In the past decade, procurement has become so much more sophisticated that every aspect of the business process seems to have been commoditised. This is good for businesses because it helps brands cut costs and get the maximum value for the items they decide to get. However, when commoditisation is excessive, businesses tend to miss out on items and services that might otherwise have been of great use to them. Below are the three tactics which, as a procurement professional, you can use to strike the balance between ensuring you are getting the best and missing out on valuable items.
Avoid discrediting the salespeople's value proposition
One of the tactics which almost resembles second nature for professionals is discrediting the value addition of the goods or services that they are offering to you. This tactic is usually helpful because it forms a solid reason for rejecting the offer. However, a better approach to the issue would be to invite the salespeople to tell you more about the value of what they are selling and comparing the value of similar commodities in the market before determining whether they will be of any worth to you or not.
Avoid limiting access to the business
It is true that salespeople can be annoying sometimes. Procurement professionals are trained to try and create hurdles so that it becomes close to impossible to access the business and make a proposal. In the process, genuine salesmen with products that could transform businesses are locked out. Instead of locking other businesses out completely, it would be wiser to try and have a place where business proposals can be dropped off for assessment and consideration. You might end up finding an appropriate solution to your problem in one of these proposals.
Avoid gauging one salesperson's performance against that of another
Another tactic that procurement professionals understand well is digging up the past experiences they have had with a commodity to discredit them. Instead of going straight into attack mode and forcing the salesperson to defend their product, ask them about the improvements that they have made to the goods or services which they are selling. This will give them an easier time to objectively explain the value that the new commodities might add.
Other tactics that will help improve 3rd party procurement include avoiding good-cop and bad-cop procurement meeting situations and avoiding the control of responses given by the salespeople. Procurement should be about getting the best value for the least amount, but it should also be approached with an open mind for complete success.Share