John O' Gorman

9 Ways Buying Has Been Transformed

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9 ways buying has changedIn what amounts to a revolution, the buying decisions are being transformed in 9 different ways:

1. Budgets are Being Slashed
Budgets have been slashed, with major projects and purchases scaled back, scrapped, or stalled.

2. Managers Are Being Straight-jacketed
Manager autonomy and discretion with respect to purchase decisions and supplier selection has been greatly diminished.

3.Buying Decisions Are More Structured
To gain approval for their project, or purchase managers must increasingly follow a prescribed buying process.  That means more paperwork, committees and sign-offs required.

4. Buying is Strategic
The major purchase decision is first and foremost a business decision and the underlying business case is paramount.   Purchasing now has an important strategic role.

5. Buyers Are More Skilled
Managers are increasingly sophisticated and skilled in making buying decisions, as well as the business decisions that underpin them.

6. Buyers Are More Skeptical
Today’s buyers are more skeptical of vendor sales people, processes and promises.

7. Buyers Are More Self Contained
Increasingly buyers are doing it for themselves.  They start to elicit the requirements, build the business case and define the solution well in advance of meeting vendors.

8. Buyers Are ‘Playing it Safe’

Buyers are increasingly risk averse, making the safe choice increasing attractive.

9. Decisions Are Being Made By More Senior Managers

Buyers must pull rank in order to get major purchases approved.

The important question is ‘how are these trends reflected in how your sell?’

Generally speaking, the pace of change in buying has far out-paced that in selling.   The reality is that most sellers are aware of these trends, few have successfully adapted how they sell to the complex buying processes that have resulted.

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