SaaS Vendor Relationship Management: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

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April 17, 2023
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Are you fed up with dealing with vendors who fail to deliver their promises? Do you believe your business is not making the most of its vendor relationships? If that's the case, you are not alone.

Vendor relationships are easier to initiate, but managing them is where most businesses fall short.

Statistics reveal that inadequate vendor relationship frameworks affect approximately 50% of vendor partnership initiatives. This results in several challenges that negatively impact their operations, including missed deadlines and cost overruns.

Signing a contract and hoping for the best isn't enough. Businesses must have a well-thought-out vendor relationship management plan. A process that considers the unique needs of each vendor to guarantee success.

In this blog, we'll discuss the significance of vendor relationship management (VRM). And list out the best practices to help you build strong, long-lasting partnerships with your vendors.

SaaS Vendor Relationship Management: What Does It Mean?

Gartner defines vendor relationship management as a "discipline that enables organizations to control costs, drive service excellence, and mitigate risks to gain increased value from their vendors throughout the deal lifecycle."

Vendor relationship management (VRM) is the process of establishing and maintaining positive relations with vendors or suppliers. Strengthening buyer-supplier relationships aims to achieve mutually beneficial goals and build trust.

Moreover, this process encompasses managing conversations, agreements, and contracts with vendors to ensure the relationship benefits both parties.

An effective vendor relationship management approach can provide a wide range of essential benefits. Ranging from quality increases and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) to new innovations and a much smoother data flow.

VRM is important in SaaS. Many companies depend on external providers for essential tools and services.

Read now: The Ultimate Guide to SaaS Vendor Management for 2023

Why Must Businesses Pay Attention To SaaS Vendor Relationship Management?

A quote from Laurie Brednich about vendor management

It's easy to lose track of your vendor relationships while managing several aspects of your business. Here are a few compelling reasons businesses must pay attention to vendor relationship management.

  • Maintain the quality of products and services while ensuring vendor satisfaction.
  • Positive and productive relationships with SaaS vendors can result in improved services and timely issue resolution.
  • Compliance with legal and regulatory standards can be ensured through effective SaaS vendor relationship management.
  • A strong vendor relationship can pave the way for cost-saving opportunities and vendor discounts.
  • Effective VRM can help businesses avoid potential risks associated with using cloud-based software. Streamlines risk management.
  • Increases transparency and accountability in the process.
  • Increase overall satisfaction among customers, vendors, and stakeholders.

You can maximize your SaaS procurement efforts and promote long-term success for your organization by enhancing vendor relationship management.

How to Manage Vendor Relationships?

Vendor relationship management is critical for long-term business success and increasing savings. However, managing vendor relationships can be complex if you don’t follow the right tactics.

Wondering how to manage vendor relationships?

Here’s how you approach the SaaS vendor management process,

Choose the best vendor

Vendor relationship management begins with selecting the right SaaS vendor. The right vendor can make the difference between seamless and hassle-free business operations.

Potential vendors should be evaluated according to their expertise, reputation, and compatibility with your firm's aims and values.

Click here to learn more about selecting the right SaaS vendor for your business.

Top 5 Factors To Consider While Selecting A SaaS Vendor

Clearly define your SaaS agreement

In a formal agreement, specify the scope of services, performance standards, SLAs, and payment terms. This will help ensure both parties know their responsibilities and expectations.

Businesses with poor vendor relationships are usually the ones that overlook SaaS agreements. Not paying close attention to your SaaS agreement will lead to various hassles. Also, it'll result in low-quality products, risks of data breaches, and more.

Defining your SaaS agreement will make it easier for your internal teams to manage the SaaS vendor effectively.

Establish a process for managing vendor relationships

Build a strategic procedure for managing vendor relationships, encompassing communication channels, performance reviews, and issue resolution. This will aid in the successful and efficient management of vendor relationships.

By adhering to this process, you can build strong and productive vendor relationships and help you reach your business goals.

Use SaaS vendor management software to enhance your process instead of relying on manual approaches. It can centralize all the vendors, their contracts, and other important information in one place, making them easier to manage.

Managing vendor relationships doesn’t need to be complex. An IT vendor management system like CloudEagle can ease things for you, as will the best practices discussed below.

5 SaaS Vendor Relationship Management Best Practices

A quote from Tom Reid about vendor relationships

This section will explore five vendor relationship management best practices to manage SaaS vendors and achieve business success.

Communicate Regularly

Poor communication is the primary reason for most vendor relationship failures. Failure to effectively communicate with or receive critical information from suppliers can undermine the fundamental foundation of a business's SaaS vendor management approach.

Corporate buyers must maintain good communication with their vendors. To ensure efficient SaaS vendor management, allowing them to convey their needs better and understand their suppliers' abilities.

Don't breach the Saas Agreement.

Having clear and explicit service level agreements (SLAs) and contracts is critical while managing vendor partnerships.

It is critical that both parties grasp their commitments and obligations under the agreement entirely and that these conditions are strictly monitored. Breaching the SaaS agreement might have serious consequences, including strained relationships, legal conflicts, and financial losses.

By creating and keeping a robust agreement, you and your vendor will have a better understanding of what's expected and will be able to construct a more effective and sustainable partnership.

Track KPIs and collaborate for improvements.

When you establish key performance indicators (KPIs), you set measurable goals aligned with your business objectives. Monitoring these indicators enables you to monitor your vendor's performance and discover possible concerns before they become serious.

You may uncover areas for improvement and chances for collaboration by regularly assessing your vendor's performance against these KPIs.

Working with your vendor to fix these problems can enhance service delivery and product quality. This approach can also assist you in developing a stronger and more beneficial long-term relationship with your vendor.

Bring in SaaS vendor relationship management software

Technology can significantly enhance SaaS vendor management's productivity and efficacy. Investing in vendor relationship management software like CloudEagle can streamline the entire SaaS vendor management process. From vendor research and onboarding to communication and performance tracking.

Platforms like CloudEagle can centralize your vendors in one place. you don’t have to visit each application to analyze usage or track performance. You can do it all from one dashboard.

Regular Risk Assessment And Transparency

It is vital to conduct periodic risk assessments and maintain transparency with your vendors in order to establish and maintain great partnerships. A thorough risk assessment can aid in identifying possible concerns and their mitigation before they become significant problems.

Transparency with your vendors about your expectations and potential risks fosters confidence and collaboration. It also allows vendors to provide recommendations on improving the relationship and avoiding potential risks.

You can build vendor relationships and assure long-term success by maintaining transparency and frequent risk assessments.

Looking for more best practices, check out this blog on SaaS Vendor Management Best Practices to Follow in 2023

CloudEagle Is The Ideal Vendor Relationship Management Software

CloudEagle is a SaaS vendor relationship management software that simplifies vendor management. It provides enterprises with a single system for handling all vendor-related tasks.

Our platform’s comprehensive SaaS vendor management features make it the ideal tool for businesses seeking to establish and maintain excellent vendor relationships.

One of CloudEagle's key features is its ability to assist businesses in negotiating better agreements with their providers. Better deals can be negotiated to strengthen vendor relationships by lowering costs and enhancing efficiency.

An image of vendor management dashboard

Source: CloudEagle

With the assisted buying feature of CloudEagle, businesses can streamline their IT vendor management process. It can handle everything from vendor selection to contract negotiations.

This solution saves time and money for businesses by reducing the purchasing process and letting them concentrate on their primary business activities.

Centralized management

Be it applications, contracts, or vendors, CloudEagle will gather and organize all the information in one centralized location. You can easily see how much each user or team is spending on vendors, access license utilization metrics, and make necessary cost optimization decisions using CloudEagle.

Vendor research

We stressed the importance of selecting the right vendors in the above sections. CloudEagle’s vendor recommendation module will help you research vendors. Also, it'll help you communicate with them, read reviews, and enable you to make the right decisions in vendor selection.  

Expert assistance

The most overlooked aspect of vendor relationship management is negotiations. If your team lacks the bandwidth to negotiate effectively, leave it to our experts. Nailing your negotiation tactics will pave the way for healthy buyer-supplier relationships.

Check out our customer Sophie Wang from Wefunder recalls how CloudEagle experts negotiated with the vendor and saved on SaaS spend:

They’ll perform the vendor research for you, assess your team’s requirements, negotiate with the vendors for you, select the right vendor, and help you build a strong relationship with them.

So, are you looking to enhance your vendor relationships? Then what are you waiting for? Book a demo and talk to our experts to streamline IT vendor management.

Maximize your savings: Optimize your SaaS Stack Now!

Written by
Joel Platini
Content Writer and Marketer, CloudEagle
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