Working with a SaaS buying platform like Vendr is a great step in your company’s procurement journey. Why? It saves you time, money, and frustration in negotiating and tracking your SaaS spend. But what are the big-ticket benefits of engaging Vendr as your SaaS buying partner?
Our own Sam Gorgone, member of the Vendr sales team, and Kelly Higgins, a Customer Success Manager, hosted a webinar to pull back the curtain on the Vendr customer experience. Together they shared their take on the key benefits our customers gain from working with us, and specific ways we improve the process of buying software for your company.
Here are three highlights from the webinar, featuring some of the best ways we can optimize your process to save customers serious time and money.
1. Demystifying SaaS spend
When you buy SaaS software, it can feel a bit like a shot in the dark. You don’t always know if you’re getting the best price or the best terms. Keeping on top of the competitive landscape is a full-time job. The data is always changing, as are contract terms and requirements.
As Sam describes, “Two companies can be purchasing the exact same software products. But depending on the rep they're working with, the time of year, the importance of your logo, the lifetime value projections based on the size of your company – those two customers could have different prices on that product.”
In some cases, contracts get more expensive the more you use.
This is one of the first and biggest areas we help you understand SaaS spend and optimize your buying. With up to 80% overlap in the tools used, we have a unique view of the pricing our customers should expect. We can tell you if the price you’re getting is in line with other negotiations, offer advice, and even head up negotiations on your behalf.
We also help customers steer clear of expensive contract pitfalls in SaaS buying agreements, such as bundled pricing, auto-renewal clauses, and poorly structured scalable contracts.
“No customer should be penalized for growth,” explains Sam. “They should be rewarded or incentivized – which often isn't the case with retroactive overages.”
Breaking down the deal in this way improves the unit economics of every piece of software you buy, allowing our customers to benefit from competitive pricing and favorable terms.
2. Systematizing your SaaS buying process
No process? No problem. For customers still early in their formal SaaS buying programs, we can help create systems that support well-positioned negotiation and efficient buying.
The first stop is to evaluate your current tech stack and buying process. Vendr will meet you where you are, determining where you can begin saving money within the contracts currently up for renewal. Any new upcoming SaaS spend can also be part of the early evaluation phase of the customer relationship.
Sam often suggests looking at your biggest spend items in Engineering and Marketing, where big-ticket contracts are commonly found.
“The five most widely used tools across your team are the five most expensive tools you use. That will get you the lion's share of the spend so you can identify where some of these savings opportunities are.”
By finding the low-hanging fruit, you can begin to realize big cost savings immediately. Over time, we’ll continue to find areas of incremental savings and impact (such as de-duplication, usage analysis, identifying orphaned licenses or contracts) and use the dataset and insights gained through negotiating for hundreds of clients to save you even more money over time.
Vendr creates a seamless buying process by establishing the appropriate workflow for your buying process, involving the stakeholders during the necessary intake process, then freeing them up for other things. We interface with Finance to ensure budget requirements are met. Then we check the software and implementation against Security and IT needs to ensure compliance.
Through the platform, we set customers up for success at renewal time, taking the surprise and guesswork out of the re-up process. By relying on both your usage data and our negotiating dataset, we can help you begin the evaluation process with plenty of time and information on your side.
Kelly explained that once a contract is signed,“we stand up a new deal in Vendr so that we can track for the next renewal and then get started on that process 120 days ahead... we ultimately can use time as our lever.”
With this advanced notice and outside deal flow support, you’ll be fully informed and ready to evaluate the new deal and increase the capital efficiency of your SaaS spend.
3. Reducing SaaS buying busywork
Heading up renewals and new contracts is a time-intensive process. The common bottlenecks and pitfalls of organizing stakeholders and approvals can make a three-week process into a months-long endeavor for each contract.
Vendr reduces these bottlenecks by streamlining your SaaS buying process and then shepherding deals through the necessary budget and approvals. We make sure the right people have the information and lead time they need to fully understand and approve deals, even with a lot on their plates.
One area where this coordination effort is highly effective is the Legal department. Legal teams are often stretched thin, with hundreds of contracts for review. This lack of time sometimes means that higher priority items – such as revenue-generating contracts – take center stage.
Vendr has both the bandwidth and coordination to make sure every contract gets timely and necessary attention. “We will connect your legal team directly with the suppliers legal team so that we can let the professionals get the job done in the most efficient way possible.”
This hands-on approach means that Procurement, Legal, and other valuable teams can work on the high-impact parts of their job, leaving the details to a partner.
Even large companies with fully formed procurement teams “view us as an extension of their team and that negotiation arm. We can take that piece of work off of their plate, so that they can really focus on the higher-priority tasks for their specific team.”
Without a platform, teams spend countless hours engaging in the perpetual cycle of negotiation and vendor management for the very products meant to speed business along.
If you’d like to learn more about working with Vendr to negotiate and secure your SaaS contracts (including a behind-the-scenes look at the Vendr platform and some of Sam and Kelly’s favorite features) check out the full webinar recording here.