Why Implementing a Per-Seat + Usage-Based Model Can Be Great for Growth

August 15, 2023
Pricing Models
Usage-Based Pricing
As the SaaS landscape evolves, companies are constantly searching for innovative ways to scale and grow their businesses. One such strategy that has gained popularity in recent years is the implementation of a hybrid pricing model, which combines per-seat pricing with usage-based pricing. This approach allows businesses to capture the best of both worlds and unlock new growth opportunities. In this article, we'll explore the rise of usage-based pricing, the benefits of implementing a per-seat + usage-based model, and how to effectively execute this strategy for your SaaS business.

The Rise of Usage-Based Pricing

Traditionally, SaaS companies have relied on per-seat pricing models, which charge customers based on the number of users accessing the platform. While this approach is simple and straightforward, it may not always align with the value that customers receive from the product. This misalignment can lead to churn, as customers may feel that they are overpaying for features they don't use or underpaying for the value they receive.
Usage-based pricing, on the other hand, charges customers based on their actual consumption of the product or service. This model has gained traction as it allows businesses to closely align their pricing with the value that customers receive, leading to higher customer satisfaction and retention. However, usage-based pricing alone can be unpredictable for customers and may not always provide a stable revenue stream for businesses.

Combining Per-Seat and Usage-Based Models for Growth

To overcome the limitations of each model, many SaaS companies are now adopting a hybrid approach that combines per-seat and usage-based pricing. This strategy allows businesses to charge a base fee for each user, ensuring a stable revenue stream, while also incorporating usage-based charges for additional value derived from the platform. By doing so, companies can better align their pricing with customer value, driving growth and reducing churn.

Benefits of Implementing a Hybrid Model

Better Alignment with Customer Value: By incorporating usage-based pricing into your per-seat model, you can ensure that customers are charged fairly for the value they receive from your product. This alignment leads to higher customer satisfaction and retention, ultimately driving growth for your business.
Increased Revenue Opportunities: A hybrid model enables you to capture revenue from both high-usage and low-usage customers. While the per-seat component provides a stable base, usage-based charges allow you to capitalize on customers who derive significant value from your platform, leading to higher overall revenue.
Flexibility for Customers: Offering a combination of per-seat and usage-based pricing gives your customers the flexibility to choose the plan that best suits their needs. This flexibility can help you attract a broader range of customers and cater to different segments within your target market.
Improved Resource Allocation: With a usage-based component in your pricing model, you can better understand how customers are utilizing your platform and allocate resources accordingly. This insight can help you optimize your product development and support efforts to better serve your customers.

How to Find the Right Per-Seat + Usage-Based Model

Identify Key Usage Metrics: Determine which aspects of your product are most valuable to customers and can be effectively measured as usage metrics. These metrics should be closely tied to the value customers receive from your platform.
Establish Pricing Tiers aligned with your Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs): Create pricing tiers that incorporate both per-seat and usage-based charges which align with the needs and usage patterns of one of your ideal customer profiles.
Monitor and Optimize: Continuously monitor the performance of your pricing model and make adjustments as needed. Analyze customer usage patterns, feedback, and revenue trends to optimize your pricing strategy and drive growth.

Final Thoughts

Implementing a per-seat + usage-based pricing model can be a powerful strategy for SaaS companies looking to drive growth and better align their pricing with customer value. By combining the stability of per-seat pricing with the flexibility of usage-based charges, businesses can unlock new revenue opportunities and improve customer satisfaction. To effectively execute this approach, it's crucial to identify the right usage metrics, establish clear pricing tiers, communicate the value to customers, and continuously monitor and optimize your strategy.
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