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Procurement’s Role in Building and Promoting Your SaaS Management Strategy

Procurement's role in SaaS Management program adoption


Implementing an effective SaaS Management program is not an overnight endeavor. It demands a series of deliberate steps, a strategic approach, and extensive cross-collaboration throughout the organization. 

Such programs are essential for managing and optimizing the vast array of SaaS products that enterprises rely on today. To ensure the success of these programs, Procurement plays a pivotal role in both strategizing and operational execution.

To understand why Procurement’s role is so critical, we hosted a fireside chat at the SaaSMe 2024, featuring two seasoned procurement leaders. 

Brittney Linville, a renowned leader in procurement and program building at high-growth SaaS companies, and Brett Bartolai, the pioneer of the procurement function at Grubhub and Skip the Dishes, shared their wealth of experience and insights. Together, they uncovered the critical elements of crafting a SaaS Management strategy that garners executive support and drives organizational alignment.

For full details about their discussion, watch here.

Procurement’s Role in Building A SaaS Management Program

As we delve into the process of building a robust SaaS Management program, we turn our focus to the indispensable role of Procurement. Brittney Linville and Brett Bartolai offer invaluable perspectives on the key stakeholders, challenges, and strategies involved in this endeavor. Let’s explore their insights on Procurement’s pivotal role. 

When developing a program, who are the stakeholders you’ll need input from?

Brett Bartolai: “In the early stages of establishing a SaaS Management program, it’s critical to engage not just the immediate Procurement team but also IT, Finance, and the actual users of the software. It’s a trifecta that covers all perspectives, which is fundamental for a well-rounded strategy.”

What do you do when those stakeholder groups have conflicting goals and priorities? Have you experienced that in your career?

Brett Bartolai: “Absolutely, conflicts among stakeholder groups are common, especially in dynamic environments like tech. The key is to prioritize open communication and facilitate discussions that allow each party to voice their concerns. Ultimately, it’s about finding common ground and aligning on the strategic objectives that benefit the entire organization, not just individual departments.”

How do you keep stakeholders engaged?

Brittney Linville: “Keeping stakeholders engaged is all about demonstrating continual value and maintaining transparency. Regular updates, showing clear metrics on cost savings and efficiencies gained, and aligning the program’s outcomes with their individual and collective goals are essential strategies to keep everyone committed and supportive.” 

Data Is Greater Than Opinion

In SaaS Management, data is the cornerstone for informed decision-making and program optimization. Linville and Bartolai share their insights on harnessing data to drive meaningful outcomes and organizational success.

What data points have you found successful getting teams on board?

Brett Bartolai: “The most effective data points when garnering support for SaaS Management strategies are cost analysis, user adoption rates, and vendor performance metrics. Demonstrating the tangible financial benefits and productivity enhancements resonates well across departments, helping to solidify support for the initiative.”

How has data been valuable over time?

Brittney Linville: “Over time, data isn’t just a tool for validation; it becomes integral to strategic planning and decision-making. Tracking the impact of our SaaS tools on overall business efficiency and growth allows us to pivot and adapt with precision. It’s not just about cost savings—it’s about optimizing our investments to foster innovation and competitive advantage.”

Challenges Building A SaaS Management Program

Establishing a SaaS Management program can be challenging. Linville sheds light on the hurdles she’s encountered building a SaaS Management program.  

What can cause a program to go off track or cause friction when standing up a program?

Brittney Linville: “A common challenge that can derail a SaaS Management program is the lack of clear communication and defined roles. When stakeholders are not aligned or fully aware of their responsibilities and how they contribute to the program’s goals, it can create significant friction and inefficiencies. Establishing clear lines of communication and responsibilities from the outset is crucial to avoid these pitfalls.”

Evangelizing SaaS Management

As organizations embrace the importance of SaaS Management, evangelizing its benefits becomes paramount. Linville and Bartolai delve into strategies for advocating SaaS Management across diverse teams. We uncover their insights on leveraging data and fostering collaboration to promote the adoption of robust SaaS Management practices. 

How do you surface data to leaders who are trying to make decisions on SaaS?

Brett Bartolai: “When presenting data to leaders, it’s essential to focus on key metrics that align with business outcomes. We prioritize showing cost versus usage and the impact on operational efficiency. Making the data concise and aligning it with strategic goals helps leaders make informed decisions quickly.”

How do you use data to evangelize your program to others who may not be in leadership?

Brittney Linville: “To get broader buy-in, I find it effective to share success stories and data that highlight tangible benefits experienced by other teams. Demonstrating how the SaaS Management program has improved processes or reduced costs for one team can encourage others to adopt the program and see its value for themselves.”

Don’t Let Perfection Get in the Way of Progress

As we wrap up our exploration into the critical role of Procurement in building a successful SaaS Management program, we’ve gained valuable insights from experts Brittney Linville and Brett Bartolai. Their experiences underscore the importance of involving key stakeholders, leveraging data effectively, and maintaining flexibility in the face of evolving business needs. Now, let’s hear their final thoughts on moving forward with these strategies.

Brett Bartolai: “The best advice I can give to anyone looking to build a SaaS Management strategy is just to get involved. Start small, learn continuously, and adapt. The journey is about progress, not perfection.”

Brittney Linville: “In the development of any SaaS Management program, it’s crucial not to let the quest for perfection hinder your teamwork. Early and often, collaborate, get feedback, and refine your approach as you go along.”

Ready to take the first step in your SaaS Management journey? Learn how Zylo can help Procurement leaders initiate and refine their strategy, ensuring maximum value and effectiveness. Discover more at Zylo for Procurement.