The buyer’s perspective is an important area for sales people wishing to enhance their sales process and sales skills to understand. Over the last 3 weeks we have been exploring some perspectives that the buyer may be considering when looking to enter into a business relationship. Here are the final key areas. If you missed Part 1 and Part 2 they are archived in the Sales discussion area.
A. Change management
The management of change, both within the agreement and in a wider sense as part of business change programs, is a key issue. Suppliers on strategic service contracts must have a positive approach to change and show evidence of their capabilities in managing it.
B. Service provision and management
- Is there evidence that the supplier has recognised capabilities in relation to service management delivery?
- Are the supplier’s plans for service management adequate, covering resources/capacity/workload, performance, service continuity, charging and ordering, exception reporting and feedback, incident handling, change control, etc?
- How will these plans relate to other parts of the supply chain?
C. Resource management
- Does the supplier demonstrate a mature approach to resource risks and contingency management, e.g. in terms of established succession plans?
- Is there evidence that the supplier has the necessary processes to ensure that there are sufficient resources available to meet the business workload demands?
- Does the supplier have adequate availability plans / future utilisation profiles to demonstrate that key resources can be made available to meet customer service needs?
D. Capacity planning and management
Has the supplier formulated a capacity plan at the appropriate level of detail, taking into account workload predictions, upgrades, and predicted changes?
E. Business continuity and contingency plans
Are the supplier’s plans for contingency and business continuity adequate and appropriate?
F. Strategic management
Does the supplier demonstrate a clear business strategy and vision of the future?Can the supplier’s strategy be progressed alongside the buyer’s strategy, to mutual benefit?
F. Risk management and risk transfer
For some contracts, the supplier’s ability and willingness to take on risk is a central concern. In such cases, evaluation should probe their understanding of and attitude towards the risks involved.
G. Supply chain management
Does the supplier’s proposal demonstrate how subcontractors and/or consortium members will be organised and managed?
H. Benefits management and delivery
The supplier should have a balanced approach to benefits, delivering those required and linking them with those they seek for themselves.
I. Relationship management
Is the supplier committed to communication and the principle of an open working relationship built on trust? How can they demonstrate this?
This concludes the series on the buyer’s perspective. In a future blog post we will be looking at the other side of the coin the seller’s perspective.