We decided to publish our pricing on our website. For a B2B company, selling to other B2B companies, that’s a fairly controversial thing to do. But we’re giving it a try, and if it doesn’t work out, we’ll try to stuff the genie back in the bottle.
I read an interesting article on publishing pricing by Steve Woods of Eloqua a few years ago. Since then, I’ve noticed a trend for other B2B companies to publish their pricing. But, most of those choosing to publish have been selling a product, not projects. So, some SaaS companies publish, but very few companies working on projects that need to be scoped have done the same. None of our competitors in the presentation market seem to publish their pricing publically. So, are we stupid?
The reasons not to publish pricing are typically held to be -
- Customers paying more will realise that others are paying less for the same service
- Some visitors will think the price is too high, without understanding the value on offer
- Visitors won’t need to contact sales to ask the price – so an opportunity to start a sales conversation will be lost
- Sales people need room to negotiate
- Competitors will find out our prices and be able to easily position against us
Some of the arguments in favour of publishing pricing online focus on the fact that in the age of Google, prospects can find prices online if they search. Which is true for a company like Eloqua – not not (yet) for one just getting started like BrightCarbon. So, why did we decide to publish?
- Visitors don’t contact sales to ask for pricing. They get distracted and do something else instead
- We think (know, actually – after all, it’s easy enough to find competitor’s prices by asking directly, asking ex-customers, or subterfuge) that our prices are very competitive
- Some visitors will assume our prices are much higher than they actually are, and will therefore never engage with us if we don’t show them that their assumptions are wrong
- We offer a lot of value with each project – things like Carbon Aftercare, BrightSparks places, free templates for those who need them). A lot of companies in the industry charge extra for things we include as standard, and we wanted to make sure that was understood. We have a simple pricing model, but we don’t benefit if nobody knows. We offer a lot of value, and we think that we can explain some of that to an interested website visitor before they call us
- We don’t mind if visitors who think a great sales presentation is worth $85 never call us. They aren’t our potential customers. If they don’t call, we can focus sales effort more productively. We don’t have loads of spare sales capacity.
- We actually have a good range of price points. Our slide design service is very affordable, yet our pitch presentation support service can cost many times more. In a way, there’s something for everyone. Even a website visitor with just a small budget could find a project that they can afford.
- Finally, we drew on our own experiences as buyers for our own business. In nearly every situation, I check out pricing pages before engaging with sales. My colleagues (we discussed it) are the same. If the pricing isn’t right for us, we don’t call. But equally, if there is no pricing information – and a competitor does show pricing – we call the competitor, other things being equal.
Our pricing isn’t intended to be the start of a negotiation – it’s our pricing. We don’t offer different prices to different customers – we are fair to all. We are proud of what we offer, and aren’t embarrassed of what we charge – we think that it represents good value.
For now, our pricing for each service is on a tab, by the service description. I’m not totally sure that people can find it there easily enough – so maybe we need a separate section of our website called ‘Pricing’. What do you think? And, are we crazy?