Procurement's Challenges

Minimising the communication gaps between procurement, sales and marketing

Minimising the communication gaps between procurement, sales and marketing

Chris Smith, Sales Director, Wax Digital discusses the main reasons behind the cracks in relationship between procurement, sales and marketing.

Sales, marketing and procurement can often find it very challenging to work together. Our recent CPO Viewpoint Research Report revealed that sales & marketing are one of the procurement’s biggest critics in the business world.

Only 24% said that they use procurement’s formal supplier tender process, far fewer than other departments such as IT and finance. The challenges seem to be caused by the negative perception of procurement with the research highlighting only 12% of sales & marketing who describe the relationship as ‘very close’.

Wax Digital’s Sales Director Chris Smith comments in this Spend Matters blog “Working in sales for many years and recently working closely with procurement motivated businesses, I understand the ins and outs of why some of these communication gaps exist.”

Although linked, sales and marketing are very different functions in most enterprises and there are explicit reasons behind the challenges when they work with procurement.”
Chris Smith, Sales Director, Wax Digital

Sales is mainly driven by deadlines and commercial imperatives with pressures from customers or even sales targets. Sales teams have to react quickly and efficiently in order to meet those deadlines. This makes sales a very unique and flexible function, whereas procurement is very structured and process driven, creating friction between the two areas as procurement may find it difficult to meet the demands and needs of the sales team.

Marketing on the other hand faces other challenges when working with procurement. In my opinion this function has a great need for unusual purchases, involving subjective factors such as working relationships and creative styles.

Traditional procurement goals such as achieving best price and compliance are sometimes at odds with this and can cause friction in tender situation.
Chris Smith, Sales Director, Wax Digital

Marketing does not want to be stuck with an agency that offers great price, but can’t produce a creative project that meets the brief or does not understand the market.

The CPO research report has identified that procurement should be working closely with sales & marketing, meeting clients and understanding their current and future business needs, allowing procurement to understand how they can help other functions deliver. The supply chain is intrinsically linked to customer needs and there is a huge opportunity for businesses to benefit from a strong relationship between sales, marketing and procurement.

Read the full blog article in Spend Matters