Who should own pricing in B2B SaaS

Who should own pricing in B2B SaaS

May 17, 2024

Most businesses realize that pricing is a critical lever, something that deserves the right amount of attention and care. Pricing directly impacts a business’ ability to acquire and retain customers, grow revenue, and make profit. Yet, B2B SaaS and fintech companies lack a clear owner when it comes to pricing.

Who typically owns pricing in B2B?
We’ve previously covered the murkiness around pricing ownership in B2B SaaS (Software-as-a-service) and Fintech businesses. A lot of companies in these industries experience friction between finance, sales, product and marketing departments — all of whom have a different perspective on how pricing should work. While their perspectives are valid, this can lead to siloes, unexpected decisions, misalignment, and confusion.

Picture this: a fast-growing software business decides to expand its existing offering with new products, and wants to explore new ways to price them. This kicks off an internal discussion:

  • The sales leader argues they should adopt the same usage-based pricing model as their top competitor with stronger incentives to win deals.

  • The finance leader’s position is to prioritize predictable revenue growth and profitability, avoid anything that can upset existing customers, or disrupt the work of the already stretched finance team.

  • The product leader is adamant that there should be tiered pricing subscriptions that leverage new features to justify a premium price point, and want to lean more into product-led growth.

  • The CEO wants a pricing model that encourages customers to adopt the entire product suite, supporting their vision of a disruptive, all-in-one platform that caters to multiple verticals.

The truth is that all of their concerns and perspectives are valid — but situations like these can lead to back-and-forth, frustrations, delays, missed opportunities, and in the worst case: botched pricing rollouts. A lot of growth-stage and enterprise businesses face this hurdle, and it’s resulting in the creation of a new type of specialist.

“Launching isn’t hard. Coming up with an idea isn’t hard. Making something isn’t hard. It’s everything that comes after that.”

— Jason Fried, Founder & CEO at 37signals

A dedicated role for monetization & pricing
The Monetization PM operates as the single-threaded owner when it comes to the maintenance and implementation of the pricing and monetization process. They guide the strategy around the revenue models, manage the development of the technical billing infrastructure, and manage internal stakeholders across finance, sales, product, and management.

The role is increasingly popping up in fast-growing businesses, thanks to recent trends in the B2B SaaS and Fintech industry, as well as the ongoing digital transformation trend within legacy businesses looking to build new revenue streams through digital products. As the software, AI, and fintech industries continue to evolve and products become more and more sophisticated, it’s becoming even more important to bring in a dedicated owner with technical insight, customer-centricity, and pricing expertise and insights.

“Monetization (and Growth) PMs definitely need to steer the topic of pricing, as they’re in charge of implementing it where it meets the customers. However, it’s the collective of Product, Sales, Marketing, and Finance leadership that sets out the guidelines, targets, and financial goals of the business. Because there are so many stakeholders, setting a strategy and creating the right work groups is key.”

Arnon Shimoni, Product Lead and Monetization expert at Subaio.

Does your business need a monetization or pricing PM?
A Monetization PM can enable more efficient decision-making that balances and aligns the needs of the different stakeholders. More importantly they bring in know-how when it comes to pricing strategy, and the right in-technical expertise.

Pricing shouldn’t be left to just a unguided committee of departments— but should be supported by a clear and dedicated owner with the right expertise to steer pricing strategy, implementation, and address the business’ monetization needs with the required resources to make it happen.