Head coach David Ripley admitted his frustration after Northants missed out on promotion by just five points.
As it transpired, the five-point deduction for a slow over rate in the recent game against Nottinghamshire was to cost the County.
They would have gone up courtesy of having two more wins than Notts, but the points they lost at Trent Bridge ultimately proved crucial.
Ripley's men finished the season with a flourish, chasing down the 197 runs needed to beat Leicestershire by six wickets at Grace Road.
It was a fourth successive victory for Northants, but Notts secured the draw they required at Sussex and they will join champions Worcestershire in Specsavers County Championship Division One next season.
"We've really played well through the back end of the season, in some adversity, including in this game with losing Rory Kleinveldt to injury," Ripley said.
"It is frustrating that nine wins isn't enough, especially with the points deducted in Nottingham - we deserved the deduction, but the circumstances were extraordinary.
"The bowlers did a remarkable job, Richard Gleeson at the end of the season has been outstanding, Ben Sanderson has been Mr Consistency, and Rory Kleinveldt has taken 50 wickets - winning games is about taking 20 wickets, and more often than not we've done that.
"We've got some good players, and they've all contributed, but if there's an area we're looking to improve it's in the batting and turning good scores into big, match-winning scores.
"We're talking to Luke Procter - we need to recruit someone who can challenge our batters for a spot, and him coming in would do that."