Selling to Procurement

Selling to the Professional Buyer: The Issue of Supplier Choice

In my work of delivering key account management and negotiation programmes, where the focus is on Sales success through the development of close, dependent relationships with customers, the subject of professional procurement frequently arises. Because of my procurement background, I’m often quizzed about how modern-day category managers think, and what

Sales – We need to talk about Procurement

What’s happening to the Sales profession when it comes to its engagement with professional ‘Procurement’ at the customer? I honestly thought Sales professionals would all be used to dealing with Procurement by now, positively reveling in the challenge to articulate the value of their offerings to forensic, value-hungry buyers. Any

Sales: Build a Better Relationship with Procurement

You’re in a sales role? You meet with professional buyers on a fairly routine basis? You think you understand them, and their interests…. really understand them? Well, let’s take a few minutes to think about that. Salespeople rightly take pride in their ability to build new relationships, deepen existing ones,

Selling to the Professional Buyer: The Toughest of Times for Sales?

Sales has never been the easiest of careers to embark on. Calling on prospects with solutions the decision-maker doesn’t see the need for (or one that is simply dealing with other priorities) is a tough but necessary ask. It takes a special blend of personal resilience, character and optimism to make

David Atkinson presenting at SAMA Paris conference

Four Pillars will be represented by David Atkinson at the Strategic Account Management Association’s Pan-European Conference in Paris next month. David will be co-presenting with Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s Alison Smith, Senior Director Business Development, EMEA on the topic of:- “Achieving deep procurement insight to build and retain business” How Carlson

Dirty tricks in Negotiation – survey results and report

Once again Four Pillars has teamed-up with our partners Selling Interactions in surveying professional buyers and sellers and now have our report on the supposed ‘dirty tricks’ in negotiation (all’s fair in love and war, right?) ready for sharing. We thank all who responded to the survey.  We think the results

Sales and procurement: a war for the ages?

Commercial history’s annals are full of anecdotes about the business-to-business buyer-seller relationship. Very few strategic account managers don’t have an epic tale of an encounter with a purchasing manager. And on the other side, most procurement professionals have plenty to say regarding SAMs. As career-long specialists from each camp, we

London Selling to Procurement Workshop

Following the success of our recent Birmingham open ‘Selling to Procurement’ workshop, we are running a further workshop on May 23rd in central London. For those of you in sales and account management who regularly meet with professional buyers / procurement, this 1 day workshop will really help you to understand the

SRM Series: #12 Power: A Place in Education and Training?

In this fourth and final blog in a series on power in buyer-supplier relationships from Chris Lonsdale, he argues that it would be a mistake to simply dismiss ‘power’ as ‘bad practice’, and proposes that teaching managers about power is about preparing them for potential manipulation or aggressive behaviour from the other side.

SRM Series: #11 The Use of Power in Supply Markets

In this third in a series of blogs from Chris Lonsdale on the concept of power in buyer-supplier relationships, he asserts that a dominant power position in a business relationship is just that, a position. It doesn’t have to be aggressively exploited. In practice the deployment of power resources is a


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