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 wanted to find out how the sales function interacts today with procurement, so we decided to rerun a survey we first carried out in 2007 that revealed stark messages about sales and SAMs’ preparedness for dealing with this rapidly evolving job. While there were encouraging signs, with two-thirds of the study’s indicators showing increased understanding of procurement since our first survey, the research suggested that both sales professionals and SAMs largely remain reactive, transactional, overly focused on face-to-face behavioral negotiation tactics and unaware of strategic, analytical and long-term methods employed by a newly educated procurement profession.

Here we express our interpretation of the results from each side of the procurement/sales divide.

Read the full article SAMA Velocity Issue 2, 2013.

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