All of your sales and marketing efforts come to a head when a deal is finally on the table. Everything you’ve done to cultivate the prospect, communicate value, and differentiate yourself from the competition all gets tested at the negotiation table.
But is your sales team really prepared? Are they really equipped to handle what’s coming from the other side of the table? Or are they walking into a modern tank battle armed with little more than a wooden spear?
In the training webinar, Negotiating Profitable Deals, we highlighted three big reasons most B2B sales and marketing teams are ill-equipped for effective negotiations:
- Professional procurement groups have had much more training. While the vast majority of B2B sales teams have had little or no formal training in negotiation techniques and practices, today’s procurement professionals have received many weeks—or even months—of in-depth education on the topic.
- Value-based selling is relatively new to many sales organizations. While the concept of selling multidimensional value is certainly being talked about in many quarters, the value-selling practices themselves are far from being truly operationalized and embraced by most B2B sales teams.
- Product and marketing groups have often not done the homework. Even the best negotiators will falter when they don’t have a leg to stand on. And too many product and marketing groups are delivering speeds and feeds, platitudes, and puffery, rather than building sound and compelling value-cases in the marketplace.
The “as is” picture looks pretty bleak, to be sure. When you take a step back, objectively assess the situation, and recognize just how dramatically the dynamics have changed over the last 10-15 years, you have no choice but to conclude that today’s sellers are woefully unprepared and outmatched.
But here’s the good news….
Once you’ve identified the deficiencies and recognized the weaknesses, you have the roadmap for turning things around.
In the training webinar, we discussed a number of proven practices companies are employing to strengthen and develop their capabilities around pricing and negotiation. Some of these practices are relatively simple and straightforward—things you can easily do this quarter. Other practices are much more sophisticated and require more time and resources.
The point is, your team doesn’t have to just give up, give in, and give away the farm—there are a number of ways to shore-up their capabilities and help them negotiate better deals.