saas
July 29, 2021

6 Questions to ask yourself before buying any SaaS Product

100. That’s how many SaaS products a single company with fewer than 100 employees could end up using. To help make this process simpler and more effective, we’ve put together a list of the six questions you need to ask yourself before buying any SaaS. Lets get started!

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100. That’s how many SaaS products a single company with fewer than 100 employees could end up using. For an organization with more employees, this number could go up to 500. This isn’t surprising, of course. Given the features and flexibility it offers, investing in SaaS is a no-brainer for most businesses.

But making decisions about the right SaaS products can be a stumper.  

It involves multiple stakeholders and decision-makers, a deluge of information to wade through, and balancing the right choice for them and the company — in the short and the long term. In fact, for all the benefits of SaaS, over 75% of buyers described their SaaS purchase as very complex or difficult. The fast-changing dynamics of the SaaS world don’t make matters any easier.

To help make this process simpler and more effective, we’ve put together a list of the six questions you need to ask yourself before buying any SaaS.

Let’s get started.

6 Questions to ask yourself before buying a new SaaS Product

1. Your ‘why’: What problem are you trying to solve?

While this appears straightforward, it’s easy to miss this step when you look at the bells and whistles the latest SaaS products offer.  The first step is to nail down the exact problem you’re trying to solve. Whatever your motivation, be it improving employee efficiency, saving costs, or streamlining communication and collaboration, articulate the exact problem you’re focused on solving.

For instance, if you’re one among the 50-employee companies using 50 different SaaS apps, you most likely have a SaaS purchase and visibility management problem. The exact problem you could be looking to solve could be high SaaS spends, unused or orphaned products, and the lack of purchase visibility.

2. Why now: Why is this a critical requirement now?

In the SaaS world, you can be sure that there will always be a newer shinier tool for your team to play with. But you need to be able to justify — even if to yourself — your current SaaS investment. Say, in the case of a marketing automation tool, if you’re not at the level of maturity or sale volumes where you need to automate your processes, it might be a good idea to wait a while and focus on strong internal systems that future SaaS products need to work with.

However, if you’re at a critical stage in your product or team’s journey, the right decision at the right time can make all the difference.  

For instance, if you foresee SaaS procurements and renewals becoming more common as your team grows, now’s the best time to set systems in place for it. Solutions like SpendFlo can help get a single pane of glass to look at all your SaaS purchases and avoid overspending on multiple and duplicate SaaS products or overpaying on existing ones.

3. What else: Are there any other alternatives?

While the dizzying array of SaaS options can be tempting to the best of us, it’s important to explore how existing systems or products can help. Make sure that you understand all the features and functionalities your existing products offer; there may be more unexplored features than you think. In some cases, all it takes is a simple process change or a new system in place with existing products to do the trick.

But if you’ve gotten so far and established that you need to make a purchase, it’s time to move to the next set of what-when-how questions.

4. What:  What do you need your product to do?

Ask yourself exactly what your product would need to do without getting swayed by the features and benefits common in SaaS-speak.  

For instance, if the problem you’re looking to solve is high SaaS spends and/or improve coordination in the buying process, your solution would need a simple way to

  • understand who’s bought which tool,
  • identify and support the key decision-makers involved in each decision,
  • track spending on each tool, and lastly,
  • limit both the time and money spent on multiple products.

Whatever your problem, lock down exactly what needs to be done by your new product before you look at what else the product can offer you.

5. When: How long would you like to use this product?

The time it can take you to hop on to a new product can be more than your team ends up spending using it.  Think about it. Identifying the product, evaluating the vendor, negotiating the contract, making a decision, and onboarding your team — these are all the steps you need to follow for every new SaaS product.

Make sure that the tool you’re considering has long-term usage prospects and benefits for your organization, or, find a way to make your SaaS purchase process simpler and faster. ‘Time is money’ is a cliché in SaaS circles, but a good product is one that doesn’t force you to pick between the two.

6. How: How will you measure success and your ROI?

Most SaaS value propositions fall into three categories; most products help you

- Save time and improve productivity

- Save effort and improve efficiency

- Save money or Increase revenues

  or

- A combination of all three

Define, in measurable terms, what success with a new product looks like to you and how you will measure progress towards it.

If we were to loop back to the example of managing multiple SaaS purchases efficiently, you should be able to quantify the savings on SaaS purchases and the reduction in time spent on negotiations, decisions, purchases, and renewals.

Over to you

We hope these questions give you something to think about as you scale newer heights with your teams. 2020 was a breakthrough year for SaaS and companies benefitting from it. While there couldn’t be a better time to ride the SaaS wave, keeping your balance can be tricky — especially when it comes to managing your company’s ambitions, your revenues, and your long-term goals.

Here’s where SpendFlo can help you. With Spendflo, you can build a strong arsenal of tools without the risk of them weighing you down. You can save up to 30% on your SaaS spend, shorten your procurements, and get real-time visibility into your spending and savings — all in one place.

Adithiya Namasivayam
Spendflo makes your entire SaaS buying cycle faster, cheaper and more efficient. And if we can’t? We’ll write you a check for the difference.

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