by Jacqueline Codair Donovan
Traditionally, account teams feel caught running from one negotiation to the next. One of the first things we remind our clients is that what is at the table is only a small part of the overall negotiation process. The best negotiators actively manage the entire process and create the most options for their at-the-table discussions.
In order to be truly successful in a negotiation, sales teams must move beyond just ‘selling’ the features and benefits of their products to demonstrating the value of their offering to the customer, or as we like to call it, value-selling. What does it take to value-sell skillfully? First and foremost, sales teams must make a key mindset shift. You are not just selling products/ services to your customers. Rather, you are providing solutions for the customer’s strategic challenges. As many customers (in and outside of procurement organizations) are thinking more strategically when it comes to their purchasing decisions, it is important that sales teams position themselves and their products as a means to meeting the customer’s strategic goals, in both the short term and long term. In other words, the sales team/account manager should work to be viewed as a strategic advisor in the eyes of their customer, and products/services should be packaged as a solution to meet the customer’s goals.