Data isn't very sexy or glamorous, but when it comes to business negotiation, it is the ultimate equalizer. Having data makes Davids out of Goliaths, and ignoring data makes Goliaths out of Davids. So here's some data on the trends we've found in a recent study on the current state of business negotiation at hundreds of prominent Fortune 500 companies.
- More professional buyers: 92% of respondents to the study reported facing a higher number of professional buyes such as procurement officers and senior sourcing executives during sales negotiations.
- Increasing price focus: 91% reported increasingly price-conscious customers. (That's to be expected with the new breed of professional buyer)
- More commoditization pressure (i.e., everything being sold is essentially the same): 60% said deals are becoming more or somewhat commodity-like. With increasing pressure from professional buyers, we expect respondents to see even more commoditization pressure.
- Increasingly irrational competitive behavior: as a response to buyer pressure, 80% said they see mounting irrational behavior, such as competitors drastically lowering prices or giving away services.
- Fewer, longer-term, bigger and more complex deals (vs. a higher number of smaller, simpler, short-term deals): 90% reported some kind of consolidation of their customer base. Here, negotiation plays a larger, more critical role because the relationship negotiated is the relationship you live with.
How can these trends be addressed? Find out by requesting a sample excerpt from B2B Street Fighting - three counterpunches to change the negotiation conversation.