Archive: May, 2012

Sales v Procurement

I attended a training course yesterday called “Get Your Customers to Spend More – Sales Process Workshop”. I have designed and implemented a number of processes over the years but most have been related to procurement, either in sourcing or purchase to pay. As a procurement professional, I was interested to learn more about the approach used by the people on the other side of the table. Here’s a brief summary of the similarities and differences:

  • Successful sales and procurement people follow robust processes
  • The sales process has more emphasis on contacts while the procurement process has more emphasis on transparency
  • Data is critical to understanding effectiveness
  • The sales process has a higher attrition rate ie a lot of people get involved at the start of the process but a few make a purchase and reach the end
  • There is a wide range of systems available to help manage the process, from MS Excel spreadsheets to sophisticated enterprise solutions
  • The sales process is more costly

I think the similarities could be applied to almost any area of business. The differences, on the other hand, show a different mindset. As the procurement profession continues to mature, the ability to be able to understand how to “sell” the benefits becomes more important.