Negotiation in B2B Sales

The negotiation process will depend mostly on how effective the selling was.

Loose selling will lead to tough negotiation.

Effective selling will lead to easier negotiation.

Discovery is key.

Influencing the buying criteria in your favour is key.

All those steps during the Sales process help build the ground for a successful negotiation.

Get the Economic Buyer involved early

A lot of the issues that arise in a late negotiation can be avoided by involving the economic buyer earlier on in the process.

(Pre)Selection before negotiation

Wait to be selected/preferred vendor before negotiating (ie ensure prospect wants to buy from you/sees value). Else go back to selling before negotiating.

Last issue

Make price the last issue to address.
"Let's say we agree on price, what else would you need to make a decision?"

Leverage your champion

to negotiate on your behalf.
Or have your champion at the negotiation table.

  • start every negotiation with a quick review of the business case.

Not easy but ideal: find & build 2 champions, for redundancy. In case your primary champion gets overpowered by internal politics, leaves the company, etc.

Get to give


Aim to get something in exchange for anything you give.

For example, discount can be extended in exchange for:

  • case study
  • referral
  • testimonial / quote
  • backlink
  • use of logo
  • review
  • social media post
  • blog post
  • webinar participation
  • whitepaper
  • guaranteed close by date (ie close by end of quarter/year), else higher price applies
  • referrals to 3rd party leads
  • referrals/intro to umbrella/parent company

Any of those can have equal or higher value for your business than the discount.

Know when to walk-away

Just like at a poker table, know when to fold and walk-away. A painful negotiation might be the sign that you're not the right fit. Even if closed, the prospect might confirm to be a painful client, and the lower rate sold at can lead to lower exec/team support and higher churn.

Isolate the driver(s) behind the negotiation

  • value/business case not clear / ROI not proven
  • internal politics or payment logistics
  • personal goals of the negotiator (ie procurement has a target/bonus for saving %)

Secure the negotiation

  • is there anyone else (eg CFO) who will want to review this before approving or do you have full authority?


  • what are you trying to achieve?
  • can you articulate the business case?
  • why this specific amount/%?

Closing thoughts

"A no is just a delayed yes"

👷🏼‍♂️ WORK IN PROGRESS 👷🏼‍♂️