Ray Collis

Myth #7: It’s About Selecting A Supplier

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Salespeople expect the Fortune 1000 buying process to focus on ‘shopping for a supplier’ and to include such steps as:

  • Defining vendor selection criteria.
  • Short-listing vendors.
  • Briefing shortlisted vendors.
  • Eliciting vendor proposals.
  • Vendor presentations and clarifications.
  • Vendor selection.
  • Notification of successful and unsuccessful vendors.
  • Final negotiation of terms and signing of contract.

But these steps are not listed. Although an inevitable part of any procurement process, they are too obvious. Perhaps it is because they are subsidiary to the other steps, such as the definition of requirements or the business case.

Buyers are quick to remind us that selecting a supplier is after all only a small part of the buying process, perhaps even the smallest part. Think of it this way, the reason projects don’t go ahead is not because the buyer cannot select between competing vendors, but most likely because a compelling business case has not been established and approved.

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