Gartner Research

Eight-Step Playbook to Optimize Software and SaaS Negotiations

Published: 17 May 2019

ID: G00381709

Analyst(s): Jo Ann Rosenberger


Sourcing, procurement and vendor management leaders who do not adequately prepare for vendor negotiations lessen their organization’s bargaining power and increase its risk. Follow these eight steps to successfully plan and execute software and SaaS negotiations to optimize pricing and terms.

Table Of Contents


  • Step 1: Create a Negotiation Team
    • Assemble Your Team With Key Stakeholders Included and Represented
    • Communicate Commitment Needs
    • Create Your Project Plan
  • Step 2: Develop a Negotiation Plan
    • Dual-Purpose Requirement Ranking/Vendor Scoring Matrix
    • Identify All Viable Competitors, Alternatives and Options for Your Organization
    • Research Vendor-Specific Tactics and Strategies
    • Create Your Plan B — Be Prepared to Execute or Walk Away
    • Monitor Vendor Investor Relations Websites — Financial Results and Acquisitions
  • Step 3: Communicate Negotiation Policy
  • Step 4: Capture Hidden and Missing Cost Details
    • Ensure That RFPs Include Cost Questions
  • Step 5: Maintain Terms and Conditions Checklists
    • Create and Maintain Relevant T&Cs Checklists
    • Tailor the Negotiations to Be Vendor-Specific
  • Step 6: Engage IT Finance to Create a TCA Model
    • Collaborate Continuously Throughout the Negotiation Cycle
  • Step 7: Use a Final Negotiation Strategy to Optimize the Deal
    • Final Negotiation Tips and Tactics Checklist
  • Step 8: Develop Robust SAM and Audit Management Processes
    • Communication Is Key
    • Create an Internal Audit Management Process

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