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Revenue Operations

How to Set Up Your Sales Teams for Successful Negotiations

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Can RevOps professionals actually help sellers improve their contract negotiation skills? They sure can! Hear from Raja Singh, Founder & CEO at Revolear, Christine McKay, CEO & Negotiation Strategist at Venn NCE, and Lauri McCarthy, Deal Desk at Corsearch, about how RevOps can prepare their sales teams for successful negotiations

“Everything is negotiable.” - Christine McKay

RevOps has nothing to offer sellers during contract negotiations…wrong! The truth is, this stage of the sales process is the perfect place for RevOps to help drive efficiency and increase revenue in your organization. Here’s how to set up your sales team for success.

Most companies are NOT prepared for negotiations

“Most organizations don't have formal negotiation training. Sellers learn by throwing things against the wall.” - Raja Singh

There are a lot of players in the negotiation process. You have a spokesperson, usually a salesperson, sales manager, or sometimes a designated contract negotiator. And then you have the invisible authority working behind the scenes like your deal desk, management team, legal, or others. 

But many companies don’t have a specific point person that drives their contract negotiations and standardizes their negotiation processes. In fact, they typically have well-defined pitch decks and legal contracts without anything in the middle–where most of the negotiation takes place.

Prepare for negotiations ahead of time

“You don’t want a seller whose stock answer is, ‘I gotta go ask.’” - Lauri McCarthy

Sales teams can get lost in the weeds during haggling situations when they don’t understand which levers they can pull. By codifying common requests, levers, and exceptions, RevOps can ensure that sales doesn’t give away too much, resulting in a deal that doesn’t make financial sense. 

Deal Desk can play a big part in this process by templatizing your pricing structures. Rather than using rate cards and line items, switch to summarized or bundled pricing. Savvy customers know how to pick apart SKU pricing. Summarized proposals can help everyone focus on value rather than discounted line items. 

But don’t stop there, create processes to encourage sellers to find out early in deal discussions whether contracts will need to be run past procurement, legal, HR, or IT and start scheduling time with those teams in parallel to sales conversations.

RevOps as deal facilitators

RevOps, and especially Deal Desk, don’t have to be deal blockers. You can serve as facilitators of successful negotiations. Start asking questions like, who’s the best point person for specific topics? And where can sellers start and end when negotiating price?

More tips for successful negotiations

  • Teach your sales team how to sell a standard deal. The best negotiation is no negotiation.
  • Set up clear approval processes that let you iterate quickly.
  • Assign someone from Deal Desk to opportunities to help push the deal forward.
  • Create standard options for negotiating terms. If a customer wants a bigger discount, add in an auto-renew to the contract.
  • Treat every ask from sales as a coaching opportunity for more profitable deals.

Bring structure to negotiations

“A contract is not a proposal and it’s not marketing material. It’s not designed for that.” - Christine McKay

Good negotiation starts with understanding the terms and pricing that will likely be negotiated. Start documenting these situations in your sales playbook. Remember, RevOps has the power to create processes and formats that can help your sellers close their best deals. 

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