There has been a movement growing on social media in the world of procurement, driven by many people, but two stand out, Helen MacKenzie and Mario Bruggmann 

This is about using social media in procurement to buy.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that as a procurement person the last thing you want is to go onto social media and be bombarded with sales people, but things have changed.

With the introduction of social selling some 6 years ago by DLA Ignite, salespeople, well the ones that will still be in sales in 5 years time understand the world has changed.  I cannot promise your a life free from unwanted advances, old habits die hard, but there are many of these digital sales people out there!

What as a buyer do you need to know is new in sales?

They know they need conversations and not to bombard people with spam

How do they do that?  They have humanised social media profiles, they have digital territories by being connected to a wide and varied network on social and they share insightful, educational and entertaining content. 

It means that sales people want to have conversations and build relationships

What has changed for procurement?

Procurement can therefore now have profiles on social media and use social media to buy.

Take Mario, he is totally upfront about procurement and even uses the hashtag #wearebuying 

How this transform sales?

This transforms sales as all a salesperson has to do is login to LinkedIn and search the #weraebuying hashtag and look for people that want to buy what they sell.  Simple. 

Transforming sales and procurement

While there are procurement portals that people can sign up to, there do place friction in the buying process for both sides.  Here buying and selling can take place on social media, for free.

Everything I'm telling you here can be done for buyers and sellers on for free.

Social procurement is about pulling people towards you

By seeing people on social media as who they are, rather than having a profile of a CV, you can decide if you like them or you don't. 

This enables you to decide if a person and a business is worth doing business with, without talking to them.  Which is nice.

Because salespeople want to provide help, insight and build relationships and understand who you are and who your business is.

This means as a buyer, you can start pulling people towards you, rather than pushing them away. 

Let's not forget the more you engage in conversations with other buyers and salespeople the better you can understand different solutions and the cost benefit

You can start seeing innovation and diversity in suppliers.  This means you can break away from your current echo chamber of suppliers and relationships and with the greater competition, this has to be good for quality and price. 

Where do we go from here?

This isn't about a grand strategy that has to be signed off by the board, this is about a pilot, let's start bottom up.

Start small, find something low value and low risk and experiment with social.

Here at DLA Ignite, we can help you with the social expertise and help you take these baby steps.