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Sales Negotiation Training
Suppose that dropping one word from your vocabulary could change the trajectory of your career? What if it could make you more persuasive with prospects, improve your interactions with customers, and make you more confident when you’re closing deals? What if it could help you reach your sales goals and make a big impact on your company’s bottom line? Getting rid of a single word, one that most of us use every day, can do all that.
The word is “negotiation.” From now on, you should replace it with “trade.” How can changing one word accomplish so much? When account executives sit down to negotiate, they tend to think in terms of dollars and cents. They imagine percentages increasing or decreasing. They often give away discounts far more than they should — and often for little or nothing in return. Almost every negotiation is a frustrating experience because even a small discount can have significant consequences for your company. In a recurring revenue business model, a 10% discount means that after seven years, your company has brought in only half the revenue that it would have if you had sold it at full price.
But the customer ends up feeling frustrated as well. They probably believe that a discount demonstrates that you are committed to winning their business, but a discount often works in a counterintuitive way. Instead of making your product seem more valuable, it can make the customer question your pricing strategy. If you offer your product at full price and then accept a 10% discount, why didn’t you just offer the 10% discount in the first place? When both sides feel a little resentful about the outcome, what should have been a win-win situation can feel more like a lose-lose. What is business negotiation for, anyway?
Most business experts stress the importance of negotiation. There are plenty of articles on the most effective sales negotiation strategies and sales negotiation training courses that promise to help you handle difficult discussions. But the truth is that when your business is based on recurring revenue, you want to maintain the best possible relationship with your customers. It’s important that both sides come away from the bargaining table feeling that they’ve gained something. That’s why at Winning by Design, the leader in accelerating and optimizing recurring revenue for today’s B2B organizations, our approach is to teach you how to trade, not negotiate. That’s how we’ve revolutionized sales negotiation training.
Sales Negotiation Training Exercises
Many sales negotiation training exercises offered by other companies revolve around closing the deal. They advise account executives about when to offer a discount in order to encourage a customer to sign on the dotted line. But when you give a customer a discount just because they asked for one, they don’t expect to have to give you anything in return. There’s no trade involved.
At Winning by Design, we provide the industry’s best consulting and coaching programs for SaaS-based companies. Because up to 93% of the lifetime value that these companies get from their customers comes months or years after a deal, we emphasize the importance of building long-term relationships. In our negotiation activities for students, we stress that rather than offer a discount, they should reframe it as a price adjustment. That way it’s clear that it’s a part of the trade. At that point, you discuss what they are willing to give you in return. Our negotiation scenarios take into account what is happening in the workplace today.
Winning by Design’s short negotiation exercises get high marks from our participants. We have more than 500 five-star reviews on G2 that praise our wide range of courses. Dan Ennis, Customer Success Manager at Beekeeper, said that Winning by Design offers the “best negotiation training” he’s ever encountered. “I love that their techniques work,” he said. “My first tendency is to turn to discounting, so the trade training was invaluable. Winning by Design helped our team grow in actual negotiating and trading, not just discounting, with prospects and existing customers.”
Sales Negotiation Process
If you have any doubts about how powerful trading can be, just ask your sales management team how it can affect sales negotiations. They will let you know that trading ensures that everyone at the table is satisfied because they are walking away with something that they want. Negotiating, on the other hand, leaves them feeling that they have given something away. As negotiation strategies go, it’s not the way to build trust on both sides.
When it comes to the sales negotiation process, you might have more tools than you realize. Price is the most obvious one, but you should make it clear to your customer that it’s only one of several things on the table. Never frame the discussion as being primarily about price. If you get drawn into a conversation about the cost of your product, you are negotiating, not trading. If a customer says that your price is too high, ask exactly what they mean. Don’t always assume they are asking for a discount. They could mean the overall cost of the contract or the amount you’re asking for it upfront.
One of the other things that should always be on the table is the length of the contract. Is the customer committing to a one- or two-year contract, or is it a month-to-month agreement? If that’s a big concern for the customer, they might be more flexible about other things. The payment schedule is equally important. Will they pay on a Net 30, Net 45, or Net 60 basis? Will there be an annual upfront payment, versus monthly or quarterly payments? And don’t forget things like written case studies that can be part of your marketing package, personal testimonials from their leadership team that can be displayed on your website, or comments about your product or service on review websites.
Sales Negotiation Examples
It’s a conversation that all of us dread. After hammering out all the details of a deal with a potential new customer, the executive you’ve been talking to for weeks or months gets you on the phone. “I’ve just talked to our Chief Financial Officer,” the executive says. “Our team doesn’t have the budget we discussed. You need to do better on the price.” It’s easy to feel that you’re at a disadvantage. The customer has demanded a discount. What choice do you have other than give them what they want?
That’s when your sales negotiation training should kick in. Your customer wants a lower price. Fine, customers ask for discounts all the time. But that doesn’t mean that your only choice is to give it to them. Remember that the customer is asking that you give them something of value. One of the most important sales negotiation techniques is to always ask for something of value in return. That’s the key to a well-executed trade. You can turn it into a win-win situation if both sides get something they want.
This is one of the sales negotiation examples that comes up most often in the sales training courses offered by Winning by Design. Participants tell us that when they get a request for a discount from a customer, they feel like they don’t have many options. But one of the most important sales negotiation principles we teach them is that most deals that reach the negotiation stage seldom turn on price. What most people want is to feel like they’ve gotten the best possible deal. If you offer them something else they want — for example, a shorter contract or more flexible payment terms — price might no longer be so important. Understanding these examples of negotiation in business make you a better trader.
When it comes to B2B sales training with a strong emphasis on negotiation, your best option is Winning by Design’s Revenue Academy. Our sales training methods include interactive training sessions, expert instructors, best-in-class frameworks, and detailed blueprints for every step along the sales journey. Courses like Selling for Impact and Selling into Enterprise Accounts teach you the skills you need to be an effective trader. As your skills ramp up, so does our sales training. If you’re a frontline manager, our Managing for Leadership helps you become a better mentor for team members who are new to negotiation. To help your team incorporate what they’ve learned into their daily routine, we have private courses and coaching sessions that can be tailored to your specific needs.
One of the reasons that Winning by Design has the best online sales training is the fact that all of our courses are built on the same methodology. That means that your entire Revenue Team — Sales, Sales Development, Business Development, Customer Success, and Revenue Management — speaks the same language. That smooths out the process of passing a customer from Business Development to Sales or from Sales to Customer Success. And since our focus is helping companies grow their business using the recurring revenue model, we know how to teach your account executives the way to change their negotiation strategy with customers so that they always find a win-win solution. That’s why Winning by Design has the best sales training available today.
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