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Talk to Sales: Data on the Buyer Journey for Contracts Tech

TL;DR: Based on reviewing 130 contracts tech company websites, 75% require a sales conversation for a trial, 72% do not share any pricing information on their website, and 0 (apart from Zuva) offer pay-as-you-go pricing.

You’re in the early stages of trying to buy some software.

You go to a vendor’s site, trying to learn some key details - what it does, how it looks, what it costs.

You see a “Try it out” button in the top right corner. Great! You can find out what the software does, see how it looks, and try it out, all in one step.

You click. There’s a form to get access. You add your name, your email address, and press “submit.” Another form. This one asks for your company and role. You add the information and submit again, still looking forward to trying the product.

Now there’s a calendar, with “Schedule a demo” above it.

What?! This isn’t a trial.

You click back to the site’s main page, trying to find concrete details about what specifically the software does. Does it have key features you need? Instead, you find vague phrases like “enterprise-ready.”

Frustrated, you click a link to the “pricing” page. There are no numbers there - just three different subscription tiers (“solo,” “small team,” “enterprise”) and a “talk to sales” button at the bottom of each.

Ugh. You close the tab, onto the next site.

30 minutes later you get the first cold email from a sales rep at that vendor asking to schedule some time. Ugh, ugh, ugh!! Is an actual clickthrough trial, specific product information, and rough pricing information too much to ask?!

We’ve all been there too many times. It’s so frustrating. An increasing number of B2B software companies have gone a better way in recent years, believing that if they give buyers the information they want, that buyers will be more likely to choose them.

Businesses can go to Salesforce’s website, for example, and see pricing listed for each of their products.

Screenshot of the pricing page on Salesforce's website

Screenshot of the pricing page on Salesforce's website

The same is mostly true for other vendors, like, who post their pricing for everyone but enterprise customers.

Screenshot of the pricing page on Monday's website

Screenshot of the pricing page on Monday's website

At our previous company, we had a website journey sort of like the bad one we describe above, with some information, but not all, available to our prospective customers. So we can empathize with how hard it can be for vendors to be transparent.

With Zuva, we decided to be exceptionally transparent. We saw that this approach was becoming popular in a lot of areas, and thought it might work better in legal tech. As we prepare to launch a 🔥 new product, we thought it’d be interesting to see how many other legal tech companies focused on contracts offer transparent buying information. In this piece, we’ll share what we found.

Our team researched CLM and Contracts AI vendors around the world, looking to understand how many of those companies provide easily accessible pricing information. We narrowed our list from a few hundred to 130 vendors with active websites and online presences.

🔎 What We Found

Since we’re in the contracts tech space ourselves, we focused our review on other contracts tech companies. We reviewed 130 contract tech websites. Here’s what we found:

  • 75% (98/130) required a sales conversation for a trial. The remaining 25% of vendors (32 companies) allowed prospects to try their product via self-serve online signup.
  • 72% (94/130) of vendors do not share any pricing information on their website. Prospects have to speak to sales to get an idea of costs.
    • Of the 28% (36 companies) with any pricing on their website, there was a mix between ones that shared all pricing and ones that only had pricing for smaller customers (with enterprise customers having to talk to sales).
      • 17 of the 36 who show pricing information only show details on what you can get with a free account, what a small company has to pay for, and sometimes what a medium-sized company has to pay for (with differences in how those categories are defined). Enterprise customers always have to talk to sales.
      • 19 (15% of the 130 total) show pricing for customers of all sizes.
  • 0/130 vendors we saw (apart from Zuva!) offered pay-as-you-go pricing. Sign up was for subscription only.

How we chose which sites to cover

We consulted Legaltech Hub for all companies in the Contracts space. We narrowed down that list further by reviewing only those vendors in the End-to-end CLM, Contract Review, or Contract Management Category. That gave us around 150 companies, which we narrowed down further to only those with active websites as of April 1, 2024. We reviewed each company in March and April of 2024.

We think our findings paint a pretty powerful picture of what the buying journey looks like for contracts tech. Check out our piece on why we think these findings matter.

1 We actually tried to be pretty transparent in our early days at Kira, but got less open over time. We were dissatisfied with how this part of the company worked, and thought we could do better the second time around.