keys to pricing

Keys to Successful SaaS Pricing as Companies Grow

Jasdeep Garcha

Pricing and packaging are often viewed as afterthoughts in B2B SaaS, but this mindset can severely hinder growth and profitability. Drawing from a conversation with Pat Doran, a seasoned revenue leader with extensive experience at companies like Constant Contact, Gannett, Paycom, and ProfitWell (now Paddle), this article explores the operational and strategic challenges of monetizing software. Despite the critical need, there is no standard framework for managing SaaS pricing and packaging, leaving companies to reinvent the wheel constantly.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the evolution from simple to complex pricing models and how to choose the right value metrics.

  • Recognize common pricing mistakes at different growth stages and how to avoid them.

  • Implement a robust tech stack to support pricing and packaging operations.

  • Establish a continuous improvement process for pricing strategies through regular review and cross-functional collaboration.

The Evolving Landscape of Pricing Models

Initially, companies thrived on straightforward, user-friendly pricing structures. For example, early SaaS companies like Constant Contact succeeded with a simple $20 per month fee that was easy for customers to understand and budget for. However, as the market evolved, these basic models became insufficient for capturing the full value provided to different customer segments. As a result, pricing strategies have become more nuanced, incorporating various metrics that align more closely with customer value.

Early-stage companies often benefit from simple, understandable pricing models because their primary goal is to attract and onboard users quickly. Simplicity in pricing reduces friction in the buying process and makes it easier to explain the value proposition. As companies grow, they encounter a more diverse customer base with varying needs and usage patterns. This necessitates a shift to more sophisticated, value-based pricing models that can better capture the differentiated value provided to different segments. Effective value metrics align with customer benefits, scale with usage, and are easy to understand. Common metrics include per-user charges, data usage, number of projects, and collaborators, all of which allow companies to better match pricing to the value delivered.

Common Pricing Mistakes Across Growth Stages

Early-stage companies often underprice their products, leaving significant revenue on the table and conditioning customers to expect more for less. This typically stems from a lack of focus on pricing due to other pressing issues such as product development and customer acquisition. There is also a fear of alienating early adopters with higher prices. Founders, especially those new to the market, may undervalue their offering out of concern that higher prices might drive away potential customers. This cautious approach can be detrimental in the long run, as it sets a low price expectation and makes future price increases more challenging.

In contrast, growth-stage companies face different challenges. At this stage, companies often deal with internal inertia and a lack of precise data, leading to fragmented and inconsistent pricing decisions. As organizations grow, they develop more complex structures with multiple stakeholders, each with their own perspectives on pricing. This can lead to conflicts and slow decision-making. Additionally, without robust data collection and analysis processes, companies may struggle to make informed pricing decisions. To avoid these pitfalls, early-stage companies should ensure their pricing reflects the value delivered, while growth-stage companies should utilize data to drive pricing decisions and align strategies with market demands and company goals.

The Role of a Robust Tech Stack

A well-integrated tech stack is crucial for managing the complexity of modern SaaS pricing models. This includes everything from subscription management and billing platforms to CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) systems and product usage tracking. A disjointed tech stack can lead to operational inefficiencies and lost revenue opportunities. For instance, if a company’s billing system is not integrated with its CRM and product usage analytics, it may face delays in billing, errors in customer entitlements, and difficulties in tracking and analyzing customer behavior.

Ensuring that all systems, from billing to CRM to product analytics, are well-integrated provides a seamless experience for both the company and its customers. This integration allows for accurate data flow and real-time updates, which are essential for supporting dynamic pricing models and personalized customer experiences. Regularly reconciling data across different systems is also essential to maintain accuracy in pricing and customer billing. This ensures that all departments have a consistent view of customer data, which is crucial for strategic decision-making and operational efficiency.

Continuous Improvement in Pricing and Packaging

To stay competitive, companies must continually refine their pricing and packaging strategies. Building a dedicated pricing committee and establishing a regular review cadence ensures that pricing decisions are data-driven and reflect the evolving market dynamics and customer needs. A cross-functional pricing committee brings together diverse perspectives from sales, finance, product, and marketing, ensuring that pricing strategies are comprehensive and well-informed.

Implementing a quarterly review process allows companies to regularly assess and adjust their pricing strategies. This proactive approach helps identify and address any misalignments between pricing and customer value, market conditions, or competitive dynamics. By continually refining their pricing strategies, companies can better respond to changes in the market, optimize their revenue potential, and maintain a competitive edge.


Effective pricing and packaging are pivotal for the success of B2B SaaS companies. By understanding the evolving landscape of pricing models, avoiding common pitfalls, integrating a robust tech stack, and committing to continuous improvement, companies can optimize their monetization strategies and drive sustained growth. The journey to mastering pricing is ongoing, requiring constant adaptation and strategic alignment. Without a standard to guide these practices, the burden falls on companies to develop robust, flexible systems that can serve as competitive advantages in an increasingly complex market.