Price transparency: Putting the customer first in B2B software
Customer Focus is one of our core cultural values at Mixpanel. We respect our customers’ time and strive to make buying software as seamless and frictionless as subscribing to your favorite music streaming service. That’s why we’ve made all of Mixpanel’s plans available for purchase online with our pricing clearly listed on our website. This removes the friction of customers having to schedule a call with a sales rep, negotiating on price, and the many other steps that completing a B2B software purchase typically entails. Our goal has always been to deliver a better customer experience and with this change, we now deliver one fair and predictable price to everyone.
A quick story
When I was in my 20s and had just moved to NYC, I was in the market to buy my first new mattress. I walked into a store where I was given an $850 price for the mattress I was considering. That was too much money for me, so I decided to leave. Then the store manager called after me, more than halving the price to $350. At that moment, I lost trust in the store and the manager. I no longer even trusted the mattress, which seemed like a quality deal before the manager made me question it. Back then, mattresses were one of the few consumer categories that had yet to be disrupted by the e-commerce boom. Buying a mattress was like buying a used car – you never knew what kind of deal you were going to get and even after the purchase, you were left wondering if you had been taken advantage of.
Buying software in 2023
It’s hard to believe but with a handful of exceptions, B2B SaaS companies continue to operate with minimal price transparency. Similar to buying a mattress or a used car in the 90s, the price of a SaaS product can feel like it’s shrouded in mystery. The sales process feels like you’re unclear about the deal you’re getting with a heavy focus on negotiation. At Mixpanel, we’ve been there before – we’re also customers of other SaaS products. To put it bluntly, it wastes a lot of time and it’s hard to build trust when you don’t know if you’re getting a fair deal.
Doing the right thing can be difficult, and it’s taken us two years and a lot of changes to get here. Ultimately, we made the leap because we believe that this will create greater value for our customers, and that’s always a good thing for us!
Transparency is tough
Most companies are well-intentioned and want to do the right thing. So why aren’t all businesses operating with price transparency? The short answer is: it’s really hard. It requires a wholesale transformation of your key business operations, your company culture, and your mindset about your relationship with your customers and competitors. In addition, transparency only works if you truly have a better product at a reasonable margin.
In the absence of that being clear, companies use information asymmetry to win customers. This creates a vicious cycle where resources are diverted from building a great product toward increasing sales and marketing footprints, further eating into margins and eventually increasing costs for customers. All the while, a tremendous amount of customer time is wasted in the process of researching and negotiating a better price.
You deserve better
We decided to take steps to end this vicious cycle in B2B software and give our customers the kind of experience they have come to expect from just about any B2C purchase, including mattresses and cars. We believe that buying Mixpanel should be as easy, predictable, and frictionless as using Mixpanel itself. There is no shortcut to creating a great product. We had to work hard to overcome the common tradeoff in analytics between power (more answers without getting stuck) and intuitiveness (anyone can use it). As a result, we now enjoy a near consumer-grade customer Net Promoter Score (NPS). Our mission to continue to provide a better customer experience has also led us to make all Mixpanel content open and accessible, which means no more gated documents that require you to provide your email address before accessing it. Now, having the most efficient infrastructure costs in our ecosystem has enabled us to provide more affordable pricing through a seamless customer purchase experience.
We’re kicking off 2023 with transparent pricing, and if you’re in North America, you can go check it out right now. So go ahead and enjoy a satisfying, seamless purchase experience with Mixpanel that makes it easy for you to take us for a spin! If you’re outside North America, we’re working to launch it globally in February and in the meantime, all feedback is welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy New Year 🎉!