A sales management team needs to address the idea of prospecting from two sides in order to educate their representatives effectively. Sales training should include a series of practices that they should use when speaking with clients and clearly defined methods to avoid.
When the representative has locked down the customer, and the final stages of a sale are entered, there are several key things that a salesperson should avoid.
If a salesperson is at the contract stage and is in formal negotiations to finalize the purchase, he should never employ a give without getting strategy. There should be nothing offered by a representative unless there is going to be reciprocation from the client.
Don't give in to anything without obtaining something more from the customer. If they want a lower price, then try and get more units or a more lengthy contract. There has to be a two-way street between the customer and the rep in order for both sides to benefit from the transaction.
A representative should never sell below the fixed costs that the company has put in place. Although avoiding this practice may sound obvious, some reps will try and close a deal in any way possible. This will actually hurt the company instead of helping it, and salespeople should never be this motivated by their individual performance.
A salesperson may want to finalize an order to make a specific sales number, but they have to understand that there is a specific line that the company can't go under in order to maintain a positive revenue stream. These representatives need to be taught how to think of their role within a larger team.
I am astounded at the number of salespeople that will accept a lower-than-advertised price in order to complete a sale. Managers need to prevent this practice by providing motivations other than a numeric quota for their reps.
A representative should never enter into negotiations without knowing the point at which they are willing to walk.
"When push comes to shove, I'll go this far. After that I am going to pack my bags and go."
They should realize there is a low number they are willing to extend their customers, but any less than that and it is not worth it to the company. This has to be defined prior to a representative entering into this talk.
Don't play your hand all at once, get the most out of the transaction and keep the company's revenue in mind when negotiating.