Despite three decades of experience, a history of “strategic” successes at select companies, and an abundance of technologies designed to support both disciplines, for the most part, sales and procurement continue to dwell on tactics.
Both procurement and sales recognize the value of being strategic in the practice of their respective professions; however, given the opportunity to “peek around the curtain” the interest that seems to be at the forefront is to learn more about the “secret ways” of both professions. No matter how many times sales or procurement professionals are told that there are no “silver bullets” they tend not to accept the answer.
Greybeard Advisors, a leading provider of advisory services in procurement transformation, strategic sourcing and supply chain management, has completed a survey that shows despite companies’ desire to improve their sales process, they cling to an outdated and underperforming model that hasn’t changed in three decades. There is evidence from both sales and procurement respondents of respect for the “other side” and working cross-functionally. Unfortunately, there is also evidence that the focus is on price rather than value; there is too little interest in engaging the other side for mutual benefit; and surprising levels of uncertainty and ambivalence that come from both procurement and sales.
Sales managers at all levels would do well to read the 34-page white paper from the Greybeard Advisors study. You can download it here.