The Buy Side: Should you discount a deal when it's in procurement?

Ryan Neu, Sep 10, 2019

In The Buy Side, we provide quick hits to help sales people sell better, and to help companies buy software more efficiently.

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"We've got another Buy Side coming at you today. And this time the topic comes from Ted Bennett an Enterprise Account Executive from Boston-based Appcues.

So Ted brought up a really juicy topic. He asked on LinkedIn - "should salespeople discount or hold firm on price once you're in procurement?" and it's a juicy topic because I actually think it depends and depends on a wide variety of things but first and foremost, it depends if you want to make your life miserable or not. If you go in with a mentality before you've even entered procurement, I don't think that's going to derive the proper outcome because procurement does have certain power to potentially stall the deal. They could be unresponsive, they could de-prioritize your contract in legal, etc.

But on the flip side, the job of procurement or a buyer is to pick your things right? It's to buy stuff so that means it's actually their job to help you get across the line. It's just going to come down to how they decide to do it. So if you're entering procurement with a mindset, like “I'm not going to give any more discounts” or “I'm going to hold firm on price no matter what” I would encourage you to reconsider because those are emotional responses that are likely going to hurt you in the long run and as salespeople, we know that time kills deals and emotion will likely lead to at least a stalled deal at best and at worst things can change, or maybe the deal does fall through so how do we get around this? Instead of getting emotional, let's put on that problem-solving mindset and let's find a way to get into the head of the buyer and figure out how you can help them because if you have that mentality, they're likely going to do the same thing for you.

So a couple things you can do: quality for their goals, treat them like a prospect and you can ask procurement questions. Like “how do you recommend that I empower you to get this over the line?” or “what can I do on my end that will make your life easier?” and these questions likely will bubble up the true goals of the buyer and will allow you to problem solve together. Now if procurement comes back and says give me a 50% discount you don't have to, this still your deal. It's your company's product. You do not have to discount but you have the opportunity to work towards a mutual goal if you want to and at that point you might decide to hold firm and say no, you know what, we believe that the value of our product is there and we're not going to discount any more. So try to eliminate emotion, try to maintain a problem-solving mentality and you'll likely find a better outcome for both you and the buyer so that's the tip. Ted thanks for bringing this up, it’s a great topic.

And lastly, we are about to launch a new thing at Vendr. So we're launching a referral program, and we will pay any of you $3,000 if your Head of Finance or your CFO decides to give Vendr a shot. So check out the link in the comment below. It's a link to our referral landing page. And again, we'll give you three grand for introductions to your head of finance that lead to a yes on Vendr. Keep the comments coming. We will keep pumping out more of these and thanks for listening.