PODCAST: Subscription Pricing with Mark Stiving

August 24, 2021 Team Zilliant

B2B Reimagined Episode 37: Can Traditional B2B Companies Embrace the Subscription Model? 

Come to hear a painful anecdote about why our guest made the switch to “old man sports,” stay for the extensive conversation about an emerging trend in B2B: subscription pricing. 

The most recent episode of B2B Reimagined – “Can Traditional B2B Companies Embrace the Subscription Model?” – is a lively one. Host Lindsay Duran talks with Mark Stiving, chief pricing educator at Impact Pricing, about his upcoming new book, why managing a subscription business is so different, pluses and minuses of offering subscriptions, and, yes, paragliding accidents. (You’ll just have to listen to get the full story). 

Mark walked us through the many “aha” moments he’s had during his research into subscription pricing. The first one came after he gave what he called a “flippant” answer to one of his students who asked him about how subscription pricing differs from other pricing practices.  

He remembers telling the student: “It’s the same as all the rest of the pricing, it’s still about value and how much a customer is willing to pay.” 

After looking into the question further, he realized he was generally right, but he had missed all the crucial distinctions. 

“I left the company that I was working with, doing all this teaching and decided I was going to dig in and understand the subscription thing,” he said. “I was so fascinated by all of these nuances and how subscription is truly very, very different.” 

Eventually, enough “aha” moments led him to write a whole book on the topic, the forthcoming “Win Keep Grow.” The book, coming in October, is organized around the three key revenue buckets of subscriptions: acquisition, retention, and expansion.  

“A lot of subscription companies know those words, they think those words, but I don’t think they truly internalize those words…I think of those as three revenue buckets that as a subscription company you have to go manage. You can’t just lump them all together as one and say, ‘here’s our product, here’s our business.’” 

Stream the episode to find out how to actively manage each bucket, and practical advice on transitioning traditional products to a subscription pricing model. 

Pre-order Mark’s book here. 

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