How to Choose the Best SaaS Subscription Management Tool

Person using a SaaS Subscription Management Tool

A subscription management tool is a software solution designed to help businesses that offer subscription-based services or products efficiently manage their consumer interactions and billing processes. Choosing the best SaaS subscription management tools will improve your ability to meet user needs, enhancing customer experience, boosting satisfaction rates, and reducing SaaS churn. In turn, those higher satisfaction rates will drive retention, creating a significant impact on your bottom line. Consider some stats:

  • Customer experience is so important that 89% of consumers will choose to do business with a competitor rather than return after an unsatisfactory contact.  
  • Two-thirds of revenue at most companies comes from existing customers.  
  • An existing customer is more than 3x as likely to make a purchase than a new one is.  
  • On average, the potential value of a repeat customer is up to 10x that of a new customer. 
  • New customers are expensive. It can cost up to 7x more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. 

 

In one study, researchers from Bain & Company working with Earl Sasser of Harvard Business School found that increasing customer retention rates by only five percent can increase profits by as much as 95%. One way to build a foundation of loyal users that will sustain your business over time is by selecting and implementing the best SaaS subscription management tool.  

 

What Should I Look for in a SaaS Subscription Management Tool? 

A great user experience will have a significant impact both on the efficiency of your operations and on customer satisfaction. Above all else, any tool you’re considering must offer an intuitive interface that your team and your customers find easy to use. Beyond that, different subscription management tools offer different capabilities.

To select the platform that will be best for your business, begin with factors including your pricing and service models. Consider variables like how many different packages you offer and whether yours is a self-serve model in which clients manage subscriptions on their own or a service team-based model where your team assists corporate clients with subscription management. Then, define and prioritize the features that are most important to you.  

Here’s a list of 12 features to look for in a SaaS Subscription Management tool to get you started:  
  1. Integration with Existing B2B MarTech Stack: Look for a tool that integrates seamlessly with existing business systems such as your CRM software, accounting platforms, and payment gateways. 
  2. Compliance and Security: Ensure that any tool you’re considering complies with major regulations related to your industry. Robust security features must be in place to protect sensitive customer data from breaches.  
  3. Scalability: As your business grows, your subscription management tool should be able to handle an increasing number of customers and more complex billing scenarios without performance issues.  
  4. Customer Management: Many platforms enable you to create, maintain, and access detailed records of subscriber profiles, including plan types, payment methods, and subscription histories.  
  5. Billing Flexibility: Tools should support various SaaS pricing best practices, models (monthly, quarterly, annually) and structures (tiered, usage-based, per-user) to accommodate different types of subscriptions and customer needs. A high- quality platform will also allow you to maintain existing fee structures for legacy clients even as you experiment with new models and prices. 
  6. Automated Billing and Invoicing: Automating billing processes reduces manual labor and minimizes errors. Your tool should automatically generate and send invoices, handle payments, and update subscriber records. 
  7. Renewals and Upgrades: A high-quality tool will manage the renewal process automatically and facilitate plan changes or upgrades for subscribers. 
  8. Dunning Management: Payment failure leads to involuntary churn. Choosing the best SaaS subscription management software will prevent this with strong dunning capabilities to retry payments and notify customers of payment issues. 
  9. Promotions and Discounts Management: Do you offer discounts or promotional rates to attract new customers or retain existing ones? You’ll want your subscription management tool to support those efforts. 
  10. Customer Self-Service Portal: Software that provides subscribers with a self-service portal to manage their subscription, update payment methods, and view billing history improves customer satisfaction and reduces the workload on your customer support team. 
  11. Reporting and Analytics: The tool should offer comprehensive analytics and reporting features that provide insights into subscription metrics, financial performance, churn rates, and customer lifetime value, enabling data-driven decision-making. 
  12. Customer Support: Reliable customer support from the tool provider is crucial, especially when dealing with billing issues. Look for vendors who offer robust support via multiple channels and have a good reputation for service quality. 

 

What is the Best SaaS Subscription Management Tool? 

So, which are the best SaaS subscription management tools? Below are some suggestions from our experts. Please note that all prices are accurate as of the publication date of this blog. We recommend doing your own research and verification before committing to any software provider. 

 

chargebee

Offers a comprehensive suite of tools to manage subscriptions, billing, invoicing, and revenue recognition. It provides robust automation for handling the entire subscription lifecycle from trial management to renewal and upgrades. The platform also handles coupons, payments, chargebacks, and dunning management, along with flexible billing for various pricing models including usage-based and tiered pricing.  

Why You Should Consider Chargebee: 

  • Advanced analytics and reporting features offer in-depth insights. 
  • Essential task automation reduces the need for manual intervention and lowers the chance of errors. 

 

Pricing: Chargebee’s pricing starts free for new businesses up to $250K in cumulative billing and 0.75% on billing beyond that threshold. There are plans available for different business sizes and needs, including a Performance plan at $599/month for up to $100K of billing and an Enterprise plan with custom pricing. 

 

fastspring

Specializing in SaaS, software, and video game companies, FastSpring  is an all-in-one e-commerce platform. FastSpring eliminates the need for external payment systems with services that include global payment processing, subscription management, localized pricing, and tax compliance. The platform provides support for various payment methods, including PayPal and major credit cards, and supports multiple payment methods, currencies, and languages. FastSpring’s automation capabilities include invoicing, billing, compliance, and robust reporting tools. 

Why You Should Consider FastSpring: 

  • FastSpring’s comprehensive back-office automation covers billing, order processing, and VAT filings without extra charges, making it suitable for businesses looking to focus on growth without the complexities of tax collection or compliance. 
  • The platform can handle global tax compliance on behalf of its users, useful for any organization with international reach. 

 

Pricing: FastSpring’s all-in-one pricing is based on a revenue-sharing model. When a customer makes a purchase, FastSpring charges a commission.

 

maxio

In 2022, subscription management services Chargify and SaaSOptics merged to form Maxio . The new platform aims to facilitate expansion and reduce churn through efficient customer lifecycle management. It provides SaaS subscription management tools including automated billing, revenue recognition, and subscription management while also boasting detailed financial reporting and analytics designed to meet the demands of SaaS businesses. 

Why You Should Consider Maxio: 

  • The consolidation of Chargify and SaaSOptics into Maxio resulted in a robust suite for managing financial operations with an emphasis on automation and precision in financial reporting.  
  • A flexible platform means that users can add or remove modules as needed. 

 

Pricing: Maxio pricing starts at $5,000 annually for up to $500,000 in billing.  

 

Pabbly

Includes features such as affiliate management, various billing models (like tiered, volume, and flat fee pricing), and a no transaction fee model. It supports multiple payment gateways and has functionalities like affiliate management, tax and EU VAT tracking, dunning management, and a dedicated client portal. 

Why You Should Consider Pabbly:  

  • Pabbly is well regarded for its ease of use, with a clean dashboard and no transaction charges.  
  • The platform supports one-time and recurring payments and is flexible in its pricing model creation. 

 

Pricing Model: Pabbly offers a variety of pricing plans that include monthly rates ranging from $49 for the Basic plan to $399 for the Ultimate plan, which offers unlimited customers and affiliates. 

 

paddle

Handles global payments, subscription billing, and tax compliance. It includes features for fraud protection and management reporting, supporting multiple currencies and payment options. The platform also offers advanced tools like upsell insights, customer support, and migration services to facilitate the transition of subscriber data without risk.  

Why You Should Consider Paddle: 

  • No added costs or hidden fees create a transparent pricing model. 
  • High-performing checkout flow can be integrated directly into websites or applications. 

 

Pricing: Paddle operates on a pay-as-you-go basis, charging 5% + $0.50 per checkout transaction. It also offers custom pricing for companies that sell products for under $10, rapidly-scaling businesses, established enterprises or those with specific needs. 

 

recurly

Includes features like subscriber management, payment orchestration, recurring billing, churn management, revenue recognition, reporting, and analytics. A wide range of integrations and compliance standards make it suitable for businesses aiming for global expansion. 

Why You Should Consider Recurly: 

  • Comprehensive subscription management capabilities make it an appropriate choice for a wide range of companies. 
  • A strong focus on security and compliance standards mean increased user confidence. 

 

Pricing: Recurly offers a free 12-month plan that includes 30 supported languages, 140 currencies, 20 payment gateways, and 10 payment methods. More features are available with a Professional plan for mid-size companies and an Elite plan for enterprises. 

 

stripe

One of the most popular subscription management platforms on the market, Stripe supports various pricing models including flat rates, per-seat billing, and usage-based billing. Stripe’s system integrates with existing websites, mobile apps, and CRM systems, offering a robust API for custom configurations. 

Why You Should Consider Stripe: 

  • Extensive recovery tools significantly reduce involuntary churn. 
  • No-code solutions allow for easy integration with third-party software. 

 

Pricing: Stripe’s pricing starts at 2.9% + 30¢ per successful card charge, with customized pricing available for larger businesses that have specific needs or higher volumes. 

 

zuora

The  Zuora  platform meets a full spectrum of subscription management needs, from billing and payments to revenue recognition and subscription metrics. The platform supports various pricing models, including subscriptions, consumption-based, and hybrid systems, facilitating complex billing operations and revenue streams. 

Why You Should Consider Zuora: 

  • The platform supports a variety of pricing strategies, allowing businesses to adapt to market demands and customer preferences. 
  • Zuora provides detailed insights into billing and financial metrics, helping companies make informed decisions. 

 

Pricing: Zuora does not list specific pricing details publicly, instead encouraging potential customers to contact them directly for a tailored quote based on their specific business needs and usage scenarios. 

 

Grow Your Company with the Best SaaS Subscription Management Platform 

Choosing the right tool to manage subscriptions for your SaaS will improve operations, streamline billing and other tasks, and boost user satisfaction rates. There are many options available, so be sure to compare features and pricing, then select the platform that will provide the greatest return on the lowest investment. 

 

Are you ready to partner with a SaaS growth agency that knows how to increase brand awareness and generate qualified sales leads with creative strategies that will help your company grow and thrive? Contact us today. 

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Author Profile
Terry Wolfisch
Terry Wolfisch Cole
Terry is a marketing content manager at Bay Leaf Digital. She holds degrees in writing from Binghamton University and New York University, and brings decades of sales and marketing experience to her work. Terry puts words to work for Bay Leaf Digital clients, generating long-form and short-form content across platforms. When she’s not at her desk creating awesome content, you can find her telling Moth-style true stories on stage or chasing her next Bruce Springsteen concert.