There are two sides to every sales negotiation - the negotiation with the customer and the internal process that's going on in your own company, as your salespeople try to move a deal forward.
When we ask sellers if their internal process helps or hinders their customer negotiations, the answer is always the latter. Most of sales leaders agree their internal process isn't really a process at all, rather a series of one-off requests and fire drills. That's why we encourage growing organizations to develop a negotiation strategy at the organizational level that's aligned with the company's overall growth strategy. Developing that plan requires intention and a concerted effort across your company, but the measurable results are worth the effort. The negative consequences of not taking action may be the very things that prevent your organization from truly realizing your revenue goals.
The trouble with the way most companies approach negotiation is they simply train their reps on tactics and deal strategies. While that approach can be beneficial, we believe it misses the mark. When you do that you are creating an environment where the definition of what makes a great deal for your organization is disproportionately influenced by the individual seller and not the company. This mindset will continue to leave your organization vulnerable to losing value on every deal because your only defense against aggressive buyer tactics is the rep who is trying to close the deal and not the defined negotiation strategy which accounts for the broader vested interest of the company.
You need cross-functional alignment around the key areas where those strategic goals come to fruition at the point of execution in the sales negotiation process.
What are the specific interests that need to be preserved in customer agreements for both sides?
What strategic priorities should be in every deal?
What are the give/gets that align with those interests?
What negotiation tactics are challenging us in our opportunities?
What is our negotiation strategy?
Gaining agreement on these questions from every department that impacts the final deal is critical to streamlining your internal process. Leaders that have the insight and discipline to take a step back and improve their organizational negotiation strategy ensure:
strategic priorities are protected in negotiated outcomes
they respond faster to customers and in competitive situations