Sales Negotiations ROI of 500%+ in the Financial Services Industry

500%+ Return on Sales Negotiations Investment in the Financial Services Industry

Client Case Study

Situation

As the leading provider of business information for credit, marketing and purchasing decisions worldwide, D&B helps customers gain access to the world’s largest and highest quality global commercial business information. D&B Denmark, a strategic partner of D&B, is responsible for approx $6.3 Million in annual revenues.

D&B Denmark helps their customers perform a range of business analyses primarily through three products & services: Risk Management Solutions to mitigate credit risk, increase cash flow and drive increased profitability; Sales & Marketing Solutions to increase revenue from new and existing customers; and Supply Management Solutions to generate ongoing savings through supplier consolidation, and to protect their businesses from supply chain disruption and serious financial, operational and regulatory risk. Our engagement with D&B Denmark centered on their sales organization to include account managers and account specialists.

Complications

We conducted a negotiation needs analysis designed to map the internal negotiation structure within D&B Denmark and to capture both internal and external issues surrounding negotiation. It included D&B sales personnel, sales management, and sales account managers.

Because the goal of the analysis was to determine if—and, if so, why—a Sales Negotiation Initiative was needed, the line of questioning included market conditions, sales process implementation, value proposition effectiveness, competition, consequences of no agreement, trades, the company’s internal conditions, training implementation, and coaching precedents.

When the needs analysis was complete, the following key sales negotiation issues were identified:

  • Negotiation skill sets varied greatly among team members
  • Irrational behavior by the company’s competitors
  • More sophisticated buyers
  • Insufficient analysis or preparation for deals
  • A history of giving away value
  • Lack of confidence in negotiations
  • Various negotiation approaches used in each country
  • No integrated and standardized negotiation process

Approach

In order to address these issues, we recommended a comprehensive Negotiation Solution rather than a series of isolated training events with four key steps:

  1. Defining a common organizational negotiation strategy linked to the company’s sales strategy
  2. Agreeing on a common negotiation process integrated with the sales process including:
  3. Coaching and measuring both strategy use and process implementation including:
    • Delivery of our Strategic Negotiation Solution to D&B Denmark with a highly customized 2-day negotiations workshop. The participants in the workshop included sales management, relationship managers, and specialists. Each brought a live deal into the workshop to practice the process and advance their deal.
    • Since many deals were set to resign, or close for the first time by year-end, we agreed each participant would further their specific deal, including follow up coaching calls, using the process to gain a more successful contractual end result.
  4. Measuring leading and lagging indicators including incremental revenue, retention, time to close, new skill and process adoption, trades vs. concessions, and incorporation of  multiple equal offers in proposals.

Results
In four months:

  • $349,000 increase in incremental revenue
  • 581% return on investment

Related Information

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