What we’re hearing today from procurement professionals is a desire to “increase internal share of spend and reduce rogue buys.” As a salesperson if you’re not sure what this means, you need to know.
A large part of the problem most of us have with procurement is that we don’t really understand what they do, we only understand what they say…..”lower your price by 10% and you get the business.”
What we need to know is that procurement is under mounting pressure to not only lower costs (that will always be there) but also to better meet internal customer needs. If they do this, they justify themselves as internal consultants not just “buyers.” Procurement professionals are NOT charged with buying the cheapest thing in the market. They are charged with selecting high value suppliers that meet their internal customers overall needs. When they attempt to focus the conversation on the price of our products, we must change the conversation back to the value of our overall solution based on their internal customer needs.
The rub is, we have to know who their internal customers are and what their needs are. It is the due diligence prior to a negotiation on these needs that will give you the data you need to effectively change that conversation.