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Top Performance in Sales Negotiation Research Report

Learn the tactics sellers and buyers use, what works, and what doesn't.

What do the best sales negotiators—those who achieve their pricing targets, are more confident in their negotiations, and are very satisfied with the outcome of their negotiations—do differently than those who are not as successful?

What are the best strategies for successfully leading a sales negotiation? What do buyers really want? Which tactics work best for buyers? For sellers? How is negotiating with procurement different?

We set out to answer these questions, and more, in our Top Performance in Sales Negotiation study.   

Through the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research, we studied 713 buyers and sellers in a global study. We analyzed data from 449 buyers—including 247 business buyers and 202 procurement professionals—who represent $2.59 billion in annual purchases in over 26 industries across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC.

Download the report here. >>

Top Performance in Sales Negotiation Key Findings


What we uncovered in our Top Performance in Sales Negotiation study may very well turn what some thought they knew about negotiation on its head. Key findings include: 

  • Most sellers cave and give into pure price concessions, but most buyers admit to being able to pay more
  • Top-Performing Sales Negotiators know how to come in high on price and negotiate down
  • According to buyers, sellers do not understand ROI (even though sellers think they do!)
  • Many sellers miss the mark when it comes good selling (sharing ideas, articulating value and differentiators, knowing the competition, etc.)
  • Top-Performing Sales Negotiators are much more likely to receive extremely effective negotiation training (9.3X! more likely to be exact)
  • The #1 factor most separating Top Performers from The Rest is understanding the power and leverage held by each side in the negotiation 
  • Despite what they tell sellers, procurement professionals cite cost as a negotiation success metric 12X more frequently than quality


Questions Answered in this Report

  • How should we define top performance in sales negotiation?
  • What do Top-Performing Sales Negotiators do differently than The Rest?
  • What’s the best strategy for success: win-win (partner), distributive (win-lose, positional), mixed motive (a combination of both), or something else?
  • What are the most common negotiation tactics buyers use with sellers?
  • Which tactics work the best for buyers and sellers?
  • Which negotiation tactics, if sellers use them, tend to turn buyers off?
  • Is negotiation different in my industry?
  • What’s the one thing suppliers could do differently to make negotiation successful for everyone?
  • How are business buyers different when negotiating compared to the procurement function?
  • What do people in the procurement function want? 
  • How important is price really?
  • Should you come in high on price and expect to negotiate down, or come in at core price and focus on holding firm?
  • How many sellers ask for a budget vs. go first and set an anchor for price and solution framework?
  • How many buyers share budgets when sellers ask?
  • What makes confident sales negotiators confident?
  • Do buyers or sellers get more effective negotiation training?
  • What do buyers want sellers to do that sellers largely do not do?
  • Which negotiation tactics do buyers employ when negotiating, and how does that compare to what sellers think buyers do?
  • Does training make a difference in confidence and results?
  • What has to happen in the training to make it most impactful for sellers?

Top Performers Achieve Better Results

Top-Performing Sales Negotiators outperform The Rest across key metrics. Top Performers are:


More likely to be very satisfied with the negotiated outcome. 


More likely to achieve their pricing target.


More likely to be extremely confident participating in negotiations.

Take Your Negotiations to the Next Level

This 81-page report, including 100 graphs and analyst commentary, will give you fresh insights into what’s working today for negotiation success. Get a look into your buyers' minds as they share what works, what doesn’t, and what’s most important to them.

You’ll also get verbatim answers to questions from business buyers, procurement buyers, and sellers around questions such as:

  • What metrics were used to determine the success of the specific negotiation?
  • What’s the biggest challenge you/your team face during negotiations?
  • What’s the one thing suppliers could do differently to make negotiations more successful for everyone?

If you’re getting beaten up in negotiations, want to know which tactics to expect, and which strategies actually work, download this report now.

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