Do you show prices on your B2B website? Have you struggled to answer that question? You are not alone, most business purchases, especially industrial products don’t lend themselves to a simple Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). It becomes even more complicated if you sell through channel partners and there are different pricing structures in place.
This is not a new problem; business marketers have been debating the pros and cons of publishing prices on their websites for several years now. I found a series of blog posts on pricing on your website at Dave Jung’s B2B Blog, some of those articles date back to 2006.
Why do we need prices on B2B websites?
There have been many studies done over the years that indicate that price information is the very reason why most B2B buyers visit a vendor’s website.
The results from three separate studies confirm this:
Today, a majority of industrial buying decisions begin online. In order to get on the buyer’s short list as early in the buy cycle as possible, your B2B website needs to provide relevant information that your prospects are looking for. This may include basic pricing information.
Reasons people don’t want to publish prices online
There may be many reasons (excuses?) for not publishing your prices on your website but the most common ones are:
1. We don’t want our competition learning about our prices
2. We want the prospect to contact us for pricing information so we can engage with them further
3. We could have conflicts with our channel partners
4. We can only provide prices after a formal RFQ process
5. We want our sales team to have some flexibility in order to close the sale
I think Anne Holland summed it up nicely in her blog post by writing…
Whatever the reason, you need to keep two human factors in mind:
#1. Your competition already knows your pricing because they have to sell against it. There is no secrecy. Frankly, if they don’t, they are so inept at their jobs that you have nothing to fear from them.
#2. Your prospects will find pricing information even without your help. They’ll ask friends at other companies, post queries to industry email discussion groups and boards, ping analysts or surf the Web researching.
The only problem is, you’ve now lost control of your pricing messaging. You can’t surround the conversation with value and branding. You can’t be sure that the correct information is even getting to prospects.
And they’re making those decisions before they agree (or not) to meet with your sales reps. Because pricing information is now sought much higher up in the sales funnel than most marketers suspect.
Two options for solving the pricing dilemma
Do you publish prices on your website? If not, what’s stopping you ? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
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