Negotiating with Backbone

Workshops and coaching to improve negotiation skills

Poor negotiations are one of the greatest sources of enterprise profit loss.

Many of today’s sellers are not skilled in understanding value and using it to defend fair prices. They suffer a loss of confidence in their price when negotiating with tough buyers. They face pressure from the procurement price buzzsaw, demands for greater discounts, and a sense of an unlevel playing field during negotiations.

Thus sales managers and executives must learn to anticipate buyer procurement tactics like stalling, good guy/bad guy positioning, and price cut demands. By understanding how to use value to defend price and identifying one of four buyer behaviors, they can coach teams and be proactively prepared to perform better during negotiations.

The Negotiating with Backbone workshop initiative arms the commercial team with detailed selling scenarios that offer specific approaches before, during, and after the negotiation.

This training is designed to protect prices for more profitable deals, and Backbone to ensure win-win negotiations.

Initiative Overview

  • A proven, comprehensive sales negotiation framework that will enable your sales team to confidently engage in price negotiations
  • Simple steps to decode buyer behavior to help sales plan with the right negotiating tactic based on “tells”
  • Improved sales confidence and bottom line results – typically with the very next deal

Workshops include:

  • Virtual or in-person workshop delivery
  • Backbone BASICS self-guided digital learning modules that can be used repeatedly to help with each deal
  • Comprehensive set of sales tools that easily overlay into existing sales approaches
  • A coaches development program that prepares hand-picked coaches to work with sellers and reinforce concepts long after the workshops

Who Attends

  • Direct Sellers
  • Sales Managers
  • Marketing
  • Leadership
  • Sales Enablement
  • Commercial Team Members
  • Sales Support
  • Sales Operations
  • Pricing
  • Finance
  • Legal
  • Sales Operations


  • Procurement Tactics Library
  • FBIV
  • Buyer Type Tells Checklist
  • Negotiation Planner
  • Opportunity Qualifier
  • Learning Opportunity Set
  • 8 Selling Scenarios
  • Improving Practice Plan
  • Educational Games Set
  • Give-Get Checklist
  • Qualifying Questions List
  • Wallet Card Checklist

Customizable Elements

  • Preparation includes digital modules to learn the basics of Negotiating with Backbone
  • Workshops delivered in-person for 1 day or virtually over 4 days
  • Coach development program for ongoing reinforcement
  • Case studies, sales competition exercises, scenarios, and weekly coaching decks
  • Post-workshop reinforcement on a regular cadence
  • Other programs and offerings such as executive workshops, intensive coaching programs, deal coaching, train the trainer, and integration with other sales methodologies

Sample Agenda

  • Qualifying the Deal & Quantifying the Value (2.5 Hours)

    • Introduction to Backbone​
      Opportunity Qualifier Tool: Questions sales should ask ​
    • Buying Center Analysis ​
    • Customer value as a foundational element in negotiations​
    • Give-Gets: Price value trade-offs to use as negotiation tools instead of discounts
  • Team Exercises & Coaching (2 Hours)

    • Value quantification exercise ​
    • Application of value framework to each individual’s unique opportunity ​
    • Buyer type and selling scenario case study​
    • Negotiation roleplay
  • Identifying Buyer Type & Positioning the Value (2.5 Hours)

    • 4 buyer types with analysis ​
    • Identification of motivations and drivers for negotiation behavior​
    • 8 selling scenarios to help sales identify their position ​
    • Negotiation tactics for each individual selling scenario​
    • Putting it all together​
  • Team Exercises & Coaching (2 Hours)

    • Give-Gets exercise
    • Buyer type and selling scenario case study
    • Negotiation roleplay
    • Accountability presentation based on each participant’s unique opportunity


After a workshop, a national account manager of a national food ingredient provider diagnosed his buyer’s tactics during a negotiation. Leveraging new tactics, he closed a $66M contract and extended the term three years with an increase in net profit of $1.8M a year, for a total of $5.4M over the course of the contract.

The sales team of a leading Information Services company initiated a price increase with one of their largest customers in the territory​. Sales worked with pricing to create Give-Gets prior to negotiation, took away services of no value to the customer, and added better programming.

They successfully implemented a 1-25% price increase, resulting in $660,000 additional revenue.

“This is one of the best courses that we as a company have the privilege of going through. When it gets put into practice, the confidence everyone gains in understanding what makes them tick and identifying core strategies to combat potential issues that could come up is amazing.”
Sales Team Lead, $5B DaaS Provider
“My biggest learning was that a simple process can lead to a better understanding of what the buyer ultimately wants and more importantly, how to respond. Sometimes that means taking your bid off of the table! I would strongly recommend that each sales person take this course.”
Vice President, $18B Electrical Equipment Company

Completed by executives in:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • India
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • UK
  • USA

For more information or questions, contact Patrick McCullough at