A growing number of large companies are forcing suppliers to bid through reverse auctions. Here’s how to survive one with your margins intact.
On days when Gartner Studios is trying to lock down a major sale, Greg Gartner turns his employee lounge into a war room. An arsenal of laptops and phones and reams of data are brought in for employees to use.
Shouting matches among workers are common. So is heavy perspiration. If Gartner’s team wins the deal, there’s a lot of whooping and the boss hands out tequila shots. These back-breaking dealmaking sessions can last for eight hours or more.
For Gartner, a company that supplies stationery and related products to mass market retailers and office superstores, selling paper ain’t what it used to be. Deals that 10 years ago would have started with a cold call and ended months later with a handshake are now governed by a process that was virtually unheard of when the Stillwater, Minnesota, company was founded in 1998: the online reverse auction.
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