No one can dispute the competitive nature of sales. In the world of SaaS—where many teams are peddling products that appear similar on the surface—the need for competitive advantage is real.
To successfully make the sale, product quality can only get you so far. SaaS sales teams also need a flexible, dependable infrastructure that enables them to offer and adjust pricing and packaging options that appeal to the specific needs of potential buyers. This means having a flexible product catalog.
Catalog flexibility can inform your understanding of business operations while shaping the customer experience. For the SaaS company that provides both products and subscription services, an agile subscription billing system that offers this kind of adaptability can make all the difference between sales and frustration.
Among other things, you want your billing system to assist your sales team in tailoring offers to individual clients. Sales teams also benefit greatly from your business’s ability to update your catalog instantaneously, bringing products and services to market at the same rate as competitors. If your system is dated, chances are it isn’t succeeding at either.
Below, are several ways of adding catalog flexibility to your billing interface that can give your SaaS sales team that extra leverage.
- Alignment of Price and Value
It’s integral that your pricing strategy makes sense to potential customers as they consider their features, functionality, and usage needs. The products that your sales team is tasked with moving need to represent a clear value offer, as buyers expect to understand why your charge model is appropriate for the service they’re to receive.
For example, having tailored plan packages for the individual, the small business, the large business, etc. broadens the range of customers likely to see themselves in your pricing structure. And having the flexibility to offer volume, usage-based, and many other pricing strategies can further align price and value, making it easier for your team to make the sale.
Your catalog should also have the flexibility to easily extend promotions and discounts to attract new customers and handle unique pricing situations. This empowers your sales team to respond with agility to the budgets of customers as well as the offerings of your competitors.
Remember that, while consumers value quality, more than half still consider the price—or rather, the cost of ownership—of a service to be the principle guiding factor in how they make their buying decisions. By ensuring you’re able to keep your catalog offerings competitive in terms of cost, you’ll do much to avoid losing customers to your competition.
Granted, some businesses bring a very straightforward product to market, requiring only that their customers sign up to enjoy a one-size-fits-all experience. Consider the difference between streaming giant Hulu, and the writing software company Grammarly.
While both function primarily on a subscription basis, Hulu ostensibly provides a single service, while Grammarly offers a much more multi-faceted range of products, including consultations with writing professionals among other things. Consequently, the two companies have very different catalog and billing needs, despite both falling into the category of subscription-based services.
The specifics of your niche will ultimately dictate the level of flexibility your billing interface, and your sales team requires.
- Variability of Plans at a Customer Level
Though the products and services featured in your generic plans may prove serviceable to a considerable portion of your customer base, the ability to bend to individual needs and personalize the customer journey can really set your business apart and help your team win sales.
While your SaaS billing software catalog should maintain your more generic plans, it should also have the flexibility to override certain catalog rules. This gives your team the ability to customize how each subscription is built on an individual basis—essentially offering a unique catalog to each customer.
With the ability to change how your offers behave for each customer subscription, and the technical capability to override elements like pricing, quantity, entitlement, and discounts, your sales team will be able to create unique subscription offers that won’t become a nightmare for your customer service team once they become active.
- Speed to Market
The pace of business is unrelenting. If you can’t keep up with market fluctuations and consumer demands, you’re sure to be outperformed by someone who can. In the most extreme cases—such as a very sudden dip in the economy, or even a global pandemic—it’s the businesses that are able to adapt on the fly that will be most likely to weather the storm.
Ideally, your business should be able to quickly update its catalog with relevant new pricing and offerings in a matter of minutes—without support from developers.
In being able to operate at this pace, your sales team is empowered to respond to external factors at the drop of a hat, updating their strategy to account for previously unforeseen variables.
Catalog Flexibility is the SaaS Sales Gift that Keeps on Giving
It’s important to keep in mind that, while you might not have upgraded your billing and catalog infrastructure yet, chances are some of your competitors have or are well on their way to digital transformation.
An up-to-date billing capacity doesn’t just automate many of the more banal aspects of your working day, it also helps ensure that your sales team isn’t losing ground. And the one-size-fits-all approach that antiquated billing platforms often necessitate isn’t suitable to the sales team hoping to meet customers at their level to provide products that truly are catered to their unique needs and situations. By updating your billing platform for improved catalog flexibility, you broaden your business’s appeal and add numerous tools to your sales team’s belt.
Don’t underestimate the growth potential catalog and billing flexibility can provide. Agility in these areas doesn’t just allow you to turn on a dime, it also enables you to consolidate and analyze data to help you identify subscription sales trends within your business. This information can be used by your sales team to further understand the wants and needs of the marketplace and chart their future strategies.
Your company’s billing platform and catalog flexibility are assets that scaffold, permeating into many aspects of your business, keeping you competitive, adaptable, and scalable for the future.