Many Huthwaite customers have noted a proliferation in procurement roles in recent years, as businesses scrutinise purchasing decisions and bring in professionals to drive down costs. Winning With Procurement Masterclass (WWPM) is a two-day training event that enables senior sales and bid leaders to meet the increasingly frequent and difficult challenge presented by procurement professionals, often seen as a potential obstacle to winning major contracts.
A collaboration between Huthwaite and procurement consultancy State of Flux, WWPM is the only programme available that offers insight from specialists in both sales and buying behaviours. Offering a unique blend of Huthwaite’s 40 years of extensive and well-renowned research into successful selling behaviours and State of Flux’s heritage of advising procurement organisations and developing best practice, WWPM gives delegates a unique insight into the buyer’s mind.
The masterclass has been launched to businesses after a successful initial programme of open events for single delegates from a variety of companies. Among those who have attended the open programmes are Keith Henry, senior vice president at technology consultancy IDC EMEA sales and marketing, and James Stringer, senior proposals manager at legal firm Allen & Overy LLP.
Stringer comments: “Procurement teams have become more of a factor in the legal market in recent years and we recognise that we need to work effectively with them to deliver commercial solutions for both sides. This course has been very helpful in giving insight into how procurement teams operate, the tools they use and how we can work together more effectively going forward.”
IDC's Henry agrees: “Huthwaite have developed innovative, compelling insight into the growing importance of procurement in the professional sales process. Advocating the position of relating to procurement at the beginning rather than at the end of the sales cycle, rebalances the power relationship back to sales. Great work from Huthwaite!”
WWPM gives a rounded view of the best strategies and tactics for overcoming the often unavoidable presence of procurement people and processes. And all of this is backed by new and enlightening research into what the best sales organisations do in the real world.
Nigel Owen, business director at Huthwaite commented: “We’ve been running these events as open programmes for individual public bookings since last year, and the response has been extremely positive. Now is the time to take the offering inside big companies. Delegates have reported real gains when they go back from the course and start confronting the problems that procurement people cause them – whether in new opportunities or existing accounts.
“The relationship doesn’t have to be an adversarial one at all – that’s why the word “With” is in the title. It depends upon knowing what the procurement people are trying to achieve, whether sellers really do have to abide by the defined processes or not, and knowing how to engage with procurement to bring about a better result for all concerned.”
John Newton head of learning and development at State of Flux echoes this: “Skilled procurement people are constantly assessing and defining the nature of the relationship that they have and wish to have with their suppliers – from the smallest commodity vendor to the biggest strategic partner. In such a world, knowledge is the first step: understanding how procurement intends to manage the supply chain, where you fit into that, and what you have to do to build the appropriate level of value for the kind of profitable relationship you want.”
Owen sums it up: “What makes this a distinctive offering in the sales training marketplace is that Huthwaite and State of Flux have considered what new insights people need to run end-to-end sales and account management relationships specifically with procurement. People who merely rely upon existing sales and negotiation knowledge when they engage with procurement will find success increasingly difficult to come by.”
Huthwaite International will continue to run open courses on Winning With Procurement alongside the internal training programmes with major businesses. Open courses have already been scheduled to take place in London on 9-10 July and 15-16 October. For more information and course schedules, please visit www.huthwaite.co.uk.