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Saturday, January 1, 2011

"HELP... How do I get passed Procurement?"

HELP... How do I get passed Procurement? was the title of an inter-company email sent to our CEO by one of  the organization's top VP's of Sales. The email was tossed around to several executives as they hustled to try and answer this question that could potentially lose the business several millions of dollars in annual revenue. They came up blank – how do sales people effectively sell to procurement leaders who are looking to significantly cut cost without jeopardizing a substantial amount of profit?

Out of desperation, one of the executives reached out to me, the organization’s internal Head of Procurement,  in search of advice and "secrets of the trade" to help the sales group successfully retain the business in jeopardy.

TO MY SURPRISE... boy did they need the help! The sales group was doing all the WRONG things like 1. Pushing for face-to-face time 2. Not offering substantial value-add propositions 3. Pretending the customer’s new Procurement Dept was going to just "go away" 4. No real plan or strategy in place, just a “let’s get thru this mentality” 5. Backdoor selling

I was horrified, so I jumped right in and helped develop talking points, a plan to conduct a TCO analysis for the customer and, most importantly, tips on how to build the relationship with procurement that will ultimately be the key to winning the business.

Seriously...think about it... procurement can be the best thing in the world to sales organizations if the sales professional actually sees the big picture.

5 KEYS Procurement Holds:

1.      Key to all company funds spent with suppliers across all departments across the entire organization (many suppliers truly don’t understand the opportunity this opens up for them)   
2.      Key to the office of the CFO (which ultimately is the decision influencer: MONEY)
3.      Key to shaping your image as a supplier within the org
4.      Key to awarding business
5.      Key to taking business away

Not to mention, procurement professionals are huge on industry networking and sharing supplier information that can, and will, generate additional leads for suppliers who have strong relationships with procurement.

I guess I never stopped to think how the information I use every day to save millions and millions of dollars could also help retain millions of dollars for the business as well as win new business by helping the sales department successfully navigate through external procurement processes.

My purpose for starting this blog is to assess the demand for this type of information for Sales Professionals and to try and bridge the gap by offering free advice from a successful Procurement Professional’s point of view.

Please feel free to ask questions, make comments, or share your story.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great resource! I am new to the industry, I work in business development and procurement professionals are my best friends. I would love to receive frequent blog entries. Keep them coming!