Technical Abilities

A young woman came into a distributor’s store to buy a robot to automate her company’s business. The counterperson referred her to their trained technical sales rep. She made him aware of the options she needed on the robot and seemed to know more about the product than he did.

She quizzed the rep on his technical capabilities and asked if their company could train and service the robot. This scenario should not be a surprise to anyone who follows purchasing trends.

The Procurement Department as a Client

While salespeople once worked with purchasing agents, in today’s digital world, they will more likely be answering the needs of procurement departments.

In her article, “Making Procurement Part of the B2B Sales Process,” Michelle Richardson states, “77 percent of B2B buyers don’t talk to sales reps until the buyer has done their research, and 99 percent are comfortable spending $50,000 or more using a self-service web portal.

In addition, “The procurement department is responsible for identifying needs, sourcing suppliers, negotiating and managing contracts and costs, including ways to save money.”

The shift in Sales Attention

As in the example above, the purchasing process now includes assessing the seller’s added-value capabilities on complex products and services. B2B selling is a collaborative effort and is about personal relationships.

Furthermore, Suppliers must create new partnering principles to enable data sharing and transparency while protecting proprietary interests. It is important to determine the needs of all decision-makers and determine who controls the purchase.

Lastly, The shift of sales attention from purchasing departments to procurement groups is part of the new digital sales cycle. Be sure you understand your customer’s organizational dynamics and use Enterprise Selling techniques to remain competitive.

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