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What Are The Best SaaS Pricing Models For My Solar Company’s Reality?

Determining Best SaaS Pricing Model for Solar

Are you someone who has, is or will be vetting a piece of enterprise software for your solar company’s use? Once you’ve taken a brief look at the options available, you would agree that the two of the most popular SaaS (software as a service) pricing strategies are per-user and usage-based.

Although the general principle behind these pricing models is simple, picking the right model for your specific business in not. Depending on your company’s specific business model and growth plans, one or the other may make a significant difference in terms of costs and savings. To see how you can pick the right model, read on!

Defining Popular Pricing Models

Here are the standard definitions and signs of each pricing model:

Per-user subscription: Companies are charged based on the number of users that they predict will use the platform. Some vendors offer plans or packages with a preset number of user seats to ease the billing process and provide a buffer for client team fluctuations. Others allow for adding or removing single users at a time.   

Per-usage subscription: Companies are charged based on how much platform capacity they plan to use in the billing period. Although the parameters on which this is measured vary depending on the nature of the software, some common ones include: number of transactions, volume of data transferred, amount of storage used or number of projects/templates.

Although the difference between the two pricing models seems obvious, their bottom-line impact on your business can be more subtle. Some of the key effects are highlighted in the tables below…

Pricing Model Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Model is very well-known, which makes it easier (at least on the surface) to calculate and present ROI to upper management.
  • Model is predictable so it appears to be quite simple for short-term cost projections.
  • Not all users may actively use the software, so it is very possible that you are overpaying for services.
  • User headcount is only loosely linked to value produced from the software, makes it harder to provide access to entire team, additional departments, subcontractors or clients.
Pros Cons
  • Costing of the platform is based on the point where value is created, e.g. in transactions, data transfer and usage.
  • It’s easier to calculate savings as most operational metrics are measured based on processes, as opposed to per head calculations.
  • It takes more effort to project which plan you fit best into, as those details may not be as readily available as headcount.
  • For companies that haven’t proven a steady traction of predictable growth yet, they could face fluctuating bills and need to switch back and forth between levels.

Which Model Should My Team Choose?

Quiz 1: Note down whether you “agree” or “disagree” with the following statements to find out which pricing model is optimal for your situation:

  • I have a small team (10 or less people).
  • My growth prospects are modest, most likely because I’m still working towards building a process that works.
  • I don’t see value in including subcontractors or clients in my digital ecosystem yet.

Quiz 2: If you said yes to the above statements, then you should look for platforms that feature per-user subscription pricing.

  • I have a medium to large team (50+ people).
  • My operations are growing rapidly and I’m focused on ensuring scalability.
  • I work closely with subcontractors and partners, and want to include them in my digital ecosystem to streamline the collaborative experience.

If you said yes to the three statements above, then seek out software with per-usage subscription pricing in order to generate the most value.

Ultimately, pricing is just one of the many factors that you should consider when selecting your software. However, evaluators tend to place an exorbitant amount of focus on pricing as the most obvious way to calculate value. While understanding the effect of a vendor’s pricing scheme of choice can be helpful, keep in mind that the most important factor is no doubt the degree of the solution’s fit in solving your key challenges, as well as a thorough ROI analysis.

Click here for 4 Steps to Getting the Most Value out of your Solar Software >


Scoop® Solar is a unique solution that incorporates mobile and cloud technology to create an intuitive field-to-office experience for your team. By connecting your data and existing software with easy-to-build, easy-to-use work apps™, your team can access, input and sync data from a mobile phone or desktop, wherever they are.

At Scoop, we aim to provide as much consultation as is needed to helping you figure out your optimal per-usage subscription plan. The exercises we perform are also helpful for solar managers to think more deeply about their processes and how to better organize them.

Additionally, Scoop provides smaller-capacity entry level plans that enable clients to put our solution to the test before they grow large enough to upgrade. This ensures that smaller solar contractors have a safe space to try out the software during a more unsteady period. Discover the right fit for your company and learn more about Scoop’s pricing structure here.

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