SaaS Spend Management
Over the past two months, we have hosted the founders and CEOs of the leading SaaS Spend Management vendors.
Sid Sridharan, the founder of Spendflo was formerly an executive in an "electric vehicle" charging infrastructure company and experienced the challenges of controlling SaaS spend in an early-stage, fast growing company. Sid's interaction (not all positive) with his own CFO regarding their SaaS spend inspired Sid to found a company that was purpose-built to address the very challenge his CFO presented Sid.
How does Sid define SaaS Spend Management? Sid responded that Payroll is the number one spend in a company, and it has already been automated. Over the last few years, SaaS has become a top 3 spend, and is an area that is still not automated in the majority of companies - and most early-stage companies do not have the resources or time to manage it internally.
Another topic we discussed was "How does SaaS Spend Management support and embrace the decentralized nature of SaaS purchases?" Sid first offered a CFOs perspective, which is when SaaS purchasing is decentralized and the associated expense is growing 25% per year, centralized control is required. Moreover, since the average SaaS tool has 9 competitors, the amount of time it takes to truly evaluate all the alternatives is greater than any one company can resource - thus they may be missing some great options for their requirements.
Sid shared that they take a holistic approach to SaaS Spend Management starting with the discovery of existing SaaS Tools used, facilitating the purchasing of new SaaS tools, renewing existing SaaS tools, and managing overall SaaS Spend and utilization.
One of the primary differences that Spendflo provides is the first-party data across their ecosystem, using a single platform to understand SaaS tool utilization and user sentiment. When we double-clicked on "user sentiment", Sid highlighted that once a customer invests time selecting a SaaS tool, it is hard to measure ROI, which is a key area that Spendflo focuses on, which is especially important in preparing for renewal decisions. By running usage and sentiment data continuously over the term of the agreement, it empowers the leaders to understand how users feel about the tool, including user satisfaction and user sentiment across two variables; 1) How important is the tool to business value and; 2) Would you be upset if this tool was taken away
When is the best stage of evolution to introduce a SaaS Spend Management Solution? Sid highlighted 50 - 60 people with the expectation to grow to 100 - 200 people, as the growth in SaaS spend will increase materially during this stage of growth. Sid also highlighted that $250K in SaaS spend is another inflection point to deploy a centralized SaaS Spend Management process.
If you are responsible for any SaaS tool purchasing, management, and/or the budget, this conversation with Sid is a great listen!