The Era of Avoiding Procurement Is Over


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Collaboration with procurement is the future of selling – that was the clear message from research just published by ESR Research and The Bay Group.

In the past sellers exercised considerable creativity in avoiding procurement – seeing them as an unnecessary impediment to the sale. That strategy won’t work any more warns the authors and sponsors of a new report. The era of avoiding procurement is over. Sellers must work with procurement rather than avoiding them!

It’s Official: Buyers Have The Upper Hand

ES Research and The Bay Group have just published an interesting report titled “What Works in Negotiation?” Based on research with over 600 buyers and sellers, the report examines ‘What Buyers and Sellers Think About Their Counterparts’.

The message is one that Buyer Insights readers will be very familiar with. The power resides on the buyers side, with 62% of buyers and 72% of sellers agree that buyers have gained the upper hand. There is even greater agreement on both sides regarding levels of complexity, particularly in the context of contract negotiations.

The research puts some data behind what sellers have long instinctively known – things have changed and they won’t go back to they way they were.

Implications For Sellers

The key implications for sellers drawn by the authors and sponsors include:

‘So much has changed that if you continue to do things that you always have done then you are not going get the results you need.’

‘Sellers need new ways to engage the purchasing professional in the sales process.’

‘Sellers must manage the tension between the two sides – seeing it as necessary and creative. They must move to a more collaborative approach.’

‘Sellers must negotiate the buying process before pricing / contracting – the process itself is an important part of the interaction between buyer and seller’

‘A fundamental change in behaviour is required – while it is common sense it is not common practice

‘More planning / preparation is required to ensure effective interaction with the buyer.’

‘Procurement has a job to do, an important job. Sellers need to embrace that reality.’

‘It can be harder for buyers to deal with internal stakeholders, than external sellers. Committee purchasing is now the reality’

‘Focus on the process of negotiation, not just the negotiation event itself.’

The report predicts a rise in levels of buyer – seller collaboration, with approximately 60% of those surveyed expecting a more collaborative approach to negotiations over the next years.

The full report is available from ESR Research.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ray Collis
Ray Collis is a Business to Business sales coach, sales trainer, Director and Buyer Research Practice Lead of The ASG Group - recognized among the Top 5 sales training organizations worldwide in terms of overcoming the challenges in B2B selling to procurement, or the sophisticated buying organization (ES Research Group). Ray is co-author of several books, including The B2B Sales Revolution and QuickWin B2B Sales, and also of the sales blog Buyer Insights.


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