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Internal Sales for Purchasing Solutions

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Today's eSourcing wiki article, The Quest for Purchasing Fire, discusses the process and obstacles for getting buy-in from C-level executives as well as the stakeholders that will utilize an esourcing or eprocurement solution.

I have been the project lead on several software implementations and most of them have been difficult technically but the most challenging area was the change management for the end-user and the selling of the benefits. Pointing out the WIIFM (what's in it for me) definitely made a positive difference in moving the transition forward. 

WIIFMThe key for any project was to get the stakeholders involved right up front and keep them in the loop on the progress, obstacles and being part of the solution. Putting some of them on a task force or implementation team allowed for that ownership which was critical. 

One point that was brought home in the eSourcing Wiki this week is that the selling does not stop throughout or even post-implementation. It takes time to adopt the solution so keep up the communication continually, pointing out the benefits, have an elevator speech ready!!

I wonder what The Sales Guy would say for internal selling. Much of his wonderful wisdom has been about external selling but this can be just as challenging!!

Does anyone have any information that would be helpful or experience to share?

Cindy brings with her over twenty years experience in supply chain business process, systems development , and project management. She has worked on a global scale with multi-faceted supply chain initiatives. With her strong IT background and project management expertise, she has successfully managed a variety of complex systems implementations. Cindy has held positions with large national and international companies in the insurance, retail and medical fields. Cindy has her MBA with an IT concentration. Professional education includes training in strategic sourcing, systems development, and obtaining her CPM.


  • Kelly Barner
    Kelly Barner Wednesday, 08 February 2012

    Input from The Sales Guy:
    The challenge in elevator pitches is making sure the message addresses that executive cares about. Nothing is worse than delivering a crisp pitch that gets a "so what" response. If you aren't sure about the top concern for that exec - find out before you construct the pitch.

    Whenever possible, the pitch should use numbers to express the benefit: dollars or percentage of cost reduction, quality improvement, time saved or risk reduced. The first sentence of any effective pitch should stand alone as a response. What follows only reinforces the message already delivered.

    So the core of the lesson here is that making an inside sale requires more than one pitch – knowing who your doubters are in advance and tailoring a message for each of them will have you ready to react to their concerns. This is particularly true if you aren’t lucky enough to deliver your pitch in an elevator – any exchange between you and an executive is an opportunity to win them over as well as anyone listening in. So be respectful, be ready, have data, and gain support for your cause.

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