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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

Number of plans for a SaaS?

I'm working on a SaaS for telecom companies that'll cut their support times way down.

As far as pricing the plans, does anyone have any resources on how many plans or how many axes to include in them? My product has two main metrics for usage: number of user accounts and TB/month analyzed.

I noticed MixPanel has 7 distinct plans, plus a "call us" option. But I've almost never seen more than 3 or 4 on other sites.

Any thoughts or links on this topic are appreciated.
Michael Giagnocavo Send private email
Sunday, December 28, 2014
I think three works nicely. A "Professional" option which most people will choose, a "Standard" option which allows people to quickly figure out if your service is for them and an "Enterprise" option to capture extra value for people who just want the best and don't care about budget.

Given that you have two main variables, you could potentially get extra revenue by setting an appropriate amount in the three products, then chargeing for "extras", although your customers might expect "Enterprise" to be essentially unlimited.
Scorpio Send private email
Monday, December 29, 2014
Yep, 3 is good.

4 can also work well.

The most important level is the one you should NOT have, the free level, unless it's a time-limited trial.

A simple rule to remember is that if you give people too many choices they tend not to choose any of them, so you're not helping by giving a wider variety.

If in doubt here's a simple formula - ensure you can afford to run your business on the cheapest plan. You might only scrape by but it should cover your expenses, including basic support but it needs to be a plan people will actually pay for. Offer a much nicer plan for a reasonable amount more, then offer a crazy over-the-top plan that few will ever got for but which makes your cheaper two look more attractive and great value.

That's a crude formula but it works well in most markets.

Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Monday, December 29, 2014
I once read that in surveys four options work better than three for quantitative questions, because one have to think instead of picking the "safe" middle option.

I applied this theory to our charity sales, and it seems to have worked well.

As usual, this may or may not apply to you, YMMV, etc.
Dmitry Leskov Send private email
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Telecom companies are usually big organizations that imply in big contracts, lot of negotiations, agreements, compliance tests... are you sure that announcing prices is the best strategy?
Franco Graziosi Send private email
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Thanks for all the advice. I'm going to kill the idea of a free plan, but I might offer a limited "personal" plans on an invite-only basis. That way bloggers and so on can invite their readers or something.

4 plans sounds like a good target.

Big telcos are big, but there are a lot of small, independent resellers, think individual consultants or small shops that service PBXes for a few small customers. This software installs on-premise and gives them full monitoring and network recording, which is the first step to troubleshoot any problem.

Every phone call you make can easily touch 4-5+ providers. Some of them can be quite small; even AT&T has dozens of vendors for some routes.
Michael Giagnocavo Send private email
Tuesday, December 30, 2014

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