What do buyers and sellers really think about each other, and the negotiations they conduct for their companies?
BayGroup International and ES Research Group recently surveyed more than 600 sales and purchasing professionals to find out.
Finding from the study, “The State of Sales and Purchasing 2012,” will be shared at a complimentary webinar on November 29 at 1200 PM Eastern Time.
Registration is now open for this complimentary session, entitled:
What Works in Negotiation? What Buyers and Sellers Think About Their Counterparts
The webinar will provide research-based answers to questions like:
- Which business pressures are having the most impact on negotiation results…for both buyers and sellers?
- Who has more power today in negotiations, buyers or sellers?
- Are buyer-seller negotiations becoming more competitive…or more collaborative?
- Which negotiating strategies work best…from the point of view of both sales and purchasing professionals?
- Negotiation training: how effective is it in the eyes of those who take it?
If you or your team are involved in buyer-seller negotiations—or negotiation training deployment–you’ll want to attend this important webinar
Pressure on business-to-business sales teams to lower their prices has never been more intense. Aggressive procurement managers, new online purchasing technology (including e-Auctions), recession-induced cost cutting, and disruptive competition have all made it increasingly difficult for sales professionals to establish the value of their solutions—and get paid for it.
How are today’s successful B2B sales leaders addressing these new challenges? That’s the subject of an October 4 webinar for sales leaders, “Closing More Profitable Sales: 3 Counterintuitive Strategies for Getting Your Price.”
This complimentary webinar is sponsored by TrainingIndustry.com, and features BayGroup International sales performance experts Ron D’Andrea and Paul Hennessey. As you may know, BayGroup International was named to the 2012 TrainingIndustry.com “Top 20 Sales Training Companies” list. At the webinar, Ron and Paul will share insights from top-performing companies on what works in today’s new selling environment. During the session they will provide examples and actionable insights on how:
- Recent changes in the role and power of procurement organizations should affect your sales strategy
- Managing “committee decision making” more effectively can result in more profitable customer relationships
- Taking more control of the sales process early in the selling cycle can produce more profitable pricing
- Addressing buyer needs and selection criteria is no longer sufficient to win profitable business
The webinar will be held on Thursday, October 4 at 1:00 PM EDT. To register, visit:
We work in an increasingly globalized business world. Whether we’re selling, buying, or working with colleagues on important projects, it’s more likely than ever that we’ll be called on to negotiate with someone in another country, or a co-worker “down the hall” with a a different cultural heritage than our own.
Too often negotiation skill training minimizes the effects of culture. Yet given the growth of international business activity, managing the cross-cultural dimension of negotiation can make the difference between success and failure.
Four key issues any cross-cultural negotiator must consider are:
- How to minimize distrust and stereotyping, which are much more likely in cross-cultural settings.
- How to manage language issues between the parties, which can emerge even when both negotiators presumably speak the same language (with one party challenged because it is their second language)
- How to be successful in virtual negotiations (conducted via email, web meeting, or even text messaging), which are much more common in cross-border business transactions.
- How to uncover and address needs of the other party based on their cultural preferences in areas like need for short- vs. long-term results; need for certainty and process (vs. tolerance for ambiguity); and need to succeed in negotiations on behalf of the collective team (rather than as an individual performer).
Want to learn more about how to develop your team’s cross-cultural negotiation skills? Download Improving Cross-Cultural Negotiation Performance: Key Considerations for Global Learning Leaders, a complimentary white paper on the subject.
When it comes to improving sales performance, times have changed.
The critical question: Are you keeping up?
After years of recession-induced cost cutting, leaders are putting increasing emphasis on implementing go-to-market strategies to boost both top- and bottom-line results, and expecting their sales organizations to execute them. But times have changed, and it’s more challenging to close the gap between go-to-market strategy as articulated by senior management and its profitable execution with customers.
Here are four important changes that sales leaders must factor into their planning:
- Sales teams have changed. Today’s new breed of sales professionals is more tech-savvy, and comfortable with multitasking. This is prompting important changes in the way leading sales executives think about the design, deployment, and reinforcement of sales performance initiatives.
- Workshops are no longer enough. The trend in sales force enablement is to move beyond skill improvement, and deploy initiatives that create sustainable change in habits and behavior on the sales team.
- Managers are too busy to provide adequate live coaching. Today’s sales managers simply don’t have the time to provide the one-on-one field support their teams need to drive desired performance. As a result leading sales organizations are now leveraging online and mobile technology to support stronger field coaching.
- Corporate leadership is asking for sustainable change in the sales organization. Rapid and sometimes radical shifts in markets, technologies, and competition are forcing sales organizations to implement significant change management initiatives that go well beyond traditional training paradigms. Today’s successful leaders are finding ways to deploy sales training as a platform for sustainable change management in their organizations.
To win in this new environment, sales leaders must “play by new rules,” focusing on sustainable behavior change supported by mobile technology. Want to learn more? Download the complimentary white paper Improving Sales Performance: New Rules for Leaders, which can be found here.
When it comes to selling, the days of the “Lone Ranger” are over.
Today, successful selling is typically done in teams. Sales professionals must coordinate with their organization’s service, technical support, marketing, finance, and operational staffs in order to sell, negotiate, and implement customer solutions successfully.
The same counterintuitive skills and habits that top sales professionals use to manage tension during the the sales process are needed to manage tension–and contention–on the internal customer-facing team.
In some ways, however, it’s tougher to foster creativity and innovation during “negotiations” inside a company than with its external customers. Why? Because in today’s business environment work stress, internal politics, and poor leadership often lead employees to:
- “One up” each other rather than maintain mutual respect and esteem so important to effective teamwork and group innovation.
- Protect rather than maximize the flow information needed to solve important sales and customer service problems.
- Gravitate quickly to status-quo solution strategies rather than fostering creativity and innovation on the team.
- Look first to satisfy personal or departmental agendas, rather than focusing on the shared business purpose: growing the business by exceeding customer expectations.
What does it take to help your sales and service teams manage internal contention constructively…and develop more innovative solutions for your customers? A focus on learning experiences and coaching that changes intuitive habits, and replaces them with new, more effective behaviors. You can learn more about a process that works by reading Improving Customer Team Performance: The New Selling Imperative, a white paper found here (registration required), and then exploring BayGroup International’s team effectiveness approach.
What does it take build a sales team that can create and manage tension constructively in the sales process?
It starts with clear view of what effective sales negotiation and sales execution is all about.
It’s NOT just about “challenging” the customer because you believe the days of “relationship selling” are over. Customers buy for many reasons, some business oriented, but often based on personal relationship and personal need.
And it’s NOT just about looking for collaborative “win-win” outcomes rather than promoting a particular solution or point of view. This might lead to agreements that feel good to both parties…but risk “leaving money on the table” in the process.
BayGroup International’s expertise in the area of managing tension in the selling and negotiation process has emerged from more than two decades of research and successful client engagements:
- It started with our work helping transform the negotiation approaches of leading companies like Chevron, AT&T, HP, and UPS.
- It was augmented by the development and deployment of our proprietary negotiation model for sales (and purchasing) organizations, with the idea of tension management at its foundation.
- And it was enhanced by the 1989 launch of our Constructive Contention™ program in partnership with the Stanford University team that “wrote the book” on the subject, Managing on the Edge: How the Smartest Companies Use Conflict to Stay Ahead.
What have we learned over the years about leveraging tension in the selling and negotiation process? Here are six lessons for sales leaders:
- Every negotiation includes tension between collaborative relationship and competitive self-interest.
- The management of tension is critical not just in final negotiations, but throughout the selling/buying process, often around early Pivotal Agreements, the “leading indicators” of profitable selling.
- It is also the source of creativity in negotiations, a key to reaching agreements that satisfy the real needs of both parties.
- Those who manage this tension ineffectively fail to achieve the best possible negotiated outcomes, whether they are interacting with customers, suppliers, or colleagues.
- The intuitive, habitual response of most negotiators when tension increases it to become too collaborative…or too competitive. This leads to sub-optimal results.
- The key competency for any negotiator is the ability to plan for, recognize, and manage the shifting tension in their negotiations, and use appropriate behavioral tools to increase tension when things get too collaborative…or reduce it when things get too competitive.
It’s harder than it looks. The best approaches to managing tension are counterintuitive for most negotiators. Awareness and knowledge are not enough. Building this competency requires highly experiential training that focuses not just on awareness and skill…but on lasting habit change.
When it comes to improving sales performance, times have changed.
The critical question: Are you keeping up?
After years of recession-induced cost cutting, leaders are putting increasing emphasis on developing go-to-market strategies to boost both top- and bottom-line results, and expecting their sales organizations to execute them. But changes in sales technology, buyer sophistication, and sales team attitudes are making it more challenging to close the gap between go-to-market strategy as articulated by senior management and its profitable execution with customers.
How should sales leaders approach the challenge, especially when it comes to training the sales team to close more profitable business? That’s the subject of a June 26 webinar entitled “Improving Sales Performance: New Rules for Leaders.”
This complimentary webinar is sponsored by TrainingIndustry.com, and features BayGroup International sales performance experts Ron D’Andrea and Paul Hennessey. As you may know, BayGroup International was recently named to TrainingIndustry.com’s “Top 20 Sales Training Company” list. At the webinar Ron and Paul will share best-practices and strategies from top-performing companies on what works in today’s new selling environment. They will share actionable insights on how:
- Today’s new breed of sales professionals should prompt changes in the way you think about sales performance development.
- You can move beyond skill improvement, and create sustainable change in habits and behavior on your sales team.
- To most effectively leverage technology to support stronger field coaching by your managers.
- Training can be deployed as a platform for change management in your sales organization
To learn more, or to register for this session, visit
ES Research (ESR), leading independent sales training research and advisor firm, has rated BayGroup International’s solutions as “Industry Leading” in five areas: advanced selling skills, sales management, return on training, utilization of training, and measurement of training results.
BayGroup International, a leading global sales training and performance improvement firm, was evaluated along with more than a dozen other firms in the sales training industry. The independent evaluation was conducted by analysts from ES Research, the only firm offering objective, methodology-based evaluations of sales training providers to help buyers make more informed purchasing decisions.
Is your sales training keeping up with developments in the selling environment?
There’s no doubt about it: today’s sales professionals are faced with unprecedented and important changes in their world of work:
- Increased use of powerful online technology that allows faster access to real-time information. This helps accelerate the sales process…but also makes it harder for sales reps to focus, concentrate, and avoid distraction.
- Higher levels of “information overload” from that same technology. The flood of data from company email, CRM systems, and personal use of knowledge tools like Google search has helped create an “I want it now” expectation from sales reps when it comes to job-related information access.
- Intensifying response time compression, an increased pressure from customers and colleagues for “24/7” availability, increased speed of response, and reduced time out of field to quickly solve problems. Customers want answers faster…and so do today’s sales training participants.
These changes (and others like them) have made it more important than ever to deploy training that is simple, memorable, and quick-to-value for the sales team.
Yet many organizations still implement sales training that is overly complex, quickly forgotten, and slow to produce value for participants. Training that describes complicated sales process models that are hard to remember and apply. Training that makes logical sense, but is forgotten a month later in the field.
What can be done? Deployment of online training and tools is key to success. More importantly, increased focus on application of use of “chunks” of learning content in the field (such as that delivered by BayGroup International’s 100minutes™ solutions) can address the need for training delivered “when I need it, where I need it.”
At an even more fundamental level, the challenge involves designing sales training that addresses a basic psychological truth: the human brain can only hold and remember seven things at a time in “working memory.” In fact, recent research suggests fewer is better. That’s one reason BayGroup International sales training is designed with this in mind. For example, our sales negotiation methodology is built around:
- Six fundamental Principles of Sales Negotiation that drive more effective planning;
- A three-dimensional model for effective negotiation (Competitive, Collaborative, Creative); and
- Five core negotiation behaviors that drive successful negotiation outcomes.
The results of this approach? Higher levels of user adoption of sales training content, more focused field coaching, increased “stickiness” of key skills…and both larger and more profitable customer relationships.