Two Sales Negotiation Tactics to Use with Procurement

Two Sales Negotiation Tactics to Use with Procurement

Categories: Sales Negotiation

There isn’t a salesperson out there who hasn’t dreaded a meeting with procurement. After all, that’s where late-stage opportunities (those you’ve spent countless hours on) may hit detrimental roadblocks. It’s important to remember that a professional buyer, just like your other decision makers, has specific interests and value drivers just like everyone else. It’s up to you to understand, influence and align those factors with your value and differentiation. Here are tactics you can use to win more and help professional buyers be a hero in their organizations.

1. Decode the Price Conversation

The best professional buyers understand their first task is to fully understand the need they are being asked to help address, before they attempt to source the lowest priced solution for that need. Therefore, the primary question sellers need to ask themselves is… “What are we doing to help procurement make an informed decision?” Remember, professional buyers want to fully understand the real differences between their options. They simply come at that interest from a different perspective.

To truly understand procurement, you’ve got to understand the world from which they come. They’ve likely been to more negotiating trainings than you. They’re experienced and they know all the tactics sellers use. They recognize Seller 101 and if they feel they are being manipulated, they’re going to put up the walls. When in doubt, they default to price. The reality is that procurement has to care about more than just price, if they want to be effective in sourcing solutions to the business problems their internal customers are trying to resolve. It’s your job to find out what else is driving their negotiation strategy. You have to uncover the driving business and personal interests behind procurement’s requirements for accepting the deal. 

Tim Caito, Force Management Senior Partner and a seasoned sales negotiation expert, joined The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast to chat through how to prepare for tactics these buyers use to get you to fault on price. In the podcast, Tim shares five tips for managing the negotiation process and preparing for success (to the best of your ability!) Tune in below or stream it on your preferred podcast platform.

2. Explain the Required Capabilities and Positive Business Outcomes to Procurement

In order to close a great deal, you have to understand what the required capabilities are to solve their problem and the positive business outcomes they’re looking to achieve. Your traditional discovery questions are only going to get you so far. That’s because procurement managers often lack the subject matter expertise necessary to understand the full range of complexity associated with the purchases they are being asked to source. Remember, procurement managers are seldom experts in cloud integration, the software development lifecycle, or whatever you’re selling. Their job is to help an organization make wise purchases. Yours is to help them make the best decision for their organization.

If you’ve determined the required capabilities for the solution the organization is trying to achieve, then leverage that information with the professional buyer. Help them understand how this purchase will help them avoid a buying mistake. At that point, neither of you will see each other as the enemy.

Once you determine they need subject matter expertise, educate them on these requirements, then explain your differentiators. Done well, this approach can actually make you a trusted resource to the professional buyer for this decision and future purchases. You can help provide them with the subject matter expertise they need to seal a deal that will make them look like the hero in their own organization.

Improve your ability to consult your buyer on choosing the right fit and in the process minimize the risk of choosing your solutions. In another episode of the Audible-Ready Sales Podcast, Tim Caito talks about how to find success with procurement by consulting them on making the right decision for their business. He covers how you can get to procurement early and in a way that will help you differentiate your solutions. Tune in below or stream it on your preferred podcast platform.

Lead With a Buyer-Focused Mentality

Define yourself by the business problems you solve, not the products you sell. Remember, your first step in negotiating great deals is to focus on the value of your solution as it relates to the positive business outcomes your customers are trying to achieve. Your time with procurement shouldn’t be a negotiating event, but rather an extension of the negotiation process you’ve been executing from the start of the sale. If you focus on value and customer needs early in the sales process, negotiating becomes much easier

Every professional buyer makes purchases to address a need their company has, often on behalf of those responsible for resolving that need. While it’s true that one aspect of not buying a mistake is to be sure you don’t pay too much, it is in fact typically just one of several important considerations. Professional buyers know that getting a great price on a mistake most likely creates a much more expensive problem. A problem they are responsible for avoiding. Be their ally throughout this process. Find ways to make the sales process easier on professional buyers and include them as critical decision makers along the road to a winning deal.

New call-to-action

Sales Pro Central