Last updated on July 6th, 2023

Enterprise SaaS Pricing Advice we Wish we had Known

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar
Enterprise SaaS Pricing Advice we Wish we had Known

We found SaaS enterprise pricing to be confusing at first but having been
through the process many times now, below is our advice for our younger
selves. We cover 4 different enterprise deals for Upscope
and how each turned out.

Related: How we Thought we'd get Enterprise Buyers and what Really

Important read: Why Serial Entrepreneurs do Go-to-Market Strategies

Also see: 10 Companies give you their Best Advice for Doing Demos that

What's an enterprise customer?

Any large company paying $1,000+ per month is enterprise for Upscope.

Upscope is a co-browsing solution. They're typically
looking to buy our product for their customer success, account and support
teams or to use our API to completely white label our solution for their own
internal needs or as part of a product they sell to their customers.

Enterprise 1: Large company purchasing 100s of licenses

This is the most common type of enterprise deal.

They are veterans at buying SaaS, they expect volume discounts because of the
number of licenses they intend to buy. They want to use Upscope as a sales
tool for their sales agents.

We already have a table of discounts we apply depending on volume of licenses
purchased and the length of the contract.

We charge them less than the standard business pricing per seat because they
are buying 300+ licenses. We also offer the additional discounts if they
commit to a 3 year contract vs a 1 year contract. A 3 year contract gets them
a further 30% discount.

This is the typical enterprise deal for us. Below you'll see others and why
they might be different.

Enterprise 2: Mid-sized company

They want to build Upscope into their own support tool so their staff can
instantly screen share with customers.

They'll need to use our Co-Browsing API for the
integration, which is only available with the enterprise plan and normally for
higher volumes.

What should we charge them?

Charge them the standard business plan fee +
an extra $10 per agent.

This is a little unusual for us

If you looked at most of our enterprise deals then rarely do we charge them
extra. In fact we have volume discounts

However this company is not purchasing a large volume but want to use the
Enterprise level API.

Why charge them this rate?

They are not purchasing a large volume but need our API which sits on the
enterprise plan which is normally for large volumes.

They're going to need an individual service level agreement and a whole raft
of additional docs signed up.

They have lots of additional processes and procedures around data security.

They're going to require a lot of support while they integrate it and get

They care about the pricing but don't mind paying extra as long as they feel
it's for the right reasons
as they wish to not only get a higher level of
support over time but may need additional customisations, so be up front about

Lessons learned

The size of the company may not correlate with the amount of support time they
require. Sometimes the larger companies pay the money, integrate it and off
they go. The smaller ones might take 2X or 3X the time.

Enterprise 3: Billion dollar established company

They want to purchase our standard business plan for a large number of
internal support and account management staff.

What should we charge them?

Our standard business plan pricing. They fall
below our larger volume discounts but they never even asked for a discount
or even appear to care about it. Also, they want to pay monthly. They can
certainly afford it but for whatever reason they prefer monthly payments.


It works for them.

They want to trial it for a long time and see the ROI. After that, they
just want the standard pricing until they decide otherwise.

Their primary concern is solving their own problem.

The value we provide is far greater than our per seat pricing so they are
not concerned with the price

I'm also hearing that some 20% of larger enterprise customers of SaaS
companies are paying monthly
when in the past they paid annually by
These guys are happy paying monthly and they've been customers for
years now.

Lesson learned

Some deals are simple, so let them be simple by being patient.

They didn't care about the price, our pricing was a tiny blip on their budget
and because our software would truly help solve their problem they had enough
urgency to get it done and know the ROI was going to be great.

Good fast responses matter because they probably contacted a number of other
co-browsing companies and we were instant in our replies.

That may have been the primary reason they went with us. We've overheard
accidentally recorded answering machine messages and accidentally cc'd emails
where clients discussed picking us for our speed of reply. This has happened
twice, once via phone and once via an accidentally cc'd message.

They care about about data security because they have a department that
cares about data security
so the people who first signed up need to pass on
the key data security related information to that department. Have the
security docs and answers listed on the home page and in help files and maybe
in a pdf too.

I wish all deals were this simple.

Enterprise 4: Usage based pricing for white label fast growing SaaS company

They want to completely white label our product as part of their product which
they're selling to other large organisations.

What should we charge them?

The per seat pricing does not work for them because they don't know how many
people will need it month to month.

This company and many like it NEED hourly or transactional pricing because
they might be pricing to their clients per hour or per event (every time they
use it) rather than per seat.

Do usage based pricing.

Instead of charging per seat, charge per hour their customer's support
agents use it but have a minimum number of hours per month you'll charge by

Also, get 6 months of payments in advance.


Talk to them, understand their situation and their potential ROI from using
Upscope and remember that they'll need extensive support in the early stages.

They don't know how much their customer's support agents need Upscope yet but
it'll minimally be X hours per month given our previous average usage figures
for that industry. Figure out X with them and charge for it.

They are quite used to paying annually for software though in this case they
need to re-assess every 6 months so charge them 6 months in advance rather
than annually.

Lessons learned

Companies like this need to know that our product will still work for them
even if something happens to our company. On-premise licensed software which
they can independently run if something were to happen to Upscope matters to
them. Also, their clients are finance companies and they need complete control
over the data for some of them.

Lessons learned from enterprise deals 4, 5, 6...

  1. As tech co-founders we buy software entirely differently to enterprises. We
    sign up, buy, use and maybe ask questions after if we run into a problem,
    maybe. For larger enterprise deals the buyers expect you to demo them,
    follow up, provide docs, offer services and more
    . It's best to imagine
    someone sitting in a grey cubicle in an office looking forward to your demo
    and your follow up because they enjoy that. Not sure how often it's true but
    it's a good mindset.

  2. Each deal is different and it makes sense to show flexibility on
    they really appreciate that. It can be per seat but it can be usage
    based, event based and it can be priced per physical seat (for companies that
    have several shifts of workers).

  3. They expect volume discounts if they're buying at volume. We have ready
    to go pdfs which show them volume pricing with discounts
    . We have one pdf
    for each major currency we most commonly work with: US dollars, Euros, Pounds.
    There are also further discounts depending on the length of the contract.

  4. Departments have budgets and apparently prefer to know what the total cost
    is so they can see if it fits in their budget. I had not considered this very
    obvious fact. The figure that sounds big to me might just be a "pfft" for
    them so no need to be shy about it.

  5. They might want help with onboarding, training, implementation and more.
    Some companies expect you to charge for this as an additional services
    We have not done this so far but it has come up. So far we've only
    charged for extra custom development work.

  6. Hire a sales exec. Get someone with sales experience within your industry
    who you would buy from
    . They speak an entirely different language sometimes
    and they are DIRECT with questions to customers about pricing, budget, next
    steps in a way in which you most likely won't be. I'm still in shock from
    hearing our first sales exec hire talking to a customer - the instant rapport
    they find by speaking the customers language and getting down to business and
    how brutally direct some questions are. The advice we heard via Jason Lemkin
    (SaaStr) is that the simplest way to figure out if someone is a good potential
    sales hire is to ask yourself "would you buy from this guy?".

  7. THEIR requirements are very specific to their jobs. If you're a co-founder
    you're great at passionately talking about your mission, vision and future of
    your product as well as the immediate practical problem you solve for
    customers. The person in the large enterprise you are talking to may find some
    of that inspiring but their mind is on their job, target, boss, department
    and to understand that you have to listen
    . I'm saying this because I've made
    this mistake. I even thought a call went great but I had not LISTENED to their
    priority requirements. Felt like a dumbass when they didn't pick us.

  8. Security is a big issue and you can lose a deal if you don't take it
    seriously. A buyer told us that another company did not take their security
    form seriously so they dropped them (and that deal brings us 100k per year).
    This is before they sent us that security form. In other words they were
    saying "Take this seriously". We were fortunate that we got ISO certified
    quite early on even when we only had 3 people in the company and that helps us
    fill out those forms**. Some of them are 60 pages long and take a full day to
    fill out.** It's part of the cost of doing business. If you're not ISO
    certified or SOC2 certified and still want to be able to fill in those forms
    correctly then read

Perpetual license deals with annual fees

I'm adding this here because when one partner first mentioned "perpetual
licenses" it confused the hell out of me.

If they mention perpetual license deals then they're operating in a different
way to your normal per seat pricing. We come across this licensing model when
we're talking with companies that want to partner with us and integrate our
systems into theirs to sell to their large clients.

The partner might want to buy 1,000s of seats to sell to their clients. This
leaves you imagining 10,000s of dollars per month in revenue but you can't
force your pricing on their perpetual license business model they already work

They might be charging their clients a one-off perpetual fee per seat e.g.
$800 one time forever and then they charge an annual maintenance fee per seat
e.g. $240. The annual maintenance fee is the recurring revenue.

They might add your service on as an additional $300 one off fee and $30
annual maintenance charge service. We're still learning about these models so
this is just an example but this roughly how it works.

Read more about perpetual licenses, OEM deals and SaaS further down in this

What questions do enterprises ask us? They'll look for trust and experience.

Where are you based? How many people in your company? They're wondering if
we're for real and can be trusted. They don't want to buy a product from
lunatics running a scam. That about us page matters. That Linkedin profile

Who else have you sold to before? Any big companies? Many want to see
PROOF that your product works and the best way is to see if another company in
their industry uses it. Social proof is still king. Of course, if you have not
sold to anyone you can only show them other well known companies you have sold
to or seemingly trust worthy organisations at the very least. Everyone at some
point got that first big one.

Some of the business development guys ask if we've sold our product to large
companies before because they're evaluating us as an acquisition as much as a
service to integrate or partner with. Damn odd experience the first time
round. It's a very long term process with these guys.

Are you funded? They're asking if Upscope is about to go down any time
because of a lack of money and the right response is to tell them that this is
not our first startup and we're self-funded, profitable and stable. If they're
looking to do an on-premise integration then tell them it will continue to
function even if Upscope did somehow die.

Can you do a POC (Proof of Concept)? Imagine you're on a demo call with a
potential big buyer and they say they want to 'Do a proof of concept' and you
just say 'yes, I am sure that is possible' when in fact you don't know what a
proof of concept is. They're talking about a trial.

This is basically the company saying they don't really know how many people
are going to use your product and they need to test it out. This could be an
extended trial period or some other way of proving the product. You might
charge for this extra trial period or you might not. You could even charge for
it and then deduct it from the annual payment they'll make after. Read more
about POC

Why are these companies interested in Upscope?

Upscope is no-download interactive screen sharing for
onboarding and support that is likely to be a default form of screen sharing
in the future.

You can send your mouse cursor across the internet to appear on your
customer's screen to scroll, click and type for them.

It's used by live chat support agents, contact center agents, customer success
and sales teams.

Take a look at Upscope co-browsing here and also check
out some of our docs we've added to the site because many are there for

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar

Pardeep overlooks growth at Upscope and loves writing about SaaS companies, customer success and customer experience.