A deal is a mutual agreement between two or more parties where anything – information, goods, services, or money – can be agreed upon. As soon as the sides agree on the terms and conditions suitable for everyone involved, a deal is finalized. The transitional nature of a deal makes it an essential term for business.
In simple words, a deal usually means a sale between the vendor and the customer. In marketing terms, a deal closing is the last stage of the buyer’s journey. The sales cycle starts with topping the pipeline off with business-to-business leads with Belkins and ends with SDRs handling objections and driving sales. Thus, a closed deal is the end goal of the sales process.
In this article, we will discuss different types of deals in B2B selling and best practices for successful commercial negotiations.
What type of deal do you need?
In the business world, there are many types of deals, depending on what sector we’re talking about and what purpose a business representative is pursuing. In investment, deals are classified based on amounts invested and expected return. During mergers and acquisitions, the parties agree on procedures of due diligence which verify administrative, financial, human resources, and other aspects of business operations.
In B2B, deals and approaches are usually classified by market size. In contrast to deals with small businesses, mid-market, and enterprise deals are more complex and involve more than one decision-maker. An enterprise deal can be challenging to pull off because it is high-ticket selling to multiple stakeholders. Account-based marketing is a response to the challenges of enterprise sales as it requires the revenue team (marketing and sales) to align their strategies, develop a clear understanding of the account’s pain points, and reach out to as many decision-makers as possible.
What does a deal mean for small businesses?
Deals in small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) and enterprise sales are as different as chalk and cheese. Structure, nomenclature, the number of people involved - everything is different. At that, closing deals are a part of the day-to-day operations of a small business.
What distinguishes a sales deal in a B2B firm? First, it is quick and mundane. Whereas enterprise sales are lengthy and involve many decision-makers getting in agreement, a small business deal often goes fast, somewhere in between other daily tasks. If a lead is qualified and the rep goes to great lengths to prepare for a sales call or meeting, it can take them a single conversation to negotiate the terms and conditions and close the deal.
Second, it is informal. What does an informal deal mean? For example, there are many sectors where SDRs can close a deal with a prospective customer over email or phone. No negotiations over golf are required for SMEs. Occasionally, executives may need to travel across the country to sign a contract, but not that often these days.
How to negotiate a business deal?
For obvious reasons, negotiating is somewhat different for complex sales cycles and the closing process for SMEs. But before you even approach the closing stage, here’s what you should do to make sure you will succeed when launching a deal-making.
Ask the fundamental question. We believe that before you start negotiating a sale, you must get an answer to only one question: What would it take? It is common for SDRs to get carried away in the flush of sales development and forget to ask what it would take the lead to make a deal. As a result, SDRs spend a lot of energy on answering questions and demoing the product but are in the dark as to whether the lead actually intends to buy.
That’s why the first thing an SDR should do is to say something to the extent, “Judging from the questions you asked me, I can see that our product resolves some of your major pain points. What would it take you to make the deal happen?” And listen closely to what the lead says. Then, the SDR will understand if the lead has a buying intent or not and how it is possible to negotiate a business deal further.
Make sure you’re talking to the decision-maker. This step can vary from situation to situation. Of course, it’s always better to start talking only to decision-makers. But sometimes, they are hard to get to. And it makes perfect sense to talk to whoever is available within the target company and figure it out from there. If that’s the case, then it’s not a deal negotiation yet. If the person you’re in the meeting with is not a decision-maker, any agreements you reach together are not binding even if you’re led to believe so. If you keep scheduling meetings and still can’t reach a decision-maker, what then? Sometimes, it does mean there’s no buying intent and, therefore, no deal. Or it just means you need to put in more effort to get higher up into this firm’s hierarchy.
Lead with the commercial advantage. A deal will go through the funnel easier if benefits are clear-cut to the other side. Doing the legwork before any sale, an SDR calculates the lead’s expenses and returns and comes up with a concrete benefit. For example, the lead is going to save on 25% of their in-house lead generation activities, which is approx. $70K per month, whereas you charge only $15K for your services. If your product makes it quite difficult to suggest specific numbers of revenue increase, try to find ways to show the prospecting customer how they will benefit if they decide to negotiate a business deal with you.
Ask about the technical fit. Sometimes, there’s a buying intent, but at some point, the lead arrives at technical difficulties. For example, some software solutions can be difficult to integrate with the company’s existing systems. The only thing SDRs can do to minimize their disappointment in case of technical constraints on the other side is to look out for red flags early on. It’s better to find out at the early stages of the negotiation process that technical difficulties exist.
Revise the roadmap from time to time. In B2B, it often takes some time for a deal to go through. To see the deal happen, SDRs should build a roadmap when they start negotiating a deal based on what the prospective client tells them about the steps of the process. Then, the outline with deadlines and stages should be revisited occasionally to make sure they are on the same page. If something changes, a plan needs modifications. This way, both parties stay in touch and adjust the roadmap as soon as new information is introduced.
Do’s & Don’ts of Deal Negotiation
Here are some final tips SDRs should keep in mind to close like gods.
Do follow up. It would be a fatal mistake for SDRs to think that one touch is enough to make a deal happen. Hardly ever 2 to 3 emails or phone calls seal a deal. So SDRs can pursue their leads without being afraid to seem too pushy. If you see the business advantage and a technical fit for a prospective customer, be relentless.
Do hand-holding. Successful deal closing requires constant communication. Even if you have already outlined all the stages and steps, SDRs shouldn’t leave the other side alone with potential obstacles. Anything can happen to the person you’re in touch with or with any element of the decision-making process. Keep in touch, ensure it is all going smoothly, and reiterate the usefulness of the product and the attractiveness of the deal.
Don’t make it difficult to be in negotiation with you. Roughly speaking, making it easy to communicate with you means being nice and polite. It means being able to work with prospective clients during and after the deal is made. Also, it is essential to do your part of the deal. If you put a roadmap for the other side to follow, make sure you do what is expected of you. Hit every deadline. Provide all the required information on time. Eliminate obstacles in your company quickly for a deal to go through.
Don’t get fixated on closing. Just be prepared that your deal can be dead at any moment. Bury it and move on.
Want more commercial deals? Get more business leads!
This article elaborates on how to drive a deal through. However, a prerequisite for any sales deal is having high-quality leads in your pipeline. B2B digital lead generation by Belkins will keep your SDRs busy with closing. You must know that e-commerce and digital selling are among the major small business trends predicted for the next year. Having a steady flow of qualified leads is a central piece to any business. Email us to help you make a better deal.