Blog - Max Rudman

The Mission Has Always Been the Same: Make Enterprise Software Easier: A Conversation with Max Rudman

Fynn Glover

This blog highlights takeaways from a Monetizing SaaS episode with Max Rudman, CEO of Prodly, where he shares his perspective on monetization mistakes, misconceptions, and best practices.

Max's Professional Journey

"The mission has always been the same: make enterprise software faster and easier to implement and maintain."

Max has done it all and seen it all. He's been an engineer, product leader, founder, executive at scale, and CEO. He was a founder and CEO of Steelbrick, which was later acquired by Salesforce, where he went on to lead the CPQ an Quote-to-Cash businesses. Then in 2019, he founded again, launching Prodly.

From founding Steelbrick, which in many ways created the CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) category, to leading CPQ & Q2C at Salesforce, to founding Prodly, the thread through Max's career is a mission to reduce the complexity businesses face when it comes to purchasing, implementing, and maintaining enterprise software.

Trends in B2B SaaS

"The shift to the cloud and usage-based billing are major inflection points in B2B SaaS today."

Key Trends:

  • Cloud Transition: The move to cloud-based solutions has enabled the development of low-code and no-code systems, making enterprise software more accessible.

  • Usage-based Billing: There's a growing trend in usage-based and other flexible pricing models, shifting away from traditional seat-based licenses, so as to better align value and price.

Lessons on Pricing & Packaging

"Experimentation is key, but don't over-optimize for revenue in the early stages."

Max emphasizes the importance of understanding customer willingness to pay and iterating on pricing models based on market feedback.

"Customer willingness to pay is the true measure of value." – Max Rudman

Here are some key lessons from his experience:

  • Experimentation: Start with a hypothesis for your pricing model and adjust based on feedback. Prodly is on its third or fourth iteration of its pricing model.

  • How you price depends on your stage: In the early stages, optimize pricing for adoption, not on maximizing revenue. Early customers should be rewarded for the risk they've taken in adopting a new solution. In more mature stages, revenue optimization becomes the objective, but early stage pricing is all about alignment with value delivery and accelerating market share.

Monetization Ops

"Stack consolidation is crucial to enhance the customer experience and streamline business processes."

Max advises leaders to aim for tech stack consolidation to reduce the number of disparate systems, ensuring a seamless customer experience. Here are his key points:

  • Unified Systems: A cohesive stack ensures integration across business processes, from quoting to billing.

  • Streamlined Experience: Focus on a streamlined buying and provisioning experience by tightly integrating systems within the same platform.

  • Consistent Product Catalog: Ensure consistency in product catalog and pricing, whether sales are direct, partner-based, or self-service.

"The important thing to ask is what is the customer's experience with buying your product? Think through the entire customer journey and ensure your systems fit well together to provide a cohesive experience."

Connect with Max

Max Rudman can be found on LinkedIn, and more about Prodly can be discovered at Prodly is active in the Salesforce ecosystem, participating in events like the London World Tour and Dreamforce.