Account Management

Five Tips For Negotiating With The Professional Buyer

The challenge of dealing with professional procurement is complex and regularly negotiating contracts is a skill that Sales Account Managers must be competent in. I often get asked how modern-day procurement category managers think, and what is it about their practices that create such tension in customer-supplier relationships. My answer goes

Negotiation Matters: Time Pressure

  Time is one of the four elements that are always present in any negotiation (the others are the relationship, the substance of the negotiation, and the process that may be deployed by either party). And note that each party may have their own approach which may not necessarily be

Transforming Sales: The Procurement Category Management Process

The role of Procurement is to capture value from the supply chain, network, or ecosystem. Some years ago, the primary method of achieving this was via the individual competence of professional buyers in respect of negotiation. A competent negotiator would, more often than not, secure better deals than a less

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

Taxing times for relationship managers

Yesterday, as usual, I woke up to the sound of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme and a report on the apparent infiltration of tax consultants from the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms into HM’s Treasury department.  These consultants were on short-term placement in Whitehall to help civil servants understand how tax loopholes

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

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