Go-to-market best practices

You have embedded analytics within your application… now what? Here are some tips for getting the most out of your investment.

In this chapter, we will explore three key areas for bringing embedded analytics to your users:

  • External Promotion: Generate excitement from your customer and user community about embedded analytics and the value it brings.
  • Internal Enablement: Equip internal stakeholders with the tools they need to successfully communicate the compelling value to the external customers.
  • Pricing and Packaging: For commercial application providers, create a shared value proposition for monetizing your embedded analytics offering.

While commercial ISVs and SaaS providers will find this chapter most useful, many of the principles discussed here are also valuable to owners of internal IT applications who are looking to promote and build a user base for their embedded analytics rollout.

Remember: It’s a Journey

Like any software initiative, embedded analytics is not a straight-line path to a single stop. More often than not, once your customers see data in new and exciting ways, their thirst for more data and insights will only grow.

So be sure to monitor usage, actively acquire feedback from all stakeholders, and adapt your go-to-market activities to optimize the success of your project over the long term. Keep your eyes and ears on the market, learn the new stories that emerge from your customers, and share those with the team. Listen to the sales team and prospects, as their feedback will inform future product development plans. Consider building a phased project plan that focuses on building up the success of ever-larger groups of users, one at a time.

External Promotion

Let’s generate some excitement around embedded analytics for your customers and potential customers.

Be Visual

Analytics are inherently visual, so the best way to showcase your new capabilities is to utilize compelling visualizations. Feature screenshots liberally on your promotional materials, including your website and slide presentations. Employ videos and webinar sessions to guide users through new features and in-depth show-and-tell. Consider creating a Visual Gallery with topical or customer examples.

Leverage Customer Stories

When communicating the value of embedded analytics in your application, nothing is more convincing than customer testimonials. Reach out to your customers and user community regularly to solicit feedback, and ask if you can quote them in a case study, webinar, or press release. Consider creating a Testimonials section and/or Customer Success Gallery on your website to present all of your success stories in one place. Your customers are often the strongest advocates of your product.

Think Education

Be aware that today’s selling process has transformed into an education process. Prospects should recognize your company as a thought leader with a compelling product that addresses their frustrations and challenges before they agree to a sales pitch. Educate your potential customers through engaging content aligned with each stage in the buying process, including white papers, solution briefs, and product demonstrations. Create content for prospects and existing customers to increase interest and usage in your embedded analytics offering.

Internal Enablement

Equip internal stakeholders with the tools they need to successfully communicate the compelling value to external customers.

Some companies will refer to this as “sales enablement,” but think beyond the sales team. Ensure that groups such as training, professional services, and marketing understand the embedded analytics value proposition and how to best utilize the assets available to them.

Craft Core Messaging

As you roll out new analytics capabilities, be sure everyone knows what’s coming and how to communicate it effectively. You’ll need to craft new messaging, determine the new value propositions for each of your user types, and tie business value to product capabilities. Remember to share new use cases and teach the sales reps to identify when and how to target new user types.

Create Compelling Demonstrations

Create product demonstrations that highlight the most valuable capabilities and differentiate your product in the marketplace. Prepare interesting demo data that simulates a rich production environment so everyone can experience how your product will work in “real life.” Use the application data and embedded analytics to tell an end-to-end story about how users benefit from utilizing your product. Weave in a customer testimonial detailing an actual experience. Connect the dots between business value and product capabilities in your demonstration.

Practice

So, how do you ensure that everyone is ready to go with embedded analytics? Practice, of course! Embedded analytics has the power to transform your organization and the way your customers run their business. Let’s make sure all your internal stakeholders are truly equipped to communicate this value. Set aside time both during the rollout and on an ongoing basis to review and certify that everyone can deliver this message effectively.

Pricing Embedded Analytics

Determining the value of embedded analytics to your customers is key to monetizing your offering.

Typically, you want to relate the value that your customer receives to the price you offer for the product. Because we’ve already spent so much time discussing strategic value in this guide, let’s get right down to the numbers. Software providers revealed these key insights when it comes to embedded analytics:

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93% of commercial ISVs and SaaS providers say embedded analytics has helped them increase revenue.

They charge an additional 25% on top of their core product offering, up from 15% last year.

Embedded analytics reflects so much value in an application that it helps commercial software providers increase revenue and specifically increase how much they can charge for their offering. The median value charged for embedded analytics is 25% on top of the core product.

Something else to note is that you would not necessarily charge an additional amount that is equal to the value of embedded analytics; even if analytics represents 43% of the overall value, the charge is still 25% additional. This is because your customers expect you to have some amount of functionality included in the product that is not priced separately.

Also note that the value is increasing over time, so the minimum value and functionality customers expect from your application is increasing. For anyone still on the fence about committing to or investing in analytics, there is real danger of being left behind.

With regard to the pricing structure, we have so far focused on percentage of overall value. But certainly charging a percentage of the core product is not the only approach. Analytics pricing can also be based on the number of users, overall system usage, or simply a fixed dollar amount. There are multiple factors that go into determining the pricing metrics, including how the pricing fits into your existing pricing structure.

Bottom line: Start your pricing exploration with a question. What is the value of embedded analytics to your customers relative to the overall value of your application?

Packaging Embedded Analytics

Effective packaging of embedded analytics aligns value, price, and market expectations.

There are three common packaging models for embedded analytics: All-inclusive, a separate module, and tiered. Let’s compare them.

All-Inclusive Separate Module Tiered Model
All embedded analytics functionality is a standard part of the product, rather than charged separately. Analytics capabilities are packaged into an offering that is separate from the core application. Note that this add-on could be an advanced capability that you charge for versus a basic capability all customers have access to. Example: A SaaS application is priced based on the number of users or on system usage. The analytics add-on is priced at 20% on top of the core product. Presuming you already have a tiered offering for your product – that is, you have different editions of increasing functionality for increasing prices – you package analytics functionality into each edition. Example: Like many SaaS applications, Salesforce.com packages reporting and analytics functions into each of their various editions, even their most basic one.
Pros:

  • You are setting and clearly communicating the value of analytics in your product.
  • Customers won’t feel “nickel-and-dimed” for functionality.
Pros:

  • Simple packaging model for customers to understand.
  • You have a path to upsell customers and account for analytics revenue.
Pros:

  • You map capabilities to value – just make sure everyone knows how to communicate this value.
  • The path to upsell is clear.
Cons:

  • For customers who do not use analytics (gasp!), they may not feel good about “paying” for it.
  • It is difficult for you to account for the specific revenue impact of your analytics offering.
  • Your sales team won’t have a future “upsell” opportunity.
  • It may be difficult to come up with the “one price” for everything (note that there may still be a variable metric, such as the number of users, that scales with usage).
Cons:

  • Customers may feel nickel-and-dimed, especially existing customers – so proactively manage expectations.
Cons:

  • It is not clear how to account for the specific revenue impact of the analytics offering.
  • Some customers may still feel nickel-and-dimed, particularly if they think the price of the higher editions is not aligned with their value.

Keep in mind that how you package the offering can be used as a competitive tool, as well. So be sure to take into account your own positioning in the marketplace. For example, if your competitors have some level of embedded analytics, customers will likely expect that you deliver that minimum capability at a similar or lower price. Another scenario could be that everyone in your industry charges for analytics separately, and in order to stand out in the marketplace, you can decide to bundle your capabilities in an all-inclusive offering.

Want to learn more?

We have highlighted the pricing and packaging concepts that distinctly apply to embedded analytics. To learn more about taking a disciplined approach to pricing and all the various considerations that shape this aspect of your go-to-market strategy, download our e-book, The Art of Pricing Software Features, written in partnership with Software Pricing Partners.

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