BayGroup International Blog

Posts tagged sales

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Webinar: “Closing More Profitable Sales: 3 Counterintuitive Strategies for Getting Your Price”

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, and features BayGroup International sales performance experts Ron D’Andrea and Paul Hennessey. As you may know, BayGroup International was named to the 2012 “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:

Filed under B2B B2B Sales negotiation sales training sales procurement business business management

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Managing Tension–and Contention–On The Internal Sales Team

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.

Filed under B2B Sales Negotiation Business Management Sales Team Collaboration Colleagues

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Managing Tension in the Sales Process: Make It A Habit

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:

  1. Every negotiation includes tension between collaborative relationship and competitive self-interest.
  2. 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.
  3. It is also the source of creativity in negotiations, a key to reaching agreements that satisfy the real needs of both parties.
  4. Those who manage this tension ineffectively fail to achieve the best possible negotiated outcomes, whether they are interacting with customers, suppliers, or colleagues.
  5. The intuitive, habitual response of most negotiators when tension increases it to become too collaborative…or too competitive. This leads to sub-optimal results.
  6. 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.

Filed under B2B Negotiation Training Negotiation Sales Sales Training Sales Performance Improvement Tension Sales Process Habit Change

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Improving Results From Your ‘Virtual Negotiations’

Do you or your team negotiate “virtually,” perhaps in a cross-cultural environment, using email, voice mail, web meetings, or other online tools?  You’ll want to read this article by BayGroup International, appearing in Contracting Excellence (the publication of the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management):

Filed under virtual virtual negotiations negotiations sales B2B Strategy B2B Strategy IACCM Sales Training

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Sales Training: Keep It Simple…and Quick to Value

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.

Filed under B2b B2B sales sales training sales training effectiveness sales negotiation negotiation training

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What Does it Take to be a Top Sales Training Provider?

BayGroup International has recently been recognized by  as one of the Top 20 Sales Training Companies. The company has had a major impact on Fortune 500 companies’ bottom line and is an established leader in the B2B sales training and sales execution profession.

Filed under sales sales training and development sales training b2b sales b2b sales training top sales training b2b negotiation training negotiation