define competitors and solutions worth including in your analysis;
- A list of the players in the space: You can find B2B SaaS products competing in your space (or related spaces) using Google or by querying sites like AngelList and Crunchbase;
- An idea of which businesses are successfully selling in the space: For this analysis, it’s best to focus on businesses generating actual money. You can use directory sites like Capterra, G2Crowd or GetApp to get a feel for a business’s customer base. Alternatively, some businesses might have published revenue numbers you can use.
Select the 10 to 12 most relevant products’ pricing pages. For each of these pages, we’ll look at value metrics, expected features, plan differentiations, add-ons and price points. It’s all below.
How to Find the Value Metric in a Pricing Table
A value metric is the main reason why customers buy a subscription (e.g. number of users). It’s also often the reason (e.g. ‘we need more user accounts’) why they upgrade to a higher-priced plan.
In the context of a multi-axis pricing model (e.g. number of users and features), it tends to be the main axis along which customers make purchase decisions.
As an example, project management tool Wrike (below) has both feature and seat differentiations for each of its plans:
To find the value metric, look for the main benefit that fluctuates in either quantity or quality from one plan to the next.
Knowing what the value metric is tells you what businesses expect to pay for (e.g. users), and how they evaluate purchase decisions for this type of software.
How to Define “the Whole Product” with B2B SaaS Pricing Models
Typically, the common functionalities across the different pricing plans are part of the whole product – the things that must be put in place just so your startup can be considered a valid vendor by your prospects.
Those features are important enough to be listed, because they have an impact on the buying decision, but they’re not strong enough to get customers to upgrade to a more expensive subscription.
You’ll probably have to build all of these features just to be able to compete with the specific product.
How to Analyze Plan Breakdown
A well-designed pricing page helps prospects quickly self-qualify:
A well-designed pricing page also makes it easy to understand the transition from plan to plan, by making the differentiating features and benefits crystal clear.
For the above example (Leadpages), a company would upgrade from Standard to Pro for:
- Unlimited A/B Split Testing;
- Online Sales and Payments;
- SMS Campaigns;
- Email Support.
They would also upgrade from Pro to Advanced for:
- Advanced Integrations;
- More SMS Campaigns;
- Priority Support.
SMS campaigns seem to be a distinctive feature (possibly the value metric) that helps move customers from one plan to the next. For larger organizations, deeper integrations, advanced support and personal customer success drive upgrades.
Plan differentiations give good insights as to what different types of organizations and buyers value.
Are There Add-ons?
According to ChartMogul, roughly 20% of B2B SaaS businesses sell unbundled add-ons on top of their pricing plans.
Add-ons are features or feature groups that may only be valuable to a subset of the customer base. Those customers are generally willing to pay a premium for theses features.
These features hint at the existence of a sub-segment within the business’s core market. They’re opportunities to build niche products.
How to Analyze the Business Model
In SaaS, price sets perception. If the product is expensive, it may appear premium. If the product is inexpensive, it may attract a large number of smaller customers.
By displaying monthly prices first, the price point looks lower. By defaulting to annual plans, the price point looks higher. This can be a form of pre-qualification.
On top of the additional cashflow, annual plans help lessen the impact of churn or cancellations. Businesses heavily promoting Annual or Quarterly plans often do so to reduce a high churn rate.
The price points and plans most highly recommended say a lot about what a business’s ideal customer profile is.
Bonus Tip: Revisit Past Versions of B2B SaaS Pricing Pages
You can use Wayback Machine to revisit past iterations of pricing tables. This will allow you to see what businesses have learned about their business models.
- If a feature was free and it’s now included in a paid plan, it usually means that it was driving upgrades;
- If something was part of a paid plan, but it’s now available for free, it often means that it was a strong incentive to get prospects to sign up.
This information is valuable and can be used to define a good product positioning.
How to Find Business Opportunities from B2B SaaS Pricing Models
Once you’ve analyzed the different pricing pages in your market, you can start thinking about how to compete with the established players.
To overcome the status quo coefficient and get businesses to adopt a new technology product, you need to find an area where you can be 10x better than the known alternatives.
To find those opportunities, ask yourself:
- Are there ways to deliver significantly more value along a similar value metric?
- Can you offer the value metric for free (or at a discounted rate) and bring forth a new value?
- Can you turn an add-on feature into a standalone product for a niche market?
- Are there ways to offer more value by creating a product focused on the specific needs of a sub-segment?
- Can you turn a differentiating feature into a core part of your business?
There are a lot of ways to position your product by focusing on a niche and emphasizing different value drivers.
Understanding what businesses pay for helps you focus on proven value propositions to speed up your product-market validation.
⚡⚡ Enjoyed this content? I go into way more detail on this subject in Lean B2B. It covers the ins and outs of finding traction in the market for B2B products. Check it out »
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