Vendr is an enterprise platform for procurement. They aim to revolutionize procuring software by making it simple for companies to Find, Buy, and Manage SaaS. I worked on the team responsible for the "find" piece, which allows clients to price and compare thousands of software products without ever having to talk to a sales representative. My team consisted of myself, a PM, EM, VP of Data, and 6 engineers.
Our target audience, consisting of SMB to Mid-Market procurement managers seeking SaaS solutions, currently lacks a centralized platform that provides comprehensive pricing information and facilitates effective comparison of various software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. Without a dedicated SaaS Catalog, businesses struggle to make informed purchasing decisions, resulting in potential cost inefficiencies and suboptimal software selections.
Our goal was to develop a SaaS Catalog that offers transparent pricing details, robust comparison capabilities, and easy-to-use search and browse features, enabling businesses to make well-informed decisions and optimize their software investments.
One major challenge we faced was standardizing pricing across all SaaS so that our users could easily compare products. SaaS products lack standardized pricing formats, hindering the establishment of a clear and consistent pricing framework. The challenges in creating such standardization arise from the following factors:
The first iteration, our "MVP", attempted to solve for pricing standardization by simply giving a median range (25-75th percentiles) of contract prices, broken down by company size. This was done to approximate contract volume and tier level.
A 2nd iteration made the price range a little clearer to users, especially when they wanted to compare their current contract to the market average.
We know, however, that breaking down pricing by company size wasn't going to be good enough for our diverse set of users. Ultimately we knew that we would have to break down prices by tier and SKU. Several iterations went into these designs as well as we attempted to solve the problem of standardizing pricing.
Ultlimately, when we were able to break down pricing by tier and give a more accurate "Vestimate", we unlocked the ability to create package prices and compare those packages to similar products.
While I was at Vendr, we were able to release the MVP to our customers. Customers were excited to be able to finally discover products on the platform, see a price range (though frustrated by its inaccuracy), and start a purchase using our Workflows tool.
As a result of Explore's MVP, we saw an overall increase of 17% more purchase and renewal requests on Vendr.
We hope that with the release of new features such as browsing by category, package building, and comparing products, we will make Vendr the place procurement specialists go to first when they are researching software to purchase.