All Industries, Productivity, Business Tips, Webinar Recap

Back 2 Basics: Pricebook 101

Diana Lamirand
March 5th, 2024
10 Min Read

Whether you’re a new ServiceTitan user or someone who knows their way around this powerful platform, there’s always more to learn. That’s why ServiceTitan, which wants every user to know how to tap into the software’s full functionality, started its new monthly webinar series titled, Back 2 Basics.

“Back 2 Basics was created to provide our customers with another free resource aimed at refreshing your ServiceTitan knowledge and helping you gain a deeper understanding of the features that you already have access to,” says Natalie Koch, ServiceTitan Senior Content Marketing Strategist. 

“We hope that, by introducing some of these really basic learnings each month led by our internal subject matter experts, we can enhance your knowledge of ServiceTitan in a different way and also provide you with some resources to continue on your journey to level up your daily usage and potentially answer some of your questions,” she adds.

To help users reach their full potential, Program Facilitator Tim Sjobeck kicks off the webinar series with a look at how to properly set up and utilize your core ServiceTitan pricebook. He shares pro tips along the way to improve the customer experience and make the job easier for your selling techs.

>> Part Two: Estimate Templates 101

“It's my hope that after today's session you have a better understanding of your pricebook's setup fundamentals, as well as some organizational tips and strategies,” says Sjobeck, who also shares his expertise with ServiceTitan customers during Ember and Spark sessions.

Let’s get started.

Pricebook 101

Choosing a pricebook

First, how do you choose which pricebook to use for your service business? Sjobeck says some contractors prefer to build their own, while others may choose a third-party pricebook provider to help build one for them. At ServiceTitan, you can even hire a certified provider to walk you through setting up the core pricebook correctly, or purchase the add-on Pricebook Pro that automatically configures it for you.

“There are a lot of options out there, and it's really going to be the pricebook that matches up best with your company, your culture, and your sales approach,” Sjobeck says.

Some determining factors to consider when choosing a pricebook include:

  • Ease of use

  • Cost and budget

  • Build time

  • Urgency of need

  • Turnkey or more work required

  • Bells and whistles

  • Use of AI

Do your homework before choosing which pricebook best fits your business, Sjobeck says, as a well-developed pricebook is critical to running a well-oiled business operation.

“The pricebook is your technician-salesforce team’s most important tool,” Sjobeck says. “It's probably the only tool that's used on every single call by every single technician or field staff out there, and that's why I say it's the most important tool in their bag.”

And when you start building a pricebook, just know that it’s something you’ll never really finish.

“This is always a living, breathing project that just never ends,” Sjobeck explains, since pricing often needs adjusting. “One of the things I always thought about as I worked in my pricebook was ‘How can I improve my customers' experience and how can I make my technician's job easier?’”

To do both of those things, Sjobeck offers a few pro tips.

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Pro tip #1: Know your flat rate and billable hours

“Don’t guess at these,” he advises. “Know your flat rate and know your billable hours. And update them often. Don't just set them up and then leave them for a couple of years and think they're going to work. 

“Things change daily, monthly with our vendors, with labor costs, etc. So, make sure you're updating that billable hour often,” Sjobeck says.

>>Learn more about calculating your flat rate and billable hours.

Pro tip #2: Involve your technicians

“Your technicians are using the pricebook every single day. It's the most important tool in their bag. Why wouldn't I involve them in the build of this?” Sjobeck says.

A fully developed pricebook helps technicians communicate more clearly with customers, offer multiple options that convert more sales, and simply perform their jobs at a higher level.

Pro tip #3: Keep it simple

Ask your lead tech to tell you the location of your most-used task inside your pricebook.

“And if they can't tell you without looking, that might be a red flag that you've got a pretty complicated pricebook,” Sjobeck says. “So try to keep this as simple as you can.”

Building your pricebook: Where to start?

For many, building the pricebook seems like such an overwhelming task and they have no clue as to where to even start.

Sjobeck suggests starting with your most used sales task. To find this in your ServiceTitan pricebook, go to your Reports tab and look for “invoice item detail with pricebook information.”

“This is going to show us our most used items,” Sjobeck says. “I’m going to start somewhere that gets the most bang for the buck.” 

Once you run the “invoice item detail with pricebook information report,” Sjobeck says, he likes to group items by name or quantity for better clarity.

“This is going to help me identify those items that I'm selling the most. I can go up or down with it and see what's sold least, what's sold the most,” Sjobeck says. “I do love this report for finding out what I'm selling most and where I can start working in my pricebook.”

Pricebook terminology to know

When explaining how to set up your ServiceTitan pricebook, customers must first understand the terminology. Sjobeck defines the most important terms to know.

  • Services: any items you sell that generate revenue 

  • Materials: any parts or components used in the services you sell

  • Equipment: large items that you install, and include a serial number

Pricebook categories and subcategories

The pricebook breaks down every item into categories and subcategories, with the main category listed on top and subcategories indicated with a gray arrow below. Each comes with a drop-down menu to see more as well as a thumbnail icon that allows you to move categories and subcategories as needed. 

You can also choose “Hide in Mobile” for certain business units to keep what your techs see free from clutter. And the edit button in your pricebook allows users to duplicate, start over, add additional details, edit information, and deactivate.

Pro tip #4: Work with techs to know what they want to see in a mobile view

Techs typically want to see their most-used categories at the top, so they don’t waste time scrolling to find what they need when they’re with the customer.

For instance, they may want “bath plumbing” at the top and you need to edit your pricebook to make that change. Just grab the “bath plumbing” icon and move it to the top of your categories until you see a blue solid line (indicating it’s a “category” and not a “subcategory). Then, check your mobile tablet or phone to see the change appear at the top.

“Work with those technicians, find out how they search things, how they find things, and understand you can use this mobile view to assist you with that,” Sjobeck says.

>>Learn more about how to set up categories and subcategories in your pricebook.

Pro tip #5: Put your categories in order, either numerically or alphabetically

Sjobeck says he tends to use numerical codes to list items in the right order. This creates an efficient system that your techs will find easy to use.

>>Learn more about how to customize pricebook views for your technicians.

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Pricebook bulk editing and filters

Thanks to recent updates made to ServiceTitan’s pricebook, Sjobeck says users can now make changes to their pricebooks much faster with bulk editing. Say you want to raise prices for every service task under a particular category. You simply select all, add the flat-rate or percentage increase, and hit the apply button.

“We hit apply, and we've updated all these numbers. Bulk editing is my friend,” Sjobeck says.

Become really familiar with the filter button on your pricebook. You can search by category, billable hours, flat rate pricing, revenue per job, descriptions, tags, active and inactive tasks, and so much more.

Another way to keep your pricebook edited and updated is to see what’s available in your pricebook catalogs, found near the bottom under Pricebook Connect.

“I'm so excited to see more vendors knowing that ServiceTitan Pricebook is legit and we want to get our product in here,” Sjobeck says.

To see the catalogs, go to your profile icon in the upper right, and click on Marketplace. From there, go to View All Partners, and you’ll see all available vendors for your service industry. 

Use forms to save time

Technicians get busy, and they don’t always take the time to scroll until they find the right item in your pricebook. When this happens, they might click on “miscellaneous” and create their own price for a particular service or repair.

“That usually never works out in a profitable manner. So this is something I want to control, and it’s something we can set up pretty easily,” Sjobeck says.

Pro Tip #6: Create a “Missing Pricebook Item” form, and set up an alert

With ServiceTitan, you can create a “Missing Pricebook Item” form and then automate alerts that inform owners or managers either by email or text when techs use this form.

“For me, if my technician's at the customer's house and needs this, this is a high priority for me,” Sjobeck says.

Help techs increase revenue and conversion rates

Have you ever bought anything from Amazon that didn’t come with a picture? 

“I wouldn't even venture to know what that experience was like if you did, but I'm not doing it and I know most people aren't doing it,” Sjobeck says. “Think about that when you're building your pricebook. If your technician's out there selling something without an image, this is not the normal buying experience.”

With ServiceTitan’s pricebook, users can add great descriptions, multiple images, videos, upgrades, and recommendations — all very similar to the Amazon buying experience.

“We have the capability to do it, but are we doing it? Are we simulating that buying experience that our customers are accustomed to?” Sjobeck asks.

Keep your descriptions simple and easy to read, but make sure to add them. The description for an item will include its title, the code you applied to keep order, the categories it falls under, and the price. Add the description or value points of the product or service in a bulleted list so it’s easy for customers to understand and for techs to sell.

“Quality descriptions are where it starts, but don't overdo this,” Sjobeck advises. “Keep it simple and keep it to the value points. Your technician will appreciate it, and your customer will appreciate it.”

Other pricebook tips to help techs:

  • Add pictures for the product or service from the manufacturer or vendor. They often have professional, non-copyrighted images you can use.

  • Add a manufacturer product spec sheet link to the description so techs can confirm they have the right item or give customers more info.

  • Add how-to, third-party, and happy customer videos to your pricebook. You can create your own or ask manufacturers to share their product videos.

  • Add upgrades and recommendations to certain products so customers can see every option or know when additional tasks are recommended.

“Pricebook is probably your most important tool in the tech bag,” Sjobeck says. “Building an effective pricebook will help you increase your revenue and improve your tech's conversion rates all the way around.

>>Want to dig deeper on your ServiceTitan pricebook? Read this pricebook tutorial for a more in-depth look.

ServiceTitan Software

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.

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