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Is it better to discuss price early or late in a sales process?

Knowing the optimal structure of a sales process is hard. Today, actually running the numbers requires manual categorization and cumbersome calculations, which is why we sales leaders often leave these important decisions to anecdote and gut feeling.

For example, pricing. Is it better to discuss price at the beginning of a sales process, or at the end? There are cases to be made for either side and a lot of mental energy has been spent on this topic.

Arguments in favor of waiting for late in the process include the importance of establishing value early and the negative impact of sticker shock. If you wait, prospects will likely understand the value of your product more fully, counterbalancing the unpleasant realization of how much it costs.

On the other side, arguments in favor of mentioning price early include the negative friction of waiting and the importance of quick disqualification. Prospects often want, or sometimes even demand, pricing early in the conversation, and not giving it to them can upset them to the point of dropping out of the funnel. Additionally, the sales wisdom that “bad news early is good news” can apply here. Don’t spend your valuable time on prospects who will never buy; find out early and move on.

Unfortunately, the right answer is likely different for each sales team and depends on your product, market, and buyer.

However, you can find out what is best for your unique sales team. Start by tagging all of the conversations that discuss price based on their position in your sales process, and it will be much easier to run the numbers. 

Thankfully, BuyerSight can significantly help streamline this manual process. BuyerSight’s automatic categorization of sales conversations based on content and context allows sales leaders to quickly drill down to pricing conversations across the funnel. Find out immediately when and where your team discusses price, allowing you to run this calculation much faster and more accurately than before. Contact us to learn more.


p.s. Whichever you choose for your sales team, giving pricing information to a prospect is a good opportunity to ask for something in return. Whether it’s a deeper discovery call, a confirmed demo with other stakeholders, or even an extension of an RFP deadline, make sure to “get” as well as “give” with your prospects.

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  1. Really interesting insight. Goes to show that simple things like tagging a conversation can be powerful. Though there is a balance with the additional work that this might mean for the sales rep.

    1. Totally agree! The potential for extra work is why we need to automate the tagging. It should run in the background and the reps should only notice as their performance increases 🙂