So what do Sales & Purchasing professionals Really think of each other?

Results of a 2011 survey show that sales & purchasing professionals each express respect for their counterparts and a willingness to work together.  That’s the good news.  Other results – not so much!

Consulting firm Greybeard Advisors, Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine and Sales & Marketing Management magazine collaborated on a survey to both sales & procurement professionals.  The results indicate that both groups continue to dwell on beliefs and tactics that prevent both functions from talking & working with each other for mutual benefit.  AND….that companies are hanging onto outdated & underperforming models that haven’t changed in 30 years.

Here are some specifics:

  • Both sides view the other as knowledgeable about market & company requirements
  • 92% of sales executives are skeptical of purchasings willingness to share company requirements, business plans, processes & product usage including information regarding current forecasts and trends……..however…..purchasing don’t consider salespeople capable of delivering such proposals
  • 62% of salespeople don’t accept purchasing as the first point of contact…..while purchasing respondents are more neutral on this point………..pointing to a belief on the sales side that there are better places to start the selling process
  • Total cost of ownership and total value take a backseat to price-only decisions – again reflecting mistrust between purchasing and sales and lack of understanding of these fundamentals

Greybeard Consulting advises both purchasing & sales leadership to assess their respective teams’ level of tactical behavior versus strategic behavior.  If the scale tips more one way than the other, Greybeard states that leaders should make the necessary shift to a more balanced approach.  Companies that take a cross-functional approach to sales & purchasing are far more likely to have “a strategic, holistic, total cost of ownership approach to selling and buying”.  But today these types of companies continue to be in the minority.

What is your company’s approach to sales & purchasing?  Is it cross-functional or opposite corners?  And what about your customers?  What approach will work best with them? We hope you’ll find these insights useful for  future planning and, as always, thank you for subscribing to EVERYTHING’S CONNECTED.

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