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Top negotiation tactics for software sales

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Top negotiation tactics for software sales

B2B software sales is a jungle – let’s be honest. To survive selling software is tough, to be great at it is rare, but it can be learned. One of the communication skills that is often seen as ‘that person just get’s it’ is the skill of negotiation. Get sellers know how to negotiate, average ones will slowly figure it out and those that don’t succeed most likely haven’t built this skill. It’s not just about selling a product; it’s about understanding the needs of your clients and finding a win-win solution. The win-win solution is the key. A lot of average sell. Whether you’re a seasoned sales pro or just starting out. Mastering negotiation tactics can make all the difference in closing deals and building lasting relationships with your customers. In this guide, we’ll explore some top negotiation tactics that can help you navigate the complex landscape of software sales with finesse.

1. Do Your Homework

Before entering any negotiation, arm yourself with knowledge. Understand your client’s business, their pain points, who their boss is and how your software can address their needs. Research their industry trends, competitors, and any recent news that might impact their decision-making process. The more you know, the better positioned you’ll be to offer tailored solutions that resonate with your client. One of my favourite methods to do is to check the LinkedIn of the person I’m selling to and check what their latest posts are – this can give me some clues on what’s going on for them at work at the moment.

2. Listen More, Talk Less

Effective negotiation is not about dominating the conversation; it’s about listening actively to your client’s concerns and priorities. Knowing how to prompt them for this information is the art part of it. Ask open-ended questions to uncover their underlying needs and motivations. By demonstrating genuine interest and empathy, you’ll build trust and chat to them more as someone that’s helping them instead of there to sell to them. This, in the long run is the only way to build a collaborative negotiation process.

3. Focus on Value, Not Price

While price is what a lot of negotiation is about when you get down to brass tacks of a negotiation, it’s important to shift the focus from cost to value. Highlight the pain that they are feeling now, the cost that their current solution is causing them and then highlight how your software solves this, emphasizing how it can save $X for them or X number of hours – the key is that it should drive tangible results for their business. By framing the discussion around value rather than price, you’ll justify the investment and position your solution as a strategic asset rather than a mere expense.

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4. Create Options

Instead of presenting a one-size-fits-all solution, one of the great negotiation tactics for software sales is to offer multiple options for both offering and pricing that cater to different budget levels and requirements. This allows your client to feel like they can find something that fits them and in control of their decision while also increasing the likelihood of finding a closed sale. Be flexible and creative in your approach, exploring various pricing models, add-on features, and customization options to tailor your offering to the client’s needs.

5. Build Relationships

Successful negotiation extends beyond the deal itself; it’s about building long-term relationships with your clients – you should treat them well. Invest time in nurturing these relationships, even after the sale is closed. Stay in touch, provide ongoing support and value, and look for opportunities to upsell or cross-sell additional products or services in the future. A satisfied customer is not only more likely to renew their contract but also to refer you to others in their network.

6. Know When to Walk Away

Ahhh yes, the allure of a toxic customer. We’ve all been there, when we’re really trying to close a month or a quarter strong and there’s a lead that’s just so annoying but you have to close them to make quota. While it’s tempting to chase every opportunity, sometimes it’s necessary to walk away from a negotiation that doesn’t align with your objectives or values. Trust your instincts and set clear boundaries for what you’re willing to compromise on. By knowing when to say no, you preserve your integrity and avoid entering into unfavourable agreements (or customers) that could ultimately harm your business in the long run.

7. Follow Up and Follow Through:

Once an agreement is reached, don’t drop the ball. Follow up as soon as possible to ensure that all terms are documented correctly and understood by both parties – make sure that you get to Contract Sent (terrible cheesy pun). Set clear expectations for implementation, training, and ongoing support, and proactively address any concerns or issues that may arise. By demonstrating your commitment to delivering on your promises, you’ll solidify the trust and credibility you’ve worked so hard to build throughout the negotiation process.

Following the top negotiation tactics for software sales is like walking a tight rope – trying to get all the things right both in your product, pitch and what you communicate to the client is tough work. Then you have to go after this and try to build a replicable sales model to do this to a large number of clients at a time. By doing your homework, listening actively, focusing on value, creating options, building relationships, knowing when to walk away, and following up diligently, you can navigate even the most challenging negotiations with confidence and skill. With practice and persistence, you’ll become a master negotiator capable of sealing the deal and driving those 100% quotas for your clients and your business.


Contract Sent is not a law firm, this post and subsequent pages on this website do not constitute or contain legal advice. To understand whether or not the ideas and guidance on the Contract Sent website is applicable to your business, you should consult with a licensed attorney. The use and accessing of any resources contained within the Contract Sent site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the user and Contract Sent.

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