Marketing Procurement Inside Your Organization
Many procurement professionals seem to be uncomfortable marketing themselves within their own organization.
This may be because they don’t know how to do it or they may believe that self-promotion is unprofessional.
Last year I wrote about using your eSourcing system as a marketing tool to attract suppliers. If your suppliers are praising your system, you can use this to your advantage to attract more qualified suppliers and this will solidify your competitive advantage.
The approach to internal marketing is similar and is very likely to be as effective.
The goal is to gain support and internal promotion from stakeholders. This is word-of-mouth marketing and it is the most effective way to gain recognition for your efforts.
Years ago one of my first clients had grown his business dramatically without formal advertising.
His company worked for facility managers and he gained such a reputation that within a few years he had successfully completed projects for over 200 facility managers at one company. It is true that he didn’t use traditional advertising but he did know how to market his company.
At the completion of each project he would conduct a final meeting with the facility manager to find out how his crew did. This was his informal scorecard. He wanted to know what his crews did right and what they could improve.
Is it a surprise that no other vendor did this or did it consistently?
His approach generated a great deal of goodwill. At the end of each meeting he would ask “Would you be comfortable recommending our services to other facility managers in the company?”
Virtually every person said yes. Then he would ask for a personal introduction to at least one other facility manager in the company.
This is a brilliant example of self-promotion because all of the promotion was done by others.
Couldn’t you use this approach to gain recognition for your efforts?
Building strong relationships with internal stakeholders is one of the keys.
You can do this by using an internal scorecard. The scorecard could evaluate:
- Timeliness in meeting event deadlines
- Cost savings negotiated
- Ease of communication
- Responsiveness to inquiries
- Flexibility in handling changes
- Assistance in developing the event
Keeping the scorecard simple and straightforward is essential. We are all busy so keeping it short so it can be completed in 15 minutes will help get it done. It could even be done as part of a wrap-up meeting especially for significant events. Online meeting software can make it easy. For more complex events interim checkups will work.
When stakeholders realize that you have a strong desire to support them and make them successful they will be motivated to return the favor.
Your scorecards will be evidence that your group is doing a great job.
It will also identify areas where stakeholders believe your group can improve.
It can also be effective in educating stakeholders on what is possible and what is impractical. If they are behind changes you want, then this can help your group advance them within the company. In effect, they become your sponsors.
Action Step: You can achieve the recognition your group deserves by getting others to praise your efforts. If you are uncertain where to start a procurement professional like myself can provide guidance and expertise to help your organization achieve the results you need. If you want to go explore this topic in greater detail, please contact me.
If you want to explore a purchasing or procurement topic in greater detail, I invite you to request 30-minute discovery conversation. In my experience the next step will be apparent at the end of the call. I never assume that my recommendations will be right for everyone, so don’t expect a sales pitch. You can reach me at 973-936-9672.
Organizations of all sizes are reducing costs and increasing efficiency, without changing the way they conduct business. If you would like to know how, simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact information and the best time to reach you.
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Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life