Once you’ve signed up for Ariba Discovery and optimized your seller profile (the topic of my first article in the “Yes, You Can Win Your Next Bid!” series), you’ll start receiving matches with buyers who need your goods and services. The next step is to start building a relationship with new buyers. But you may be competing with other suppliers, so it’s critical that you demonstrate your commitment to service from day one.
In this second article of the series, I’ll share two strategies that sellers can use to set themselves apart early in the engagement process and win over new prospects.
- Strategy #2: Proactively manage new Ariba Discovery business opportunities.
You’ll receive an email when a buyer posting is matched to your company’s capabilities. Follow up quickly by reviewing posting details and taking the steps outlined in Strategy #3. You can also check out new postings at any time by clicking the Leads tab within Ariba Discovery.
- Strategy #3: Respond carefully and accurately to postings.
The way you respond to postings gives buyers a clear indication of what you’ll be like to do business with, so treat each opportunity with the thoroughness and precision you’d use at any initial prospect meeting. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
- Don’t judge the book by its cover. Many Global 2000 companies use aliases on Ariba Discovery to protect project and business confidentiality. Providing a well-considered, high-quality response to every posting may open bigger doors than you think.
- Review every aspect of the posting to make sure you understand the project scope and can provide exactly what the buyer is requesting.
- Supply all information the buyer asks for with as much detail as possible. Include links and attachments to help demonstrate your abilities to meet the stated requirements. Submit a bid amount only if requested to do so, since buyers may want to simply prequalify new sellers rather than receiving bids at this time.
- Make your company stand out. Be sure to describe patents, areas of expertise, unique delivery/manufacturing processes, value-added services, guarantees/warranties, and similar qualifications that set you apart from competitors. Structure your response to create the best impact by including “need to know” information in the response field (where space is limited) and using the attachment feature to provide any “nice to know” reference materials.
- Use the question and answer tool at the bottom of the posting to obtain clarification on specific details. Remember that buyers are sensitive to the number and tone of questions they receive, so be concise and courteous with what you ask.
By taking these steps, you make the buyer’s job easier, which goes a long way towards helping you capture their business.
In my next article, I’ll discuss the importance of treating every opportunity like it’s gold.