Wonder no more! Here’s the inside scoop on three key areas.
We love working with our procuretech partners. Their passion for their technology, and obsession for functionality and code, are simply contagious. They are determined to make their solutions the best on the market. This is what makes their technology great.
Like all procurement leaders, our tech partners are also passionate about client success. For this reason, it is frustrating when digital initiatives are stalled, business problems continuously go unsolved, or projects are constantly “pending.”
There are many reasons these roadblocks occur, including budget restraints, internal turnover, changing priorities, and more. However, procurement leaders do have an opportunity to build and keep momentum on their initiatives and prevent these holdups from occurring.
At Wonder Services, we’ve sat in the captain’s chairs, led initiatives, and worked very closely with procurement leaders and procuretech providers alike. This has given us a unique view of digital transformations from all angles. As a result, we’ve discovered that procurement leaders want these 3 things from procuretech providers. Following these tips can also help providers keep projects on track and even build additional momentum.
Speak my language
An initiative typically begins when a procurement leader identifies a business problem within the organization and works with key stakeholders in the business to look for solutions. At this stage, procurement leaders typically need an understanding, at the macro level, of the benefits the technology will bring along with clear ties to how those benefits solve their business problems. Taking it one step further, providers have an opportunity to provide additional value to the buyer by collaborating with procurement leaders to demonstrate how deploying the tech can achieve the strategic priorities of the overall company.
To our friends in procurement: The more information you share with providers up front, the better the momentum on the project, and the stronger the solution.
Keep it real
There are now over 400 procuretech tools in the marketplace–and that doesn’t include other tech such as HR tech or an ERP system. Procurement may be leading any one of these initiatives, so it’s likely they won’t have specific experience in your tech deployment. Leaders will be looking to you to answer key questions they need to know to properly spearhead the project. It is critical you share the realities.
(1)Time investment and who will be investing it
Providers have “typical” implementation timelines that can be sent over in a document. What procurement leaders really need to know is how much time they will have to spend on the initiative (man hours), as well as the project lead and others on the project team. Underestimating here will never work out. This is the opportunity for the buyer to get the resources needed, or to determine if outside resources will need to be engaged. Be as precise as you can on the timeline, and include the hour commitments that would typically be needed
Data is essential, but it can also be difficult. According to a study by HFS Research, 89% of executives said a high level of quality data was critical for success. Access to advanced analytics to enable smarter, and faster, business decisions is often a key driver for digital initiatives. Data is also a potential obstacle that, left unaddressed, can be a primary culprit of a stalled project.
Procuretech providers typically have great information on what data will be provided by the tool once deployed, and the power it will bring. Equally important is the guidance on the challenge of upfront data gathering. Share all you can in any one of these areas:
- What data will we need?
- How will we curate data? What have you seen work with others?
- What format will we need it in? What formats will I have to join together?
- How much support can you provide us?
- What happens if we have data gaps?
- What about integrations?
Any insights here increase the chance that your project will progress.
Challenge me, respectfully
At Wonder, we believe love and kindness have a place in business. However, this does not mean you refrain from providing honest feedback or challenging a mindset. In fact, we believe this is critical and kind at the same time.
Supporting this position is Gartner’s Journey Orchestration Survey. According to the survey, B2B buyers want providers to help them realize something new about their goals or help them recognize potential mistakes. Providing these insights increased the buyer’s propensity to buy.
A few examples:
- “We don’t need that function on the project team.”
If you’ve seen excluding a role or influencer result in problems before, share the outcome.
- “We are set on how we are handling tech demos.”
Share how you have seen other pathways end up.
- “We’re only including these spend areas in scope.”
Ask if they have considered the long-term impact of that limited decision.
- “Our industry does it this way.”
Introduce them to a customer peer (not for a review, but simply someone to talk with who has walked in their shoes).
Much has been written about the relationship between sales and procurement. We see both of those roles as agents of change. Procuretech sales teams and procurement leaders have a great opportunity to create win/win scenarios while positively impacting both their firms.
As you’ve heard from us before, the stats on unsuccessful digital transformations are staggering. This type of information sharing is the beginning of changing that dynamic, from the start.
Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we do! Want to learn more about our procuretech partnerships program? Drop us a note.