Finding effective ways to integrate the sales and procurement functions within a company has long been a management conundrum. The opportunity and challenge are one and the same, which is that each function is like one essential side of the same coin. Yet often within a company these two departments function as if each side doesn’t know the other side exists.
In this post, learn five inventive hacks to begin integrating the sales and procurement functions at your company.
What “Integration” Really Means
Integrating departments within a business means more than simply eradicating duplicate personnel or job functionality.
For example, if the sales department works independently to set up its own sales goals and the procurement department does the same, now these two sets of goals must both feed into a single greater goal.
5 Hacks to Integrate Sales & Procurement Effectively
These 5 hacks will help you navigate such troubled waters towards a successful integration.
Hack #1: Provide both sides with the complete picture.
Procurement focuses on bringing in the materials and services to create salable items. Sales, on the other hand, focuses on moving the finished products at a profit. Help each department form a complete picture to boost confidence and knowledge during the integration.
Hack #2: Tie performance ratings to the bigger end goal.
The big challenge when integrating two extremes is to understand how one department can impact the other’s ability to meet their goals. For example, higher profits (and bigger bonuses) can come with lower supply costs, higher sales, an adjusted profit margin or all of the above.
By tying performance ratings and reviews to the bigger profitability goal, both departments will have more motivation to work together to get there.
Hack #3: Bring in case studies to make integration success feel personal.
In the corporate arena, case studies are today’s stories. By taking a look at where your company’s competitors are succeeding (or failing) in integrating their procurement and sales functions, you can achieve what boring spreadsheets or edited performance requirements cannot – the marriage of emotion with effort.
Hack #4: Host a meetup.
There is a reason department managers often periodically host happy hours and parties for their employees. It builds bonds of trust that extend back into the office arena.
By expanding this to both procurement and sales staff, you offer both departments a low-stress opportunity to meet and greet and get to know one another on a more personal level.
Hack #5: Recognize the heck out of small successes.
No matter how expertly you approach the integration, there are bound to be bumps and even roadblocks. So celebrate every little step forward. Make a big deal out of the small stuff. Offer incentives and rewards. Make it clear top brass notices the efforts of lower level staff.
In this way, you will keep the motivation to make the integration a success strong.