Sales professionals now confront the most serious threat to their success. Regardless of their size, industry, country, customer type, nature of the relationship or amount of value they provide, sales professionals are finding that purchasing decisions are increasingly being limited by procurement. The modern procurement function is purchasing on steroids. Where traditional purchasing managers negotiated, procurement officials attempt to dictate. Procurement deploys a variety of tactics designed to do one thing: gain unprecedented discounts and concessions out of even the most sophisticated sales professionals. This book is a strategy guide for salespeople to help them level the procurement playing field by showing readers how to assess the game procurement plays, describing proven ways to resist discounting and protect margins, demonstrating ways to keep value at the forefront of negotiations, offering targeted tactics to protect hard-earned profits from mindless discounting, and detailing eight strategies effective in any type of pricing negotiation. This book will be an invaluable resource for B2B sales professionals, customer-facing professionals, and executives responsible for leading successful sales organizations.
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“Procurement relief! Salespeople can unlock the mystery of procurement price pressure and bidding wars for less than the price of a dinner. Negotiating with Backbone is the first negotiation book of its kind that doesn’t teach ‘manipulative tricks’–rather it focuses on winning strategies that turn into orders. Buy it, read it, bank it.”
–Jeffrey Gitomer, author, Little Red Book of Selling
“It comes as no surprise that evolving procurement organizations are placing increasing pressure on supplier salespeople. Holden distinguished among price, relationship, and value buyers; then offers down-to-earth practical approaches for successful business results. The entire sales organization will learn from Negotiating with Backbone; after all, Holden’s been there, done that!”
–Noel Capon, R.C. Kopf Professor of International Marketing, Columbia Business School; coauthor, Sales Eats First
“This is a must-read for sales, sales management, and even executive management. The recent evolution of procurement to negatively impact seller margins and therefore sales commissions with complex buying behaviors is real! Holden provides detailed steps to recognize and address these strategies and tactics to maximize profitability. More than a book, it’s a reference guide that should be at your fingertips to use daily to coach and mentor the sales organization. It will with me.”
–Lewis Miller, CEO and President, Qvidian
If you sell B2B (or lead a B2B sales organization), you’re facing a brutal, profit-draining force that threatens your very survival: the procurement department. In Negotiating with Backbone, world-renowned pricing strategist Dr. Reed K. Holden offers a complete plan for “re-leveling” the playing field, restoring your pricing power, fighting back against ruthless procurement organizations—and winning!
Holden reviews how customer buyer behaviors and the procurement function have permanently transformed the sales process and why “conventional” selling is getting even tougher. Next, he shows how to systematically anticipate and respond to each of procurement’s most sophisticated traps, gambits, and tricks.
Negotiating with Backbone brings together actionable best practices for strengthening customer relationships and selling with tangible value, despite procurement’s interference…negotiating far more effectively with “economic buyers” of all kinds… fixing pricing mistakes you’ve already made…giving sales teams all the tools and insights they now need to succeed!
Understand your true value and power in the sales process
What procurement doesn’t want you to know—about them, and about you
Re-stack the deck in your favor
Ten detailed tactics for escaping the procurement buzzsaw
Recognize and plan for every type of buyer
Get better results with price buyers, relationship buyers, value buyers, and poker players
Stop surrendering, start negotiating
Master today’s eight most important negotiating scenarios for each buyer behaviorAbout the Author:
Reed K. Holden, Founder of Holden Advisors and Coach for C-level executives, is a world-class pricing expert who has more than 20 years helping clients build go-to-market strategies to drive price leadership and profitable growth. His firm has been consulting with clients for 12 years to improve and sustain pricing power in highly competitive markets. His latest work with salespeople focuses on successfully dealing with high pressure procurement departments through more effective value positioning, selling, and negotiation. With Mark Burton, he wrote Pricing with Confidence: Ten Ways to Stop Leaving Money on the Table. He is also coauthor of the second and third editions of The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing.
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