My graduation : Why did a "salesman" decide to get an international purchasing management

Going back to school was a critical decision and it wasn’t a quiet river. Lots of people asked me whether it was really necessary and why having chosen the International Purchasing Management master degree when I’ve got a sales management background.

Well! here is my response.We are entering a new world in which the collaboration between buyers and suppliers will be crucial in order to be more competitive as well as creating more value for both sides.

Surprisingly, based on my work experience I have observed a very antagonistic B2B relationship. Even though both have much in common.

How could I increase my efficiency in front of buyers and how could I bring them more value ?

My assumption was by understanding deeply their objectives, their purchasing strategies and their frustrations both internally and externally.

More than ever organizations talk about being customer centric, customer oriented or customer obsessed, but do we really walk the walk ? How could we improve?

Then I decided to spend more than 15 months in the customer’s shoes by analyzing buyer’s interactions within my company and others corporations as well.

I have discovered a very interesting,complex and strategic function that is professionalizing itsself. Purchasing organizations tend to be more business partners than cost centers. They are developing strategic approaches and using the latest tools to manage their supplier markets. So as a « sales man » I wanted to integrate that in my selling strategies.

The business world is changing dramatically and as such, a constant learning approach is needed.

I would like to give a special thanks to all people who have participated in my success by giving me advice and time for individual and group interviews : My colleagues within Stanley Black and Decker, Eddy Sawa and Stephane Bois (Schneider Electric), Romuald Kakaki and Philippe Maschio (Sanofi) and Mickaël Legrand (Vinci).

I would like to thank the Essec teaching staff which gave me keys to accept and manage change in this new digital and collaborative economy.

Thanks to my thesis director Mr.Hubert Faucher for his critical thinking and for the precious time he gave me while he were writing his first book on Key Account Management.

I dedicate this diploma to my family with a specific attention for my mother who would have loved to attend this ceremony. She gave me her strong determination to tackle obstacles, her empathy to understand people, her deep resilience to overcome failures and her thirst for knowledge.

Warm thanks mom !

Lastly, I would resume my action with this quote:

"If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my words."

Marcus Tullius Cicero (c. 106-43 B.C.)

#keyaccountmanagement #complexsales #B2B

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