Pricing is one of the most sought-after pieces of competitive intelligence. But many companies keep their pricing under wraps, off their website, and especially out of the hands of their competitors. The way that products or solutions are priced can make or break a sale, especially when there are multiple solutions being evaluated. The more competitive an industry is, the harder it is to track down pricing. So, how can you get the pricing information you’re looking for?
Rodney Rasmussen, Product Marketing Manager at RainFocus, asked the question on everyone’s mind,
“Does anyone have any tricks or tips for finding out more about competitor pricing? In the software industry (where I work), this information is obviously heavily guarded. We still don't know the exact pricing of some of our major competitors that we go up against in deals, other than hearing vague things like ‘we are way more expensive than them’ or ‘our pricing is really close to theirs.’”
So, let’s dive in and see five ways that you can attain your competitor’s pricing information.
Build Trusted Relationships
When you trust someone, you’re more likely to share your secrets with them, right? The same thing goes for the sales process. When prospects trust your sales reps, they’re more likely to divulge the information that you’re seeking, whether that be which competitors they’re evaluating or how much those other solutions cost.
Ron Massicotte, Director of Product Marketing and Enablement at Prophix, says, “Our best intel on pricing typically originates from our "trusted relationship" during the sales cycle. Once the business is "won," I have found that people are open to sharing the competitor pricing with just a quick follow up email.”
As you build those strong and trusted relationships in the sales process, you’d be surprised at what type of info you can get from prospects or lost deals. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your competitors. Sherri Schwartz, Manager of Product Marketing at nCino, shares, “Our best pricing intel comes from the close relationships our sales teams have with prospects. There is a lot of trust that is developed, and with that, we’ve received valuable information that has helped shape our messaging, material, and the conversation.
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Conduct Win / Loss Analysis
After a deal is done, whether you win or lose, it’s a great idea to conduct win / loss analysis. You can do it through a survey or an interview - whichever method you prefer. This will help you and your team learn what you did well, what you didn’t do so well, and what you can learn from that sale. Not only is it good to make this part of your sales cycle, but it’s also a great type of sales enablement training that you can use to strengthen your sales force.
Once the sales cycle is complete, prospects are often willing to share information with your sales rep as to why a deal went the way it did.
Another community member suggested, “We conduct an active win/loss program for interviewing past prospects (or new clients) once an opportunity is closed. Very often, including the losses, the prospects are VERY candid about telling us pricing of competitors amongst other great insights about product offerings and the rationale behind their purchase decisions. This gives us an ongoing pulse on competitor pricing.”
If you find that you’re struggling to get the intel out of your prospects, hiring a third-party to conduct those win / loss interviews can be extremely helpful. They also mentioned, “The game changer for us was to get a third-party to conduct the interviews. The prospects were a lot more willing to accept an interview and speak honestly (re: bluntly) about their experience during the buying and evaluation process.”
Check Government Websites
If you’re in a very niche industry, such as a government agency, you have an advantage in discovering your competitors’ pricing. You can check government documentation of sites. Holly Jackson, Strategic Marketing Manager at Genesys, says, “If your competitors serve government agencies, there is a good chance they have a price list posted with the General Services Administration (GSA)--either directly or through a primary contractor.”
Plus, Kathy Brant, Director of Product Marketing at NWEA, shares, “If your competitors sell to the government by submitting bids in response to RFPs then you can request the competitors bid response with a freedom of information act (FOIA) request. The bids are public except for information the competitor explicitly marked as confidential and a great deal of the time, pricing information is available. The bids have a wealth of intel and you can often get the evaluation committee's scoring responses too so you know how they viewed all of the bidders.”
Search the Not-so-Obvious Sources
There are some sources that you may not think of when you think of competitor information. A competitor’s customers may share pricing information publicly on sites such as review sites like G2 and forums like Quora. When users are evaluating multiple solutions, they may turn to a site such as Quora, where real customers may share success stories, product problems, and pricing.
A competitor may surprisingly also mention pricing information in more hidden places, like job postings. Specifically, sales job descriptions may mention quotas, average deal size, and other hints at the company’s pricing. These pieces of intelligence can help you piece together their high-level pricing details.
Go Straight to the Source - Company Websites
For some companies, depending on which industry and how competitive your industry is, you can find pricing information right on their websites. Many companies will have a pricing page that breaks down their plans, products, tiers, and more.
Getting your hands on your competitors’ pricing isn’t always an easy project, but with these tips and tricks, you should be able to get the information you need to win more competitive deals.
If you have additional ways that you scope out your competitors’ pricing, share your insights with the Competitive Intelligence Collective, the new online community for competitive intelligence professionals.