Are you a sales leader looking to improve your sales team negotiation tactics? Start with a negotiation scorecard!
Scorecards tend to take us back to the times we played or watched sports at school. Yes, we may have left those types of scorecards behind, but that doesn’t mean we won’t use scorecards again.
The notion of using scorecards to monitor the pace and timeline of an important sales negotiation is gaining more traction.
As a sales manager, you need to know where your sales teams stand in their negotiations. Furthermore, the executive management of your corporation likely needs to know this information as well. Progress needs to be measured against set goals and timelines.
Negotiation can be a difficult and complex process. Each negotiation requires a specific strategy to achieve an end goal. The strategy may be divided into different negotiation tactics.
This is why we recommend using a negotiation scorecard.
Why use a negotiation scorecard?
A negotiation scorecard helps keep together all the information relevant to a deal. For example, sometimes there are many strands that need to be drawn together to finalize a deal.
In sales negotiations, you must try to pull the strands together simultaneously. Alternatively, you can try pulling it all together in a sequence. Keeping a scorecard helps you see how far you are in the sequence and how close you are to concluding it.
How to set up a negotiation scorecard
A sales negotiation scorecard can be simply set up in Salesforce or a spreadsheet program such as Excel. Making it too complex and intricate can make the scorecard confusing and hard to read.
To draw up a scorecard, you first need to collect the information you will need at the conclusion of your sales negotiation deal. By doing so, you can break the negotiation process down into smaller sections.
All the issues that need to be negotiated should also be brainstormed. Breaking the sales negotiation of a deal down into steps or separate issues helps to make the process manageable.
Using the negotiation scorecard
After each stage of the negotiation, a record can be put into the spreadsheet. The records could include what was discussed or how far you feel you are with the negotiations. Note outstanding issues that will need to be pursued in the next negotiation session.
If you have a well-managed scorecard, you can present to the party you’re negotiating with. By doing so, it gives you the chance to add their input as well.
Allowing buyers continued access your scorecard opens you up to buyers finding more and more ‘issues’ to put on the table. Such practices can stall, delay, or destroy your negotiation altogether.
Taking a scorecard to the next level
You can turn your scorecard into a simple dashboard for your manager to view. Simply indicate which aspects of the negotiation process are complete or incomplete, and which are yet to be tackled. Color fill the aspect of the negotiation as green.
You can use yellow if you feel you’ve made some progress but aren’t quite finished. Use red if you haven’t managed to lock this aspect down completely. Leave the blocks of aspects you haven’t tackled yet blank but indicate the dates on which you intend to go ahead. Your superiors can track your progress and offer you support.
Encountering scorecard resistance
Many old-school salespeople believe that they don’t need a scorecard to keep track of their negotiations. The salespeople think that having it all committed to memory, nothing can go wrong. Remember this might not always be the same. So, try on if you can easily forget a little detail that could have a big effect on the outcome.
What if something happens and the salesperson is unable to complete their sales negotiation? Salespeople don’t want to think about the worst-case scenario, but it could possibly happen. If a salesperson is injured in a car accident and winds up in a coma, what will the way forward be?
The scorecard would allow another salesperson to enter the process and put their sales negotiation training to use in a seamless transition. Without a scorecard, the entire process may risk having to start right from the beginning again.
Final thoughts on the Sales Scorecard system
As with most things in the office, it’s not about the system you want to introduce. The secret to success rests upon how you introduce and implement. Training sales negotiators and allowing them to see the benefits goes a long way.
As a sales manager, demonstrate the advantages of having a streamlined negotiation scorecard. At the end of the day, it's your responsibility to empower your salespeople to take control of their sales negotiations.
Do you have any more ideas for using a negotiation scorecard? Let us know in the comments!
Building online visibility for Negotiation Training Experts is Lilou Hoffman’s talent and passion. Her experience working with sales professionals has given her key insights, essential when it comes to writing instructive and practical posts.