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Tips, Tricks, & Advice

Why is SaaS Pricing so Mysterious?

Why is SaaS Pricing so Mysterious?

by matthew holman

2 years ago

There is something rotten about software sales these days when it comes down to pricing. At my startup I’ve been testing out direct sales, using prospecting tools and other methods to develop lists I could contact.

A friend turned me onto Zoominfo, and I liked it; the information was accurate for good leads. But when I reached out to find out more about pricing, I was mystified.

Nothing on their website except three plan tiers, all with “Get Pricing.” This is pretty frustrating, because I’m trying to ballpark whether it makes sense for us to buy this right now.

But the last thing I want is to be sold on the tool, how it works, etc. - because I already know those things. I’ve actually been using it.

ZoomInfo Pricing

I filled out a contact form, even misfilled my phone number to avoid the cold call. I prefer things over email, at my convenience. Still got a cold call from Zoom Info, but I didn’t pick up.

Got an email, to which I replied my needs: 1 user, ecommerce leads, technology, wants mobile numbers, 15-20 lookups a day. No downloads. Quote me now.

Nope, not possible.

Even got a call the following morning. Explained myself again. They told me, “do you have 15 minutes to discuss your needs so I can set you up on another call where they can review pricing?”

No. I don’t need 2 calls so you can understand my need - I want to have a ballpark on pricing. More than willing to take a call from whoever can do that, but it should take 2 minutes.

I even told them that once I’m ready to buy I will gladly hop on a Zoom call so they can fully qualify me and quote me for real.

Nope, sorry, I don’t have the power to do that.

Why do SaaS companies, even ones with a simple business model like Zoominfo, think their pricing needs to be so complicated? That it needs to be gated? Don’t you realize that you’re angering prospective leads when you hide that?

For example, I posted about this frustration and received A LOT of other software systems to investigate.

Take a page out of Hubspot’s playbook, who I think do this VERY well. (I’ve bought their SaaS at two different companies.)

HubSpot Pricing

They put pricing in your face. There is a lot here. Bundles, usage, tiers, and there are a lot of different features to Hubspot. But you can get a quote right here on the site. There’s even a chat widget to help.

There’s so much that you actually need to talk to them to understand pricing better. Once you do that, they get to have a conversation with you about what you actually need, your pain points, etc. They get an opportunity to sell you.

Ultimately, Zoominfo did the right thing and had someone reach out to give me pricing. A neat little pdf. I even took their follow-up call to thank them and let them know where I was in the buying process, which is:

Evaluating other solutions.

For anyone trying to sell SaaS, I hope you can take this article for what it is: an insight into one buyer’s mindset. As well as an opportunity to switch up what you’re doing so you can sell more.


Matthew Holman is the Head of Growth for QPilot, a software that offers ecommerce merchants a truly dynamic solution to manage their repeat and scheduled orders.


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