Procurement Systems: The Implications For Sales Professionals
Imagine you were selling to a computer programme instead of a human being? Well, although it sounds futuristic, the increasing popularity of procurement systems is bringing it closer to reality every day.
Just as sales organizations have embraced sales systems to improve how they sell, buying organizations have implemented procurement systems to improve how they buy. But the use of procurement systems have many implications for sellers.
We have just written a paper on the subject – you will find a short summary here and a link to download it in full.
What is a procurement system?
What is a procurement system? Let’s start by examining what it means to the end user in an organization – the manager or employee who needs to buy something. We are all familiar with buying books and airline tickets online. Well, the implementation of procurement is the application of the same principles.
Through-out the organization, rather than picking up the phone to a supplier for stationery, software or to book business travel, the manager or employee goes to their PC where they will see a screen such as below:
What do procurement systems mean for sellers?
The full list implications for sellers of buying systems are examined in the whitepaper, but here is a sample:
1. The organization is likely to be more sophisticated in terms of its buying, more rigorous and more structured in its approach to selecting and managing suppliers. The programme dictates the steps that the buyer must follow. As always it is important to understand those steps and to help the buyer to navigate them.
2. The relationship dimension of winning the order is likely to be less important and more of the selling is likely to be done by means of online Rfx submission. Typically buyers will have less discretion in terms of how decisions are made.
3. Buyers are likely to have access to more information, more data on prices, market trends, etc. They have a detailed record of what has happened in the past, future spend forecasts, compliance levels, supplier market conditions, business metrics and supplier performance. As a result of all this intelligence they can be more difficult to sell to.
To get the whitepaper click here.