How to negotiate enterprise contracts

  1. Control the narrative
    If you don’t control the narrative their sales rep will be happy to. Remember these companies want your business, don’t feel obligated to follow their process.
  2. Ask for extended POC’s, Trials
    Sales teams have a lot of control over giving out extended trials or performing POC’s. Feel free to ask for a lot longer trials than they advertise.
  3. Leverage end of Quarter
    Every sales team has end of quarter goals. The closer you get to the end of the quarter the more negotiating power you have.This is the biggest kept secret in enterprise sales.
  4. Leverage multi – year deals
    Multi year deals allow you to pay annually and lock in extended discounts. With enterprise contracts usually increasing yearly, this is a big cost saving.
  5. Ask for extended payment terms
    Depending on your order value companies might consider semi-annual or quarterly payments
  6. Ask for free trainings, onboardings, support
    Often when you hit a pricing floor, ask them to throw in trainings, onboarding and other resources which are usually paid services.

If you’re building a startup you’re going to often need to sign enterprise agreements with vendors. Over the last 10 years I’ve led negotiations for dozens of these contracts. Whether it’s a 10k contract or 10 million you have more bargaining power than you know. Most decision makers don’t know how to negotiate so if you follow these tips you will be in a good place.

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