When we’re breaking down a category or company, we’re taking a broader purview that spans pricing presentation, acquisition vehicles, packaging, pricing models, and finally, pricing and discounting
Author: Bryan Belanger
Sometimes you need to go broad, and other times, you need a deep dive
A lot of the recent content we’ve published at XaaS Pricing has been about broad pricing strategy themes, including how to choose a pricing model, how to think about product-led growth (PLG) pricing models, and how to evaluate competitor pricing, among other related topics. We believe this type of content is critically important, and we’ll keep publishing it on a regular basis. If you have things you want to hear about, let us know!
What we haven’t done much of, but are often asked about, is a deeper dive into pricing as it pertains to specific SaaS categories and/or vendors. That’s been our pricing analysis bread and butter over the years at TBR — breaking down the pricing strategies of specific companies and markets to explore what works and what doesn’t. It stands to reason that people want us to play the hits!
It’s not just about us, though. Breaking down pricing strategy at more of a micro level for a given category or vendor is actually one of the best ways to learn about best practices. You aren’t going to play in every SaaS category, obviously, and you aren’t going to care about all the vendors in our dataset as direct or even aspirational competitors.
But you are likely to get a lot of value from learning about what best-in-class and/or similarly situated vendors to you are doing to pull off the high-wire act that is B2B “as a Service” pricing strategy. This type of analysis may not teach you about the best pricing model structure for your ideal customers, but it could very well provide actionable cohort-based guidance on how to successfully pull off a pricing model change without souring your ideal customers.
It’s an ocean out there
The hardest part is figuring out where to start. At XaaS Pricing we’re a person and half, more or less, and we’re building a product and doing our other day jobs in addition to churning out this content. It’s a labor of love, but man, with a year-and-a-half-old at home, you’ve just got to throw your arms up and sleep once in a while.
So, to get the ball rolling with this deeper-dive category and company-specific pricing strategy content, we’re going to follow the rabbit holes that are interesting to us and/or those that you tell us to go down. We’ll pick a category, cohort and/or specific vendor and publish a deep dive weekly. These deep dives will complement our ongoing weekly blogs.
The first few ideas we have lined up for deep dives include:
Ryan Neu, CEO of technology-enabled SaaS procurement company Vendr, recently posted about the most trending SaaS applications being brought through Vendr. Companies represented include 6sense, FloQast, SentinelOne, Kandji, Sprout Social and HiBob. We’ll take a deep dive into this group as a category to assess what we can learn about their pricing strategies.
June and July are populated with several interesting SaaS company earnings announcements, including Oracle, Braze, Adobe, Qualtrics, SAP, Check Point, Microsoft, Five9, Shopify, ServiceNow, and several others. We’ll choose a few of these companies and highlight and dissect their pricing strategies through the lens of their earnings performance.
Anything else that catches our eye or that you tell us to take a look at!
How to break down the pricing strategy of a category or company
Pricing analysis can often get too focused on the actual price points. It’s easy to get stuck on “Competitor A charges $X, should we charge $Y?” since those types of conversations often inspire differences of opinion that result in debates. At XaaS Pricing, we take a broader and more holistic approach where the actual price points are the last element we analyze.
When we’re breaking down a category or company, we’re taking a broader purview that spans pricing presentation, acquisition vehicles, packaging, pricing models, and finally, pricing and discounting. Breakdowns are qualitative and quantitative, ensuring the analysis combines both the art and the science of pricing strategy. The specific metrics we use to assess categories and competitors for XaaS Pricing include:
This is the exact model we’ll be using as our framework for these breakdowns.
Eager to jump into analyzing your category or your competitors using this type of framework? There’s a template for that!
We’ve created a competitor pricing battle card/profile template based on the version we typically use for our research and advisory engagements. The template is available for download by following this link.
If you want the full deep-dive competitor and category profile template, stay tuned as we’ll be sharing that in a future post. Be sure to follow along for category and company deep dives, too, which we’ll begin sharing at the end of next week. Become an Insider to be notified when XaaS Pricing publishes templates and analysis!