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How buyers classify suppliers?

How do buyers classify suppliers? Even the most experienced vendors are looking for this answer . Of course, there is no universal classification. Each purchasing organization needs to adapt the process to its needs and the supply management philosophy.

We, however, decided to face this difficult task and present one of the most universal classifications. It is goes as follows.

First group: Exit – game over

Be honest with yourself and focus your
 energy on different customers. Until some- thing big will happen your future is not bright here. Avoid illusion that you are important for your big customer.

For sure any supplier wouldn’t like to be in it, because it means the inevitable end of cooperation. How to deal with such a situation? Certainly, it is not worth living with hopes that it will be better. The return to cooperation is unlikely. And therefore it is more reasonable to focus on other customers.

Second group: New Entry – the new draft

Buyers are conservative and prefer to resolve issues with current suppliers than to introduce new ones. This, however, doesn’t mean that the moment of starting cooperation will never take place. That is why it’s worth being in the right place at the right time to enter the game.

Third group: Maintain – bench warmers

Not everything is lost. You have two paths. Rebuild your position and become again a strategic partner. Make a mistake and you will slide down to Exit. These are the suppliers who are in reserve. This means that they can appear in the game at any time. However, there is also a likelihood of reduction. Therefore, a good strategy for all those who are in this group is to take reasonable sales activities that will make it possible to reach the next group.

Fourth group: Strategic – the sweet spot

This is your time, use it effectively. The cake expands and you always have
 a chance to win new business. Rest on your laurels and your competitors will take your place.

Finding your organization in this group is a real hit – and a chance for a profitable business. It’s worth constantly developing the commercial relationship to gain a further advantage over competitors and reduce the risk of hitting the reserve bench.


How to find yourself in the group of strategic suppliers? What not to do to fall out of the game? We answer these questions during our workshops for sales. Please feel  invited.

Detailed information about the workshop you can find HERE.