The Corporate Sales Division of a leading provider of technology magazines was facing losses on page rates and other negotiation terms due to pressure from large clients who pushed for unprecedented discounts. Part of the challenge was that account managers were not sure how to deal with threats of “Give us a discount or else” and were uncomfortable pushing back or walking away from a deal. Additionally, other internal divisions didn't believe in the negotiation abilities of Corporate Sales, the newest function that represents all of the books to the seven top advertisers.
With bottom line losses, a weak internal reputation regarding negotiation, and the need to build bigger value propositions with division clients, the leaders decided to bring in Accordence to share a strategic framework and tools for negotiating deals and to provide coaching and practice for enhancing negotiation skills.
Accordence conducted diagnostic interviews with a cross-section of the Corporate Sales division, and used the diagnostics to create a 2-day workshop reflective of the broad array of challenges facing the sales force as well as to develop a customized case study to use during the program. The objective was to make the workshop relevant to the challenges Corporate Sales faced and strategic for effective integration and implementation of the methodology into their everyday negotiations.
The training session resulted in comments from participants such as “Relevant training in an increasingly ‘commoditized' world” and “Good methodology to follow for structured approach to sales strategy and client management with the goal of successful negotiation.”
In less than one year, the Corporate Sales division made dramatic changes in their skills and confidence.