Procurement SVPs and VPs are increasingly part of the buying process for employee recognition solutions. They measure their work in terms of cost savings, speed, profit margin, diversity spend, employee retention, and cash flow—with both internal KPIs and external benchmarks. They are detail-oriented, data-driven, and very skilled at negotiation.

The list of priorities and motivations for procurement is long and complex. KPIs include successful RFPs, continuity of supply, onboarding vendors, and total cost of ownership vs ROI. Their challenges include Talent and Retention, limited budgets, inflation, alignment on initiatives, and volume of work.

The role of procurement can vary widely in the purchase of an employee recognition solution. At minimum, they have significant input toward the end of the decision-making process. However, when involved from the beginning, they can help ensure the road is as straight and smooth as possible.

Initially, procurement people look for high-level capability and third-party validation: similar companies using the solution, endorsements from analysts such as Everest Group, etc. Once they identify providers that could be a good fit, the RFI/RFP process begins, and that process drives the decision. In addition to (and sometimes instead of) sales reps, the preferred sources of information soon become tech and product leaders.

This information comes from dozens of hour-long interviews with individuals involved in the purchase of a recognition solution in the past 12 months. Much of what is included here are verbatim comments, listed in order of most frequently mentioned. Because all interviewees purchased, this does not include data on what happens when the buying process stalls out.

FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY. Version 3.0; Published: 2023-12-18