How to Sell the Value of Procurement – And Win People Over!
Sick of wheeling out the same outdated procurement speech to try and win your stakeholders over? Rebrand procurement and get the attention you deserve!
Procurement professionals know the business inside and out, and have seen first-hand the radical transformations that can happen when an organisation embraces the procurement function and elevates their visibility and ability to create an impact.
So why, then, do some procurement teams fail miserably when given a last minute chance in the spotlight?
Good at buying. Good at selling ourselves?
A last minute request for a “presentation from procurement” comes in from an internal client. A collective groan rips through the team while someone frantically locates a years old PowerPoint that someone wrote in a hurry the first time this happened.
The PowerPoint is tweaked and edited with the latest buzzwords. How could we possibly forget to talk about the procurement ecosystem, the spend optimization project, the Strategic Supplier Relationship Framework and, of course, the simplification project?
We expect our eager audience to eat up our sophisticated messaging, but instead half the people are yawning (if their camera is even on) and someone from Marketing just wants to know why the presentation isn’t in the approved corporate format and template.
What this procurement team has failed to understand is that, in procurement, the biggest asset we have to sell is ourselves. By now, most teams have heard the usual procurement pitch, full with buzzwords and the latest jargon that flies over people’s heads or gets lost in the corporate noise.
So how does procurement stand out?
The Procurement Reframe!
Let’s take a look at a typical procurement pitch and see how you can reframe your message to make it land better with your audience.
The messages usually consist of:
- Engage with us early!
- We can help you manage your risk!
- Let us aggregate and bundle to leverage better deals!
- Data is powerful, invest in tech and reap the rewards!
- Let us optimise your supply chain for greater efficiencies!
There are no untruths in the first pitch – each and every point is exactly right and fully relevant for every procurement team out there. However, when it goes wrong (and it will), and the audience’s eyes glaze over, it’s usually because of 3 things:
1. It’s written from your point of view, not theirs
2. There’s way too much jargon and/or overused corporate buzzwords
3. It’s not tailored to what success means for them
So let’s flip that pitch on it’s head.
1. This is the value we can provide you…
Clearly demonstrate that you understand their business function, their purpose and what role they play in the bigger picture. Don’t get hung up on your work, talk from their point of view.
2. We can help provide assurance to your critical projects!
Procurement is more than just a process, where are the real gains won? Don’t just assume that people will know this, or will consider anything outside of the cost, delivery and quality triangle. Tell them and you might find they’re pleasantly surprised.
3. We can help you meet your business objectives
Research in advance what their goals and objectives are. It won’t hurt to understand how their objectives link to yours, as well as those of the wider business.
4. You can access solutions faster by working with us
Don’t harp on at length about early engagement. They’ve heard it a million times and if they haven’t changed they most likely won’t be in a hurry to. Demonstrate the value that can be gained by working with you, irrespective of when they get procurement on board.
5. Utilise our market intelligence and supply market networks to ensure you’re the most sought after client in town
Appeal to human nature, who doesn’t want to be the most sought after client? Use your market knowledge to sell your internal client back to their market.
The points listed above won’t work for every scenario but you get the drift. Move away from using business or procurement jargon and shift into outcome orientated statements that speak to their true north – not yours. You may even win some new supporters.
What will you change about your new procurement pitch? Have you got any examples of winning people over with an amazing presentation? Tell us all about it below.