Make procurement your ally, not your enemy! Stop avoiding them like they're the plague because they aren't there to kill the deal, they're the ones who make it happen. All they want is to be a part of the deal up front, treated equitably, and heard. The key to aligning with procurement is transparency and TRUST.
Most individuals believe that procurement is the enemy, though no, they are the people who are going to be making it all happen. Making procurement your ally is of dire importance, to say the least.
If you want to be a "choice" supplier, you must understand your customers deeply to deliver value beyond getting the contract signed. There is a relationship to maintain quality of communication, service level, and acute timeliness that follows the contract signing upheld.
Negotiating can become heated, and usually, one side wins, but with good negotiation, everyone loses (which means everyone wins). You must negotiate from a position of strength to get what you need, most of what you want, and the least amount of "loss" as possible to be at an advantage.
Gaining the trust of procurement is not easy, but once it's established, you're at an advantage—never risk losing it.
Cost of product is not the main concern, or even a blocker (as long as it's reasonable). It's about the trust that you'll deliver quality, the proper quantity, and have consistency.
Standing your ground during a negotiation is of the utmost importance, but at the same time, to not be aggressive. It's about being assertive.
Jill is now advising companies how to navigate the “dark side” of working with procurement, negotiating effectively, and delivering stronger results.
She was inspired to found Business Fierce helping clients elevate their selling game as they sell to and through procurement. Her clients become "Procurement Insiders" and learn how to sell smart. Results include closing deals faster, collaborative working relationships with procurement, winning more competitive bid opportunities, and increasing sales.
Jill has spent the last 20+ years as a global procurement executive with various Fortune 500 companies, including Eli Lilly & Company, Elanco Animal Health, Ingersoll-Rand, etc. She has built and transformed global Indirect procurement teams, elevating the procurement brand to one that delivers both top-line and bottom-line productivity and making it easy for internal stakeholders to buy smart.
Jill also provides strategic consulting to startup biotech and medical device companies to establish procurement governance, digital transformation, and implement a culture of buying SMART.
While working in the corporate world, Jill and her husband have been successful entrepreneurs. • Jill has a 5-year-old son, written a children’s book, and is an avid athlete.
- Jill Robbins