How much should you pay to share documents securely?

March 15, 2023
2 minutes

Selling software used to be a fairly simple process. Sales reps would show up, speak to the benefits of the program or service, and then a team would help install it on-premises. Easy.

Today, if you want to be an enterprise SaaS vendor, the process is much more convoluted. Sales reps need to have many conversations with buyers and they need to fill out robust questionnaires about the technology, its capabilities, and limitations. In addition, vendors have to also be able to prove the reliability, availability, and security posture of their products. 

A lot of the time, this process requires that vendors be ready to share sensitive information — whether it’s a behind-the-scenes detail about their software or their SOC 2 compliance report — and for that they need document sharing technology that’s safe and efficient. 

As this quickly becomes an essential tool for sales teams, it’s important to know what you should be paying for a tool like this one. In this piece, we’re taking a closer look at pricing models for document sharing technology.

What is document sharing technology? 

Document sharing tools are designed for your company to share sensitive documents, including compliance reports or proprietary data, with third parties. Tools that support sales teams will also often be equipped with NDA signing workflows, automated watermarking and sharing functionalities, as well as a dashboard that shows requests, document statuses, and activity. 

A modern document sharing platform will benefit sales teams by reducing the time spent on manual tasks and chasing for NDA signatures, thus reducing the time spent in the sales process. In addition, it also gives your security team peace of mind as documents are shared securely through one central platform. 

How should you pay for it? 

When it comes to document sharing technology, there’s a variety of ways that providers price out their offering. 

Pay per user or share

In this approach, vendors have a set price for document share. That is, every time you share a document with someone outside of your organization, you pay a fixed price. While this might work for smaller organizations that don’t share sensitive documents very often (e.g. those that have a small customer base), it can get very expensive very quickly for teams with high-volume sales cycles.

Alternatively, there are also vendors that share a specific number of seats. As your sales team is likely always in flux, it can be cumbersome to keep changing the number of seats you have to make your use of the product as cost-effective as possible.

It’s important to consider that the tools that are priced out this way might not have as robust an offering within their platform. 

Annual flat fee

Providers that use a flat fee model for their product tend to cost it out at one specific price, with set parameters for what’s included. Often a flat fee structure will include a set number of shares and document slots, and might have additional costs for anything that goes above that. This makes it less flexible for companies that have fluctuating sales cycles.

Tiered model

A tiered model has a variety of price offerings depending on your needs. Often structured to align with the size or sophistication of a customer’s business, the lower tiers will offer fewer document shares or document slots. Meanwhile, the higher tiers will grow in volume and might also have additional integrations such as authentication tooling and a Slack connection. 

At Pima, we used a tiered pricing model that grows with our clients. For small businesses or those testing out the product, there’s a free version. After that, there are three tiers that incorporate more features and volume capabilities at each stage. Plus, if there is a discounted rate for customers that prefer to pay a yearly fee instead of a monthly one. You can learn more about it on our pricing page

Which is better?

For companies that are growing and increasing their customer base, having a pricing model that is flexible and that scales with your organization is usually the best bet. This is what a tiered pricing model offers as it lets you choose when to move to the next tier — and that is usually made clear quite organically based on your usage. 

Deciding on your investment

As you review which document sharing technology makes the most sense for you, make sure to ask about the flexibility of the pricing model. Does the cost, and how the payments are structured, make sense for your team? Will your investment in the tool have enough of a return? Will your usage of the tool dictate where you are in the pricing model? 

These are all questions that can help solidify which approach makes the most sense to your organization. 

Ready to do more to build trust with your prospects? See how Pima can help.

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