Selling: The Many Roles of Procurement

Categories : Procurement Goals | Improve Credibility Published on : Mar 16 2018

By: ProcurementIQ Staff Writer, Ashley McKay

Do you consider yourself a salesperson? According to negotiation expert, Mark Raffan, “Whether you like it or not, selling is a major component of what you do as a procurement person.”

In his article “Procurement People Are Sale People,” Mark highlights the 3 main groups procurement sells to on a daily basis:

  1. Users/The Business: Perhaps you have to sell at a higher level to get the business to give procurement enough lead time to do a competitive process, to involve procurement earlier in the conversation so that procurement can be effective.

  2. Leadership: Often, you need to advise (sell) leadership on a direction that you believe is best for a particular commodity/category/business unit.

  3. Legal: Your job as a good procurement person is to weigh business needs against legal needs and try to manage the balance between both sides. And ultimately, you may even need to sell the business on not moving in a certain direction because the risk may be too great.

Now do you consider yourself a salesperson?

Procurement is always selling, especially to users and leadership. (And, this goes for any department within any organization with internal customers.) Even before you can get to some of the everyday tasks mentioned above, you have to sell the value that the department can bring to the organization. This is something so many procurement departments are still struggling with. Every day, they are tasked with educating (selling) internal customers on why it is important to involve procurement in the very early stages of a sourcing project and how that can save the organization time and money and help reduce risk. And, this alone takes time. So, whether you like it or not, procurement people are salespeople!

To read full insight from Mark Raffan, click here.

For more on how to sell to internal customers, read
“Highlighting the Value of the Procurement Department”

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