5 tips to improve stakeholder engagement for procurement

by | Jul 19, 2019 | Procurement and Contracting

No doubt about it – internal stakeholder engagement is critical to the success of procurement projects and contracts.

Around two-thirds of procurement decision-makers globally say that internal stakeholder engagement is a challenge, with 14% saying it is an “extreme” challenge.

More worryingly, a “lack of internal engagement” is cited as the top reason for targets not being achieved, according to research by CIPS.

In the 2019 Hays Salary Guide for Australia, Scott Dance, Director of Hays Procurement & Supply Chain, says that “For perceptions of procurement to continue to improve, procurement professionals should take steps to develop their internal stakeholder management skills.”

So, what steps should you take to improve stakeholder management?

1.Profile your stakeholders

Just as marketing managers need to profile their customers, you need to profile your stakeholders. Group your stakeholders into tiers, as you would suppliers or customers. For example, bronze tier stakeholders might be those you chat to over coffee.

Silver tier might be people you arrange formal meetings with, and gold stakeholders are those you spend lots of time collaborating with. Profiling your stakeholders will ensure you dedicate an appropriate level of time and resources to the right people.

Different stakeholders will require different approaches, which is why this step is important as a starting point.

2.Align procurement activities to their agenda

Find the ‘Why’. According to Scott Dance, stakeholder management means learning how to engage with the different agendas of a range of internal stakeholders – including the procurement team itself. Turn the procurement team’s activities into benefits that are relevant to each stakeholder group, whether that’s the CFO, CMO, or CIO.

This means first being able to understand your stakeholders’ needs and goals. Take an outside-in perspective. What are the business objectives for that unit? What drivers create value for each team? What can you bring to their agenda?

Now, drill down to the one thing that’s driving them – are you aligned to it?

3.Demonstrate deep knowledge

Add value by showing that you understand your stakeholders’ categories, suppliers and markets. Use conversations to showcase that value. They might be the experts, but you can add value in ways they might not realise.

4.Focus on face-to-face

Even if you’re spread across regions, aim for face-to-face communication wherever possible. Get to know your stakeholders, talk to them in person and build trust. Speaking at the eWorld Procurement conference in London, group procurement director at McLaren Group, Jamie Foster, explained how personal relationships with stakeholders was key to his role.

He said, “Everyone talks about communication, stakeholder engagement, all these other great buzzwords. What it really means is do you get along with that person or don’t you? If they are walking down the corridor, do you pretend to look at your phone or are you going to engage with them?”

5.Build alliances

According to Ciaran Owens, head of procurement excellence at Imperial Brands, business apathy is a major barrier to procurement transformation. He suggests procurement professionals need to “build alliances” with other departments. Start by identifying who you can have meaningful conversations with and ask, ‘What does procurement mean to you?’.


Stakeholder engagement can make or break procurement. If you want to build a successful career in procurement, you need to be able to build trust with stakeholders, communicate successfully and create real value.

Upgrade your strategies to engage and manage stakeholders in this online short course.

Recent Blog Posts Testimonials

“I engaged Michael Young from Transformed to assess me for the Australian Institute of Project Management Certified Practicing Project Manager. I wanted to be certified as I wanted to verify that the skills and knowledge was in line with industry best-practice. At first it seemed a bit daunting, however, Michael made the process very easy, providing templates for references and self-assessment as well as providing a list of the project management documents I would need to provide as evidence. The assessment interview was very relaxed and more like a conversation than an assessment, which brought out the best experiences to evidence my capabilities. Because of Michael’s current government security clearance, we were able to look at specific of particular projects, rather me than having to spend a heap of time sanitising documents. Since the assessment, I have been successful in gaining a promotion..”

Mike McCarthy

“Learning – I have now fine-tuned my existing skills”

Brian Peterson
Moreton Bay Regional Council

“The course is really well organised, your videos and zoom meetings were extremely helpful, the platform functions perfectly, your response time to queries and questions is always prompt and overall it is just been a wonderful experience”

Cert IV in HEES student, July 2021.

“Easy to deal with”

Laura Lace

“Don has been a terrific teacher and very prompt with feedback throughout the whole diploma, which has been great!”

Diploma of PM

“Thanks for your support over the years and I look forward to doing more courses at Transformed in the future”.

Cert IV in HEES - March 2022

“I think everything worked very smoothly”

Susan Mariott
Quality Home Design and Drafting Service

“Ease of delivery, completing from work”

Qld Health

“The excellent and prompt communication from my assessor”

Cert IV in NatHERS Assessment student

“Always good and prompt feedback from Michael”

John Logan
Draft Comps Services

“The most practical and well organised course I’ve been involved with, perfect for anyone with a demanding full time career and family commitments. My facilitator was extremely helpful and being part of the construction industry applied a very focused approach to the course content which assisted me in completing my studies, Would strongly and have already recommended Transformed to those looking to complete their Cert IV and Diploma in Building and Construction. Thanks for all your efforts and support.”

Aleks Petrovic
Cert IV and Diploma in Building and Construction Student

“I’m extremely impressed by The Cert IV in HEES delivered by Transformed. It is a fantastic, relevant, and interesting course with great content. The study materials and assistance have been exceptional. Thanks again to Transformed for their support”.

Matt Wade
Cert IV in HEES Student – April 2022.

“Just wanted to say thanks for putting up with me and getting me over the line!! Which I know was a bit difficult with no background in the industry!! Thanks very much and I look forward to starting my business and conquering the world as an Energy Rater!”

Laura Lace

“All round I’ve been really impressed with how professional everyone at Transformed has been”

Diploma of PM

“Just wanted to say thank you so much for offering such a great course, I have really enjoyed studying my Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability with Transformed”.

Cert IV in HEES student, July 2021

“Working at my own pace online and the response time to emails and responses were always great”

Ekaterina Sidorova
Lend Lease

“Phenomenal course to understand contract management in the best way possible. I am working as a Procurement Manager and never understood contract part completely but this course helped me to understand key points of contract management. Thanks to author for creating this wonderful course. ”

Student - Introduction to Contract Management - August 2021

Completing my CPP41119Certificate Home Energy Efficiency & Sustainability course has been a significant step in my professional journey.
Thank you for your support and guidance and every single subject in this course you have taught me

Cert IV HEES student - April 2024

“I want to thank you for providing that encouragement and feed back at appropriate times. You make me and I’m sure all students, feel special and like we are getting personal assistance, which I have received. I don’t know how you manage all that you do but you do it well. Thank you”

Cert IV in NatHERS Assessment student

“The self-paced learning it allowed me to work whilst studying”

Haylea Edwards
Efficient Living

“I also want to take the opportunity to thank you for all your help during my studies. I think your training company is very professional and I would endorse you and Transformed to anyone looking to study distance learning”

Doug Madarovski

“…I originally enrolled in Transformed’s Diploma of Project Management on the basis of their flexibility. ..As I subsequently discovered, Transformed’s approach extends even further to include ‘one on one’ coaching sessions… and adjusting the training to fit in with the client..”

Michael Irwin

“I found the course easy to follow and navigate through. I would recommend this course to others”

August 2018

“I am very satisfy with the study”

Eric Lam

“My assessor was absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t have achieved this without her encouragement and guidance’.

Cert IV in Procurement & Contracting - March 2022

“I am so appreciative of you and Transformed for your flexibility and support- THANK YOU”

Louise Anderson
Cert IV in P & C student - May 2020