Collaborative Sales Negotiations (CSN) is a methodology for planning and executing sales negotiations to reach mutually beneficial agreements between buyers and sellers.

This methodology introduces advanced negotiating methods and skills for application to high-value sales opportunities.

While the essential principles of effective negotiation and closing are included in the Solution Selling in the Collaborative Era program, CSN introduces more advanced negotiation planning and execution methods. As a result, CSN is ideal for sellers who engage in more difficult and complex negotiations.

CSN’s methods and skills enable sellers to successfully close more opportunities with fewer concessions and discounts, resulting in higher margin business. Furthermore, CSN is designed to be a non-manipulative, collaborative approach which assures that the final agreement will be valuable for both the buying and selling organizations, thus improving customer satisfaction and level of relationship.

CSN provides repeatable methods and practical tools for developing sellers’ negotiating skills and covers all aspects of high-stakes negotiations, where maximizing value between buyers and sellers is paramount to their mutual success.

CSN covers all aspects of negotiating to an optimum agreement.

Collaborative Sales Negotiations

Intended Audiences

CSN is designed for any sales professional who engages in complex negotiations to close high-value sales opportunities.

What is included in the Collaborative Sales Negotiations program?

Program Objectives

Designed to provide a repeatable methodology for planning and executing sales negotiations, CSN enables sales professionals to:

  • Understand their strengths, vulnerabilities, and degree of preparedness for an upcoming sales negotiation
  • Determine the best alternatives for a negotiated agreement
  • Collaboratively negotiate and close any high-stakes sales opportunity with confidence
  • Provide higher levels of value for both buyers and the seller
  • Reduce delays at the end of sales cycles
  • Increase and protect margins

Multiple Delivery Modality Options

CSN can be learned through live instructor-led training (ILT) workshops via virtual instructor-led training (vILT) sessions, and online through on-demand eLearning and video-based content. We find that incorporating a mix of delivery modalities produces the best results.

For ILT and vILT delivery, each SPI instructor has been certified to rigorous standards, and they each bring at least 10 years of sales negotiations experience to ensure their credibility and enhance facilitated discussions. Alternatively, SPI can certify client instructors for in-house delivery and coaching, at the client’s option.

Workshop Topical Agenda

CSN is a modular program, designed to be tailored to the unique requirements of each client. The standard instructor-led CSN workshop is a one-day, highly interactive program, and incorporates online eLearning and in-classroom automated tools. The standard workshop includes:

Introduction to Collaborative Sales Negotiations

  • Objectives
    • Welcome the participants
    • Position the workshop objectives
    • Review negotiating difficulties and allow the participants to introduce themselves

The Essentials of Negotiating

  • Objectives
    • Discuss the various points in the sales cycle when a negotiation might occur and that negotiating is not something that happens only at the end of the sales cycle
    • Uncover the fact that we set the stage for future negotiations by the way we respond to requests made by the buyer – these requests oftentimes occur early in the sales cycle
    • Study the phases that buyers go through physiologically during their process of buying, and understand how their concerns shift over time
    • Review the definitions of key negotiating terminology and when each comes into play during the negotiation process
    • Discuss negotiating readiness and why it’s important to be ready for the negotiation before the buyer takes a position
  • Exercises
    • Conduct a priced-based negotiation

Buyer and Seller Alternatives and Options

  • Objectives
    • Discuss the three alternatives buyers have if they are not able to reach agreement with the seller
    • Discuss the two alternatives sellers have if they are not able to reach agreement with the buyer
    • Explore the potential agreed-upon options buyers and sellers have, if they are unable to reach agreement but want to continue trying

Measure your SV Factor™

  • Objectives
    • Using the Formula for a Successful Sale, measure your strengths and vulnerabilities
    • Based on your SV Factor, determine how much power you have in a particular negotiating situation
    • Position end of day presentation format and how each exercise for the rest of the day leads up to the final presentation.

Determine Alternatives and Options

  • Objectives
    • Determine the impact to the buyer of each of their alternatives vs. coming to agreement with you
    • Determine the impact on you and your company of the alternatives vs. coming to an agreement with the buyer
    • Identify the options that could mutually be agreed upon between buyer and seller in the event an agreement is at a stalemate, but both sides are committing to finding a solution to the impasse.
  • Exercises
    • Anticipate your buyers alternatives and options

Three Methods of Negotiating

  • Objectives
    • Discuss how a typical negotiation begins and why they often times become competitive
    • Understand how buyers and sellers feel as though the other party is trying to stake claim to an unfair advantage
    • Explore the three methods of negotiating and why one is most favorable

Positions and Interests

  • Objectives
    • Review buying tactics often time displayed by buyers
    • Define the different types of positions taken by buyers
    • Discuss the type of position most likely to occur during each phase of the buying process
    • Determine the areas of interest that are important not only to buyers but sellers alike
  • Exercises
    • Determine the positions and underlying interests of your buyer

Withstanding the Buyer’s Squeeze

  • Objectives
    • Learn the different types of stands that a seller might take in response to a buyer’s position
    • Determine which stand is most effective by matching stand types to buyer positions

Expanding the Pie

  • Objectives
    • Explore the different areas of growth for both buyer and seller in an effort to expand the pie
    • Prioritize both your gets and gives by rating the value of each to the other party
  • Exercises
    • Create negotiating stands and prepare a get-give list

Negotiating Dialogue Prompter™

  • Objectives
    • Review both the framework and a prompter for responding to a buyer’s position in an effort to expand the pie. This prompter is used as a learning tool to develop the situational fluency required after the program.
  • Exercises
    • Final Team Presentations
      • Each participant team presents their Negotiation Readiness Worksheet™ to the class and practices negotiating with the instructor

Review Principles of Collaborative Sales Negotiation – Wrap-up

  • Objectives
    • Review the principles discussed during the program and gather final thoughts before exiting the program
    • Provide closing comments and evaluations

CSN typically includes a pre-workshop assignment consisting of collecting information about a specific opportunity that is partially through the sales cycle, including:

  • The key players and their critical business issues (“pains”)
  • The defined value of a proposed solution
  • The assumed value of a primary competitor’s offering
  • The possible negotiating positions the buyer may take

In the workshop, participants use the pre-work assignment content in application exercises to practice program concepts. At the completion of the workshop, the participants will have a well-organized and documented Negotiating Readiness Worksheet™ and be prepared to collaborate with their customer to reach an agreement that brings additional value, to both themselves and their buyer.

Instructional Materials

The CSN workshop is designed with adult learning principles in mind. The program’s instructional materials facilitate participant understanding by using a mix of media to transmit and reinforce key learning points. SPI provides full-color training content in electronic interactive workbooks, for use on participants’ mobile devices or laptop computers, as well as color reference charts, animated presentations, and video content, where appropriate.

Useful Negotiation Planning Tools and Job Aids

The CSN workshop provides automated negotiation planning tools. As participants complete the in-workshop exercises, they capture the results in these tools. After the workshop, sellers can use the tools on an ongoing basis for application in their own sales opportunities.

The tools and job aids provided in the CSN program toolkit include:

  • SV Factor Analysis – captures essential strengths and vulnerabilities for a sales negotiation
  • Negotiating Dialogue Framework – a structure for planning an ideal negotiation conversation with a buyer
  • Negotiation Readiness Worksheet – analyzes the buyer and seller alternatives, strengths and vulnerabilities, positions and interests, stands and offers, and how to prepare all elements needed for a collaborative negotiation
  • Get-Give List – identifies concessions of similar value for trade between a buyer and seller, in order to reach a mutually beneficial agreement
  • 30/60/90-Day Implementation Plan – a planning tool for getting started with collaborative sales negotiation principles successfully

Strategic Value

Collaborative Sales Negotiation provides sales professionals with a repeatable and practical methodology, and skills for planning and executing sophisticated negotiations, and securing mutually valuable agreements with buyers. The outcomes of this methodology are a higher win rate, reduced sales cycle times, lower levels of discounts, fewer concessions, and higher levels of customer satisfaction, resulting in lower cost of sale, better margins, and happier customers.