* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

We're closed, folks!


» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)


Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Enforcing different pricing on clients with different revenues?


I'm interested in different pricing based on client revenue. E.g. free for small teams, premium price for companies with 100K+ revenues, etc...

Is it enforceable/check-able?

Thank you
exim Send private email
Friday, April 25, 2014
I think that is usually achieved by segmenting into Standard, Professional and Enterprise editions, then people will self-select the correct option.

The editions can have different prices, support options and features.
Scorpio Send private email
Friday, April 25, 2014
I find that the reason a lot of venders don't list prices is because they do just that. They talk to the company and set a price based on their size/reputation/finances/future. That can't be done online and the extra cost of physically selling the product obviously increases the cost of every sale.

Selling Personal/Pro/Enterprise versions is easier, but there has to be a feature/support difference between the versions to make it appealing to purchase the higher-priced versions (You could enforce the Personal license fairly easily, but it'd be more difficult for the other two).
Ewan McNab Send private email
Friday, April 25, 2014
To amplify on Ewan's point, yes, I've been on the customer end of this a number of times in academic settings. 

They three words that epitomize this phenomenon are:  "Request a quote".  (I've always disliked it, too).
Racky Send private email
Friday, April 25, 2014
Will bigger companies use it more?  Maybe limit it based on users that can use the software, or the number of items than can be reported on, etc.  That's seems to be how a lot of online services do it.
Doug Send private email
Friday, April 25, 2014
Many of my clients buy software from software vendors who insist they buy a license for every person in the company, ever user ID on their network, or with law firms--for every person who bills hours (attorneys and paralegals).

If the organization says they don't need all those licenses, the software vendor says too bad, no software for you.

I know they sell the software to them directly but I don't know how they verify the number of licenses needed or enforce this.

I know this is pretty annoying to many of my clients and they will complain about how expensive the software is.  Smaller firms usually go without, because of the cost.  But the bigger organizations buy it anyhow.

I think it only works if you have a unique software that is needed by a certain market and does not have a lot of competition.Another way of getting more from larger organizations is having a site license fee in addition to the user fee. 

The organizations with offices in multiple locations are usually larger and have more money.

But my thought is that larger organizations will buy more licenses so you will naturally make more money from them.  If only a couple people at an organization need the software, then you are not giving them any more value than you are a smaller organization, (so why would they be expected to pay more) .
Emily Jones Send private email
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Thank you all very much. Very interesting replies. Now I have some food for thoughts :)

I don't like "Request a quote" as well. I think I'll just go with separate predefined plans and let the clients self-select.
exim Send private email
Monday, April 28, 2014
We are doing it the other way round:

We publish list prices (four-figure USD), and then offer discounts to startups, microISVs (hey!) and other small businesses, and academic users. There are multiple discount tiers, so we ask such prospects to fill a form and then make a tailored proposal. This system has been working reasonably well for us since 2008, with just a few tweaks along the way.

We also run "pay what you can" charity sales of the cheapest product edition on a regular basis; one is going on right now.

Feel free to click on my name below to explore.
Dmitry Leskov Send private email
Monday, April 28, 2014
> I don't like "Request a quote" as well.

For me if I can't find a price for pre-made items it's just a simple "no sale".  If a company wishes to have negotiable prices, that's fine, no problem. Just state your MSLR and we'll negotiate downward from that. "Request a quote" though is more of a "How much you got? That's how much it is." which is the sort of stuff you get at redneck car repair places out in the middle of the back woods.
Scott Send private email
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
I also don't care for the request a quote sites -- I actually had not thought of it in terms of "how much have you got" so much as "It's so high we know if we tell you up front we'll never hear from you..."

When customization is involved it makes sense, otherwise, it seems like they're hiding something.
Emily Jones Send private email
Thursday, May 08, 2014
I first want to know if I am in the ballpark.  If a product is too expensive or too cheap, I may bail.  Make it hard to get this data, and I will bail even sooner.  "Starting from $X" or a range are acceptable.


Gene Wirchenko
Gene Wirchenko Send private email
Friday, May 09, 2014

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
Powered by FogBugz