Your Sales Team Needs a 'Scorecard' for Negotiations
Your sales team is crying out for a ‘scorecard’. Having control of every negotiation is crucial to get your sales teams to meet previously set goals. But… what is exactly this so-called ‘scorecard’?
What is a ‘scorecard’?
Jim Anderson perfectly explains it in The Accidental Negotiator and, as rudimentary as it may seem, it is actually very effective. The most accurate definition would be that it is a control panel. A system that lets your sales team know the current state of every negotiation, the issues to be dealt with and the steps to be taken in order to reach the desired agreement.
When you face a tough negotiation, many different styles and techniques come into play, which open new paths to be solved. If you add to this the different people that join the negotiation, following it can become a really complicated task.
With the ‘scorecard’, you get what your sales team longs for the most: a record and control of all these variables, allowing them to have everything under their supervision.
How to create a ‘scorecard’?
Using a spreadsheet may be just enough. The key to creating a scorecard is to avoid complexity and collect the information which is actually relevant to the negotiation.
This document includes, arranged in rows, every one of the issues to be dealt with during a negotiation. This way, the document is continuously updated from the information obtained during the negotiation and the answers of both parties.
This procedure provides a global vision of the state of the negotiation, which will allow for the preparation of the following steps to be taken in a more efficient way, and will make us prioritize those topics that can become decisive in order to reach the desired agreements.
Why use the ‘scorecard’?
One simple reason: control. Any negotiation, as complex as it may seem, comes down to a list of tasks and actions easy to understand, analyze and even control.
Furthermore, this control panel makes it easier to track, in a more detailed manner, those negotiations in which all issues to consider have been agreed beforehand. Thanks to the ‘scorecard’, it is possible to prevent the other party from introducing aspects that have not been talked about beforehand and that might have an influence on the final results of the negotiation.
And thirdly, the scorecard lets you establish deadlines for each issue in the negotiation. This way, you can know whether the negotiation is taking longer than previously planned, or whether the steps left to close the deal will be prepared on time.
Scorecard vs Memory
Although our mind is a very powerful tool, leaving everything in its hands can cause serious problems to a negotiator and your sales team. That is where the ‘scorecard’ or control panel grows ever stronger.
Trusting our memory is like putting all our eggs in one basket; the winning options become smaller. Trying to keep control over all the information a negotiation can generate, without a system to make it easier for us, turns this task into a utopia.
The ‘scorecard’ offers many advantages and possibilities. The time has come for your sales team to take control over their negotiations. The more control you have, the better options you enjoy of leading a negotiation towards a successful ending.