SaaS Procurement Negotiation: The Key To Securing Better Deals

Clock icon
min read time
January 19, 2024
Share via:

SaaS procurement negotiation can be overwhelming for some, but with the right strategies, you can excel in it. By negotiating smartly, you ensure your organization gets the most out of its SaaS apps while keeping costs in check.

Procurement negotiation distinguishes between a good SaaS purchase and a bad investment. You must negotiate to ensure you get opportunities to secure the best deals at the right market cost.

While entering vendor negotiations, you require more than agreeing on terms and paying upfront to secure the best deal. You must consider key factors and leverage market insights and negotiation skills for optimal value.

To ace your procurement negotiation, you must know all the tricks, seek expert assistance if needed, define your objectives clearly, and utilize effective strategies for optimal outcomes.

This article will help improve your vendor negotiations. It covers the negotiation process, goal-setting, negotiation tactics, and best practices for securing the best deals. These strategies will help you negotiate effectively with vendors and secure the right agreement.

Let's dive in!

‍What is procurement negotiation?

Procurement negotiation is the act of discussing and agreeing on the terms of purchase between a buyer and a seller. It is an important stage in a procurement process and can significantly impact your bottom line.

It involves communication, bargaining, and compromise between the procurement team and the suppliers to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

Some factors to consider in the supply chain when undertaking procurement negotiations include price, quality, delivery timescales, and payment terms.

‍The phases of the negotiation process in procurement

Negotiation is a critical part of the procurement process. Effective negotiation is essential for getting the best possible deals from suppliers.

But what does that process look like? Let's examine the five key stages of the procurement negotiation process: requirements gathering, preparation, opening offer, bargaining and concessions, and closure.

Image showing 5 phases in procurement negotiation

Phase 1: Requirements gathering

The first phase of the negotiation process is information collection. You need to understand your needs and requirements and those of your suppliers.

Ask yourselves these questions:

  • What are your needs and requirements?
  • What are you looking for in a supplier?
  • What kind of product or service do you need?
  • What do your suppliers expect from you?

Once you understand your requirements, you can develop procurement negotiation strategies.

Phase 2: Preparation

The second phase is all about preparation. Once you know what you're looking for, you must prepare for the supplier negotiation. This means developing a strong understanding of your BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) and researching the supplier's business and objectives.

You also need to identify your objectives and priorities.

  • What are your goals for this negotiation?
  • What are you willing to walk away from?
  • What are your bottom line items?

Answering these questions will help you develop a solid negotiating strategy.

Phase 3: Opening offer

The third phase is when you make your opening offer. This is where you lay all your cards on the table and state your case for why the supplier should agree to your terms.

Ensure your opening offer is not your final offer. You should expect the supplier to counter-offer; there will be some back-and-forth before an agreement is reached.

However, your opening offer should be based on your research and preparation from phases one and two, and it should be strong enough to give you some room for negotiated procurement.

Phase 4: Bargaining and concessions

The fourth phase is when the actual bargaining occurs. This is where you try to agree with the supplier based on your objectives and bottom-line items.

Give-and-take is expected in this phase, so be prepared to make some concessions to reach an agreement that works for both parties.

However, don't give away too much—remember, you want to walk away from this supplier negotiation feeling like you got the best possible deal.

Phase 5: Agreement and terms finalization  

The fifth and final phase is finalizing the agreement and terms with the supplier. This includes putting everything in writing and ensuring that both parties understand and agree to all the contract terms before signing it.

Once everything is finalized, you can implement the agreement and start reaping the benefits of your successful negotiation!

Procurement Negotiation 101: 7 Strategies to make it better

When negotiating procurement deals for SaaS purchases, consider the following tips to get the best deal possible.

Image showing procurement negotiation tips

1. Know your worth

When your company decides to purchase new SaaS licenses from a vendor, it's crucial to understand your procurement budget clearly. Knowing the financial constraints ensures you know how much your company can afford to spend.

If you discover that the SaaS licenses you're interested in are available at significantly lower prices from another vendor, you can leverage this information during negotiations to secure a better deal.

If you notice you're spending too much, you can try to negotiate for a better price. Sometimes, you might have to pay more if something is in high demand. But it's important to ensure you're not paying significantly more than you should.

2. Do your research

Before engaging in negotiations with vendors, it is essential to take some time to research SaaS prices in the market. Researching before any negotiation is crucial for establishing your pricing benchmarks, which will help you gauge whether the prices offered by the vendor are fair during the negotiation.

This process allows you to understand the products or services you plan to buy and the trends in the market. Being well-informed makes securing a good deal easier and helps in avoiding overpayment. Additionally, it lets you spot signs that you might be about to pay too much for something.

You can simplify your vendor search process with Cloudeagles' AI-powered vendor recommendation engines. It will surface the right software for your needs, enabling you to optimize your software budget and expedite your purchasing process.

3. Prepare for negotiation

Suppose you've researched various software vendors and determined your desired features and pricing expectations. Armed with this information, you create a list of key points to address during the negotiation, such as specific functionalities you require or budget constraints.

Additionally, you anticipate objections, such as concerns about customization options or implementation timelines, and prepare responses accordingly. This strategic preparation ensures you enter the negotiation well-equipped to advocate for your company's needs and handle potential challenges effectively.

4. Be flexible

Being flexible is one of the most important things to remember when negotiating. This means being willing to compromise on certain points to reach a satisfactory agreement for both parties. An agreement is unlikely to be reached if you are inflexible and refuse to compromise on certain issues.

5. Always seek professional help

Finally, seeking professional help when undertaking any procurement negotiation is essential. This ensures that you can access expert advice and guidance throughout the process.

If necessary, consider outsourcing your procurement needs to ensure you get the best possible deal for your company.

This is because procurement outsourcing firms have extensive experience negotiating with vendors and will also have access to market intelligence that you may not have. As such, they will be able to get you better deals and help you avoid any pitfalls during negotiations.

For instance, if your organization's IT team lacks the time or bandwidth to handle the procurement negotiation process, opting for CloudEagle’s Assisted Buying service can be cost-effective.

Our expert negotiators with years of negotiation experience will conduct market research and utilize price benchmarks from $1 billion transactions to provide you with the best SaaS prices at the right market cost.

6. Don’t be afraid to walk away

If negotiations are not going your way, don't be afraid to leave the deal. It will send a strong message to the vendor that you are not willing to compromise on specific terms. Walking away from a deal is often the best way to get what you want.

7. Make data-driven decisions

It is important to base decisions on data rather than emotions during procurement negotiations. This means looking at things like the total cost of ownership (TCO), return on investment (ROI), and expected lifetime value (LTV). By making data-driven decisions, you will be able to make informed decisions that are in line with your business objectives.

Procurement outsourcing: Why you should think about it?

Procurement managers and teams bridge internal departments and external vendors and streamline the acquisition of crucial products, including strategic SaaS applications, to boost employee productivity. However, their role goes beyond mere purchasing.

The SaaS procurement process requires many considerations before finalizing the deal. It demands a deep understanding of business requirements, vendor landscapes, complex pricing structures, and evolving software licenses.

Navigating these complexities can overwhelm internal teams. That's where outsourcing comes in. While in-house teams may interact with vendors sporadically, outsourcing partners like CloudEagle maintain regular, weekly contact due to high customer usage.

Pain points of in-house procurement:

Lack of Usage Insights: In-house procurement professionals might find it challenging to gather usage data efficiently without an efficient procurement platform. It leads to time-consuming analyses and potential overspending.

Lack of Benchmarking Data: Organizations risk overpaying for software without access to market price comparisons. It can result in significant cost overruns.

Understanding SaaS Pricing Models: In-house teams may lack expertise in negotiating SaaS pricing, leading to potential overpayments and unfavorable terms.

Familiarity with SaaS Vendors: Without long-term relationships or contract negotiation strategies, organizations may miss out on vendor discounts, ultimately increasing SaaS spending.

Expertise: In-house procurement teams may lack the negotiation skills for effective SaaS purchasing, leading to higher costs and inefficiencies.

Outsourcing saves time, boosts productivity, and lets internal teams focus on core revenue-driven tasks. Both approaches have pros and cons, but ultimately, outsourcing is the best option for most organizations.

Here are three reasons why:

1. You'll save time and money

Outsourcing software procurement to a SaaS provider will save you time and money. The provider will handle all the negotiation and haggling with vendors on your behalf, so you won't have to waste time doing it yourself. And because they're experts at getting the best deals, you can be sure you'll save money in the long run.

2. You'll get quality software

When you outsource your software procurement, you'll also get better-quality software. This is because outsourced service providers like CloudEagle will only recommend software that meets your needs and requirements.

We work for you, not for the vendors. Outsourcing providers won't try to upsell you on features you don't need or want, so you'll have a higher-quality product overall.

3. You'll have more time to focus on your business

When you outsource your software procurement, you'll also have more time to focus on running your business. You won't have to deal with vendors or haggle over price. You can simply let the outsourced service provider do the heavy lifting of negotiations while you focus on your core tasks.

Why outsource SaaS buying to CloudEagle?

Platform usage insights: CloudEagle's integration library connects all your applications, offering a comprehensive view of your SaaS stack—showing purchases, usage, spending, and licenses.

Understanding usage is key to successful vendor negotiations. CloudEagle helps you leverage usage insights to optimize licenses and negotiate effectively, saving costs.

Latest price benchmarking data: CloudEagle provides access to the latest price benchmarks for SaaS buyers, ensuring you pay a fair price aligned with industry standards.

Our negotiation experts leverage benchmarking data to secure competitive pricing, prevent cost overruns, and ensure alignment with your business needs.

An extended team: CloudEagle's SaaS buying approach involves close collaboration, leveraging insights and market data to offer valuable recommendations.

Our experts work alongside your team, ensuring decisions are made jointly, and your input is considered to negotiate better terms rather than taking over the negotiation process entirely.

Renewal workflows to bring visibility to the entire process: CloudEagle streamlines SaaS renewals by integrating with your systems to extract contract details and eliminate auto-renewal clauses.

The tool tracks renewals, sends timely reminders, and facilitates negotiations aligned with your needs. If adjusting licenses or plans, we negotiate terms efficiently to ensure vendor alignment.

Pre-negotiated vendor discounts: CloudEagle provides 500+ pre-negotiated vendor discounts, expert negotiation, and proactive renewal monitoring.

We bridge between you and vendors, ensuring productive partnerships and cost-effective SaaS buying. Outsourcing to CloudEagle guarantees efficient renegotiation and maintenance of vendor relationships.

Years of negotiation expertise: Our experienced SaaS buyers provide years of negotiation expertise, ensuring you secure the right product at the right price. They analyze your needs, conduct thorough market research, leverage market trends, and utilize the latest pricing benchmarks for positive negotiations.

You can lead negotiations with our experts offering support or opt for their experts to manage the negotiation process on your behalf—the choice is yours.

Procurement workflows: CloudEagle goes beyond assisted buying services with its automated workflows, streamlining your SaaS procurement process. Tasks are automatically assigned to the right stakeholders, who are notified via Slack, email, and in-app notifications.

Image of CloudEagle's procurement workflow

Internal Stakeholders can collaborate in private Slack channels to make informed decisions. Incomplete tasks are escalated to ensure timely approvals, allowing your team to focus on negotiations.

Additionally, CloudEagle offers "Slack for Procurement," a dynamic Slackbot enabling users to raise purchase requests directly from Slack, with the ability to manage specific workflows within private channels.

Benefits of outsourcing to CloudEagle

Guaranteed savings: CloudEagle ensures you pay the right price by tracking usage insights and offering a significant savings guarantee against a minimal cost.

Time saved and increased productivity: Outsourcing saves time and boosts productivity, allowing internal resources to focus on strategic business initiatives.

Cost-effectiveness: Training or hiring in-house experts costs more and yields poor ROI compared to outsourcing.

Always-on suggestions and recommendations: CloudEagle's experts provide continuous analysis and recommendations for optimizing your SaaS portfolio.

​Tail spend management: CloudEagle helps optimize small purchases, preventing unnecessary expenses that can eat into your budget.

Flexible contract terms: Benefit from discounts and flexible terms negotiated by CloudEagle, including better support, billing frequency options, and no auto-renewals.


Procurement negotiation is essential to securing applications for your business at a fair price. Following the procurement negotiation strategies outlined above can improve your chances of getting a good deal on your next purchase.

When you opt for CloudEagle's assisted buying, our experts bring you the best deal. Additionally, using CloudEagle's advanced, customizable procurement workflows, you can streamline the SaaS buying process.

The procurement workflows provide complete visibility over purchase requests, enabling real-time progress tracking. Moreover, you can notify the stakeholders automatically via Slack and email, expediting the request approval process.

Always research before entering any negotiation, and ensure that you secure a win-win agreement for both parties involved to maintain a healthy vendor relationship.

Book a demo with CloudEagle to see how effortless SaaS purchasing negotiations can be.

Written by
Nidhi Jain
CEO and Founder, CloudEagle
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec pellentesque scelerisque arcu sit amet hendrerit. Sed maximus, augue accumsan hendrerit euismod.

Discover how much you can save on SaaS

Calculate SaaS savings and start optimizing today!