Smart SaaS Spending: A Guide to Cost-Effective Purchases in 2024
From AI and Machine Learning to blockchain and low-code platforms, there are plenty of SaaS trends to have on your radar as you aim for business success in 2024. SaaS technology may be integral to your operations as a modern business but it’s crucial to take a considered approach if you want to maximise the return on your investment. This spending guide will help you choose the most impactful SaaS platforms and secure contracts at the best price.
1. Assessing your business needs
It can be tempting to integrate multiple platforms from all the biggest SaaS names. However, rule one of smart SaaS spending is to make sure you’re only investing in products that truly meet your business needs.
Conduct a thorough organizational needs assessment in collaboration with various stakeholders, such as department heads for operational insights, your finance team for budget alignment, your security team for compliance and data protection needs, and your legal teams for contractual considerations. This will ensure you gain a holistic understanding of what your organization really needs.
For instance, if your company is aiming to improve customer engagement, it would be wise to invest in a CRM with strong analytics and customer segmentation features rather than choose a one-size-fits-all solution. As well as helping you pinpoint and prioritize key features, an organizational needs assessment will also prevent you from overspending on unnecessary ones.
2. Monitor usage
Tracking how your SaaS platforms are being used can help you determine whether your money is being well spent. Analytics tools can monitor usage patterns and identify frequently used and underused features. All of this valuable information is essential when deciding whether it’s worth continuing, upgrading, or canceling your subscriptions.
You can collect and analyze this data yourself through regular audits that may reveal consolidation and cost-saving opportunities. For example, if different departments are using different project management tools, maybe you can streamline operations by replacing these with one single tool. There are also platforms that will do the data collection and analysis for you, such as Vertice’s Usage Analytics. According to the SaaS management company, one customer saved nearly $33,000 by canceling contracts as a result of this service.
3. Negotiate effectively
Preparing for negotiations with SaaS providers could save you significant sums of money when it’s time to sign the contracts. However, you’ll only be able to negotiate effectively if you have a clear understanding of the market and your business’s usage data. You’ll have to present this information to the vendor you’re negotiating with if you want to persuade them to offer the most favorable terms.
Deep dive into the market so you can compare various SaaS providers in terms of pricing, service models, feature sets, customization capabilities, and support structures. During negotiations, make sure to also consider your business's growth trajectory. For instance, negotiating a clause for scalability can be crucial if you’re planning for rapid growth.
4. Train your employees
Investing time and resources in training your employees is very important for maximizing the ROI from your SaaS tools. For example, when implementing a new CRM system, your sales team must fully understand its features to fulfill its potential for improving customer relationships. Proper training can also ensure compliance and improve data security.