The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

December 31, 2019

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.



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Today on The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about launching a starter plan.


Recently, the team at Close.com introduced a Starter Plan for their software - a plan that’s designed for 1 - 3 person teams and costs $35 a month. This comes after years of focusing on bigger companies and charging a lot more for their CRM


In today’s episode of the show, Steli and Hiten talk dive into why Close decided to introduce a starter plan, one of the main philosophies at Close, how fear preventing the team from introducing a lower priced plan and much more.


Time Stamped Show Notes:


00:00 About today’s topic


00:32 Why this topic was chosen.


02:20 Why Close decided to introduce a starter plan.


03:11 One of the main philosophies at Close.


03:38 How Close discourages certain companies from buying their product.


04:21 How Close’s reach grew over the years.


07:55 How fear preventing the team from introducing a lower priced plan.


08:43 How Close is now ready to support smaller customers.


10:00 How a lot of companies focus on startups initially and move on to bigger customers.


3 Key Points:


We never wanted to compete on price.We always believed in the founders of small and medium companies.We’ve probably told a thousand companies not to buy our product.


[0:00:01]


Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.


[0:00:03]


Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah. And today on the Startup Chat we're going to talk about something that I see a lot of companies do. And I just saw the folks at Close.com, happens to be Steli's company, do this a very recently. I think a little quietly. But I go stalk his pricing page and his site sometimes. So I saw this. And so I'd love to talk about it. So what they've recently done, and I'd love to hear the thinking behind it, is for their CRM, they've launched a starter plan. And that's for one to three person teams, and it's at $35 per month if you pay monthly. And it's right under $29.75 if you pay annually. And prior to that, their lowest plan was actually $65 per month if you pay monthly. And $55.25 if you pay annually. So with that, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, because this is a very common practice that companies do. And I'd love to just understand how you folks thought about it. And I think it'd be really beneficial to our audience to kind of hear what this sort of thinking was like.


[0:01:07]


Steli Efti: Yeah. So this took us a very long time to launch, right? So we from day one ... We launched in January 2013 with Close. And from day one our lowest tier plan was 65 bucks a month if you paid monthly. And from day one, we had a lot of competitors that offered a lot cheaper products and entry prices. But they were always, if you looked at their kind of a comparable product, we were always at the same range or even a bit more affordable. We just never wanted to compete based on price. We always wanted to build and create the most value, and built the best fucking product for our type of customer, which are small and medium sized businesses. And wanted to just crush it, help companies close more deals and drive more revenue where it wouldn't matter if you close a couple of deals more a month, because you have the right tool in your hands. That's tens of thousands dollars more in value to your business. It doesn't matter if you're paying 65 or 45, or 35, or whatever bucks a month per user. So that was our philosophy from day one. And I think that philosophy served us pretty well in the early days. I think one thing that happened kind of slowly, and it built up more and more over time. And I think we were a bit tone deaf to it, and a bit kind of with a blind spot around that was that ... I mean, we always believed in, and invested in founders, and startups, and the smallest companies possible. We always knew that we are probably going to be one of the few,

Key points in this episode

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