Know and Watch Lists Methodology

The guidelines we use to develop the Spend Matters 50 to Know/50 to Watch lists of solution providers

The Spend Matters annual 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch lists are determined by the entire Spend Matters analyst team to represent the best of the commercial providers that serve enterprise-level procurement organizations. The 50 to Know list comprises industry-leading proven providers and the 50 to Watch list contains often lesser-known or younger providers of which practitioners ought to be aware. Here are the guidelines we use to develop these lists of solution providers among the hundreds of firms in the marketplace:

The selection process starts early in the year. Spend Matters analysts use a programmatic process to capture, evaluate and filter potential new entrants. This provides a centralized overview of each provider’s key data to supplement analyst debates about qualifications. Key data includes SolutionMap scores, market mindshare (e.g., SEO and social media relevance) and more against core company information (age, revenue, employee count, customer count, growth metrics, funding, partners, etc.).

Data collected each year acts as a starting point that enables future selection processes to become more scientific, producing an overall more trustworthy, valuable tool for organizations keeping tabs on the rapidly evolving procurement tech market. Spend Matters does not run this process as a contest where providers effectively lobby their customers to fill out nomination forms. However, we reserve the right to do reference calls beyond intelligence that we already possess.

The maintenance of this data makes it easier for us, for example, to see how these vendors can/should flow from the 50 Providers to Watch list to the 50 Providers to Know list — or even from our Future 5 list to the 50 Providers to Watch list. Further, we can establish meaningful, numerical baselines for each list, e.g., a minimum customer count or revenue by module for the 50 Providers to Know list.

Finally, analysts then quantify factors previously considered ‘soft’ via a scoring scale in a manner somewhat similar to our SolutionMap scoring process. This allows us to meaningfully track important aspects of qualifying vendors, such as the compelling nature of each solution, the solution’s ability to deliver business results, the solution’s robustness, and more. This creates more repeatability and explainability to the market and brings organizations up to speed faster on the current trends they need to know and the emerging ones they need to watch.

After the analysts nominate their individual choices based on the above selection process, we meet as a team over multiple weeks to debate which of them will unfortunately need to fall outside the 50/50 lists. Once we finalize and publish the lists, we continue to closely monitor the market for the latest developments that may impact the following year’s selection process.