The supplier community plays an integral role in improving enterprise diversity standing. I’d like to share some observations from my career, along with tips for the supplier community and enterprise procurement teams to improve diverse supplier access, expand opportunities and provide support.
A Risky Approach to Client Management
Historically, client management and sales practices have been disjointed and focused on winning by dividing and conquering. A generation of sales teams has been trained to get as much information as possible out of the client organization to sell them what they have, instead of what the client needs, and have been somewhat siloed in the process.
In large supplier organizations, clients doing business with them on the applications side would struggle to engage from the marketing or infrastructure side. This short-sided view usually led to the client chasing the supplier organization to find the right resources.
The "whole client" management approach is necessary to transform the sales process to fit the more modern and sophisticated enterprise customers. Not having a modern sales approach is one area where clients, both Procurement and business stakeholders, get incredibly frustrated when dealing with a supplier organization. Many of the practices considered “old-school sales tactics” have become relatively visible to the enterprise client. For example, taking enterprise employees (particularly business stakeholders) to lunches or dinners at fancy restaurants, sporting events in private boxes and conferences in an attempt to build relationships, with a focus on gaining commitment to sales, early visibility and access to opportunities.
Purvee Kondal, Senior Director of Technology & Engineering Sourcing
This guest blog post is contributed by a SIG board member to share their personal story and experiences. Diversity and inclusion are one of SIG's core values, and we hope this blog will encourage positive change. The content below does not express the views or opinions of SIG.
Over the past year, anti-Asian sentiment has again continued to rise. It is worsening across various parts of the world and in America, including shockingly, even in San Francisco! As an Asian and an immigrant, it sinks my heart every time I see it. Still, I am acutely aware of and disheartened to know that for every one reported by the media, many aren't being reported either by the media or by victims themselves.
Asia is a continent full of many vibrant cultures full of rich history and customs, some of the oldest on the planet. Our value systems perhaps make us easy targets of bullies that haven't been taught better and those that continue to harbor resentment and jealousy towards the success of hard-working Asians.
I am an Asian-American immigrant who lost my parents in a horrific and racially motivated incident almost three decades ago. Now there isn't a single day that goes by that I don't think about how globalization has made America and the world smaller, but these sentiments are still so prevalent and of all places, in America! While it's not acceptable to see these incidents anywhere but to see them in America in 2021 makes me question why our value systems have not yet evolved, despite globalization?
Purvee Kondal, Senior Director of Technology & Engineering Sourcing, Albertsons Companies