Every business needs software to operate efficiently. You search for the right SaaS tools, believe the marketing promises, and subscribe - hoping this solution will finally meet your needs. But implementing new SaaS is rarely smooth sailing. 

What happens when the pricing isn't transparent, the onboarding is a nightmare, or the software just doesn't deliver as expected? You've already invested time and money, but now face the painful decision to rip off the band-aid and find an alternative.

This is the "SaaS Disappointment Cycle" that procurement specialists help you avoid. They ensure you get maximum value and ROI from your software subscriptions by:

  • Thoroughly vetting SaaS vendors for best fit and pricing
  • Negotiating favorable terms on your behalf
  • Securing discounts through aggregate purchasing

In this article, we'll look at the key ways procurement specialists prevent SaaS dissatisfaction and help you optimize your software spending.

But first, what are the roles and responsibilities of a procurement specialist in 2024?

Note: At Spendflo, our highly skilled procurement specialist team handles the heavy lifting for you. We forecast how much you can save, provide granular visibility into your SaaS stack, renewals, and contracts. Also, you can collaborate internally with your cross-functional teams and manage requests, and externally with your vendors, all within Slack (so no new tool to learn). If you want a rough estimate of how much you can save, talk to us.

The Job Description of a Procurement Specialist in 2024

In 2024, the role of a SaaS procurement specialist will evolve beyond just cost optimization to become true "SaaS Success Managers." Your responsibilities will include:

— Savings-Oriented 

Being cost-centric from day one is non-negotiable. You can't treat SaaS spending as an afterthought. By swearing by metrics upfront, crunching the numbers, and setting clear cost goals, you protect the company from overpaying and hold vendors accountable to pricing disciplines. This lays the foundation for responsible SaaS investment. You should be able to conduct a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis and analyze how much you can save on your SaaS costs based on your expenditures.

Pro Tip: An average Spendflo (SaaS spend management platform) user saves up to $300,000 for every $1M spent on SaaS. If you want to have a rough estimate of how much you can save, book a time slot to talk with us.

— Rigorous SaaS Vetting

You can't rely on marketing fluff when evaluating SaaS vendors. It's your job to look under the hood through rigorous due diligence on security, compliance, integration capabilities, support quality and overall product-org fit. Skipping this step leads to costly SaaS failures down the road when the solution can't meet requirements. As the gatekeeper, you prevent professionals from adopting shiny but flawed SaaS objects.

— Cross-Team Collaboration

SaaS procurement can't happen in an ivory tower. You need to proactively bridge silos and ensure cross-functional stakeholders from IT, InfoSec, Finance, Legal and end-user teams are involved. Why?

Because “Procurement affects widely across the organization...influencing stakeholders internally, which sales and marketing don't need to do quite as much because they're much more outward focused. Procurement is both outward focused on suppliers and inward focused on internal teams.

So we need a wider skill set and set of behaviors than any other role. We must be much better at influencing people internally, where we don't have a power relationship. We can't just tell stakeholders what to do - we need to get them to buy into procurement's decisions and initiatives.

And externally, we have to influence suppliers across vastly different cultures and negotiate complex agreements.” says Martin Crump - the creator of the Developing Procurement Talent Programme.

— Centralized SaaS Management

To effectively manage the full SaaS lifecycle, you need centralized visibility across all solutions through unified dashboards. Scattered tracking in siloed spreadsheets breeds SaaS chaos. Centralized management platforms give you control over every SaaS subscription - usage metrics, spend, renewals, escalations, you name it. It's the single pane of glass facilitating governance.

Pro Tip:  You can now centralize and optimize your SaaS - spends, usage, and user sentiment - and destroy SaaS wastage from the root with the Spendflo SaaS Management (in a single dashboard).

Try Spendflo Now

— SaaS Analytics

As a SaaS procurement pro, you cannot rely on assumptions or gut instincts. You must be obsessed with analytics - rigorously measuring adoption, ROI, productivity impact, cost trends and more for each SaaS. This data-driven approach prevents wasteful spending on shelfware and surfaces opportunities to double down on tools driving business value.

How to Save Cost As a Procurement Specialist?

1. Renew Early

One effective way to save costs is to renew your SaaS contracts early. Spendflo's renewal alerts inform you about upcoming renewals 90-120 days in advance, giving you ample time to evaluate your needs and negotiate favorable terms. By starting the renewal process early, you can leverage your position as an existing customer and potentially secure better pricing, bundle deals, or additional features from the vendor.

2. Consolidate Contracts

Over time, it's common for organizations to accumulate multiple SaaS subscriptions from various vendors, often for similar or overlapping functionalities. As a procurement specialist, you should actively seek opportunities to consolidate these contracts. 

By bundling multiple services under a single vendor or negotiating enterprise-wide agreements, you can unlock significant cost savings through volume discounts and streamlined billing. Additionally, consolidation simplifies contract management and reduces administrative overhead.

3. Monitor Usage

To ensure you're not overpaying for SaaS subscriptions, it's crucial to monitor usage closely. Many vendors offer different pricing tiers based on the number of users, storage, or other usage metrics. By regularly reviewing usage reports and analyzing adoption patterns, you can identify underutilized licenses or subscriptions that can be scaled back or discontinued, leading to cost savings. And, this data can inform future procurement decisions and help you avoid over-provisioning.

4. Negotiate Price Lock for Multi-Year Contracts

When negotiating SaaS contracts, consider securing a price lock for multi-year agreements. Vendors often offer discounted rates for longer-term commitments, and a price lock ensures that you won't be subject to unexpected price increases during the contract term. This strategy not only saves costs over the long run but also provides budget predictability and stability for your organization.

5. Make Data-Based Renewal Decisions

Renewals are a critical juncture where you can reevaluate your SaaS needs and negotiate better terms. To make informed renewal decisions, leverage data-driven insights. Analyze usage metrics, employee feedback, and the vendor's roadmap to assess whether the SaaS solution continues to meet your organization's evolving requirements. This helps you to renegotiate contracts from a position of strength, potentially securing cost savings, feature enhancements, or better support commitments.

How Spendflo acts as your virtual procurement team with its world-class procurement specialists to help you save on SaaS

1. Personalized Cost Analysis: Our procurement specialists conduct in-depth analyses tailored to your SaaS needs, identifying potential areas for cost savings and optimization within your current procurement processes.

2. Strategic Vendor Negotiations: With their expertise, our specialists engage in strategic negotiations with SaaS vendors on your behalf, ensuring favorable pricing and contractual terms that align with your budgetary goals.

3. Continuous Cost Monitoring: Spendflo's platform provides real-time monitoring of SaaS expenditures, allowing our specialists to proactively identify cost-saving opportunities and implement adjustments as needed to maximize your savings potential.

See Spendflo in action now!

Ajay Ramamoorthy
Senior Content Marketer
Karthikeyan Manivannan
Head of Visual Design
Here's what the average Spendflo user saves annually:
$2 Million
Your potential savings

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Here's what the average Spendflo user saves annually:
$2 Million
Your potential savings