Watch for Strategic Changes in Bio/Pharma Purchasing


No matter how good the selling environment may be, bio/pharmaceutical companies are powerful buyers. Would you recognize subtle changes in the behavior of your buyers? It can be crucial to stay attuned for these shifts, so you can anticipate and plan for changing times.

While most CROs, CMOs and CDMOs are enjoying today’s flourishing selling environment, we should think about what’s on the minds of the sourcing buyers on the other side of the table. In How to Negotiate with Powerful Suppliers, an article in the July-August 2015 issue of Harvard Business Review, the authors show how buyers have natural incentives to hold the upper hand.

They describe increasingly intense strategies that can be used by buyers to achieve this. Here are some early signs to watch and plan for:

  • Changes to the buying process: are sponsors showing hints of changing their buying behavior by consolidating orders or seeking to change the way products are bundled and priced? This may indicate that they’re starting to focus internally on how to optimize the buying process to more cost-effectively meet their needs.
  • External or internal competition: what changes among your competitors could impact your buyers’ behavior? Might they turn to service providers from other geographic areas, new technologies, or even new industries? Are there internal buyer strategies that could reduce or eliminate their need for you (i.e., might they decide to vertically integrate to develop internal capabilities to replace your products/services)?

As Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest nor most intelligent… that survives, but the one most adaptable to change.”

To read the HBR article, How to Negotiate with Powerful Suppliers, click here.

Related posts:
Avoid This: Don’t Let the Strong Selling Environment Weaken Your Customer Service
Sales Management: High Quality Leadership, Higher Returns
Salesmanship: An Object Lesson