We’re excited to share what we’ve learned from saving our customers over $100M in SaaS spend over the past year — and what we anticipate 2022 will bring in our first downloadable Trend Report.

Let’s face it. A year of pause, while unexpected, has catapulted many organizations into hypergrowth mode.             

It’s hard to imagine a year ago that this is where we’d end up. Organizations across the globe went from business as usual to massive amounts of uncertainty, with reduced headcount and budgets to boot.

For us, the goal was to prepare for the unknown when it came to saving companies on SaaS. We expected the best, planned for the worst, and prepared to be surprised. 

Surprised we were. This month, we hit $100M in SaaS savings for our customers, and we learned a lot along the way that we’re excited to share in our very first Trend Report.  

Keep reading for a few highlights from our team of SaaS buying experts – and stick around to get our 2021 Trend Report to help you better understand how your business matched up in 2021 and what to expect in 2022.

Companies get lean yet reliant on sticky SaaS 

As the tides of business change, the first thing that usually happens is budgets get tighter. And for the software industry, that means SaaS stacks get leaner. Duplicate tools and dark spend surfaced, and companies quickly identified what they didn’t need – along with what they couldn’t live without. 

By Q2 2021, the dust started to settle and everyone adjusted to remote work as the new norm. For many of our customers who thinned out their stacks, we saw an increased reliance on the leftover software​​ – most of which had at least a dual purpose of increasing remote efficiency. 

That meant that all-in-one productivity and collaboration tools like Airtable, Atlassian, and Monday.com likely had a headstart on additional growth and development from all the extra support from their customers. 

“Multi-purpose tools got really sticky in 2020, which made renewals tough to find leverage in 2021,” says Preston Hull, Manager of Executive Buying at Vendr.

Takeaway: It’s key to find a balance between having a lean software stack and being overly reliant on any one tool. When it comes to negotiation leverage, having optionality, along with time, are your most significant levers to pull, especially during renewals. 

SaaS buying can’t keep up with growth sprees 

Organizations are making up for lost time. Not only are they trying to make up for the decreased headcount due to COVID, they’re also trying to keep pace with where their growth should’ve been without COVID. And there are no signs of hiring sprees slowing down. 

When speed is at play, it can be difficult to keep processes refined. For software procurement, it can feel impossible to keep your SaaS stack organized and to get everyone to follow the same buying process. 

“It's somewhat like the wild west right now. 2020 everyone was hyper-focused on staying afloat amongst the uncertainty and only the absolute necessary purchases were happening, whereas 2021 is the mad dash to catch up,” observes Gaby Bezilla, Senior Executive Buyer at Vendr.

Takeaway: Take small steps to improve your SaaS buying process regularly. This will keep you agile in the long run as you expand your headcount and stack. 

Seller tactics mirror buyers’ growth 

Sales teams struggled mightily in 2020. Keeping customers, hitting revenue goals, and maintaining a consistent pipeline became even more challenging. 

Steep discounts and freebies seemed to be the only way to retain customers and any new prospects they could attract. 2020 was all about staying afloat. 

We quickly swung to the other side of the pendulum though, with companies building back their headcount and software stacks and those generous sales discounts falling by the wayside. 

“Many suppliers provided one-time COVID discounts or were willing to throw in free products. Now, a lot of reps are trying to right-size those accounts. They’re also leveraging the fact that they did go out of their way during the peak of the pandemic to push uplifts,” notes Dan Coy, Senior Executive Buyer at Vendr. 

2021 is all about bouncing back and it’s a bit more of a suppliers’ market now with demand surging. 

Takeaway: Keep your hand on the industry pulse. With demand up, insights on pricing will be important for knowing where you can and can’t negotiate. 

The future of SaaS in 2022 is bright 

As things level out after the pandemic-incited boomerang, we believe SaaS buying processes will improve from procurement leaders to the stakeholders, and we’ll continue to see empathy in our business dealings from both buyer and seller. 

Organizations will continue to refine their SaaS buying best practices and work with industry leaders and third-party services like Vendr to make the most of their SaaS stacks, whether that be finding the most all-in-one product or sticking with a singular best-in-class tool.

We listed just a few of our recent software buying findings, but there’s much more where this came from. Download the full Trend Report and stay ahead of SaaS buying in 2022. 

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