The ability to connect stakeholder needs to supplier capability is key to the success of procurement teams. It’s only through developing capability in this area that today’s leaders and teams are going to make sustained progress. Procurement Leaders research has found that 56% of capability gaps are ‘soft skills’, so what can procurement professionals be doing to plug this gap?
Last week we hosted a webinar with one of our Future Procurement Leaders’ members, Abigail Schroeder. Abigail joined our Director of Content and Community, Steve Hall to discuss what steps you can take to close this gap, what skills you need to bring into your organisation and what your priorities need to be in terms of team development.
Here are Abigail’s four tips for improving your stakeholder influence:
When you move into a new role or project, it’s integral that you identify who will be your biggest supporters. Who these stakeholders will vary, so you must do a stakeholder assessment at the start of any project.
Stop being just a voice on the phone or an email chain - connecting with your stakeholders is the essential next step. If possible, face to face is the best way to meet your stakeholders, but if in-person meetings are not possible, video conferencing is a great tool to utilise.
When you do speak with your stakeholders, don’t just talk shop. Make time to connect outside of urgent requests or when problems arise.
Be curious! Take any training offered by your organisation to learn more about different areas of the company. Ask your stakeholders about their objectives, and find out what they are worried about. It was refreshing to hear Abigail’s excitement when discussing visiting production sites. Abigail shared that is gave her huge insight into a variety of savings and innovation opportunities that allowed her to partner closely with different teams.
Using the previous steps, identify opportunities to work towards a common goal. Once you understand the pain points and areas for opportunities, you can become a partner to your stakeholders.
Developing your relationships with your key stakeholders is essential to successful cross-collaborative projects. By following these four steps you will be able to improve these relationships and you will be able to achieve more as a partnership.
For more insights, you can listen to the whole webinar by clicking here to register for on-demand access
This webinar was part of our Future Procurement Leaders calendar. Future Procurement Leaders is a community of Procurement Leaders members recognised as talented, next-generation procurement executives. To get involved, subscribe to our newsletter.
If you would like to learn from Procurement Leaders about stakeholder influence or other topics, please contact us.
This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.