Negotiation Maturity Calculator

Consulting

Welcome to our Negotiation Maturity Calculator. It will provide a snapshot of the degree to which your organisation drives all aspects of negotiation through a commercial filter. 

This is a light version of our more in-depth Negotiation Maturity Index (NMI) diagnostic tool. If you are interested in finding out more or exploring your organisation's negotiation capability in greater depth, then please get in touch.

How commercial is your negotiation culture?

Try our calculator and get your result in just 5 minutes.

There are nine sections to complete. Each section has a scale with a description at either end. Read both descriptions and then decide where your organisation sits between the two. 

Why should I do it?

Identify strengths and weaknesses in your organisation's approach to negotiation and commercial execution

See how your organisation compares to both the industry average, and organisations with high-performance negotiation cultures

Facilitate discussions internally about how to develop and improve your negotiation culture and commercial effectiveness

1. Experience

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Experience is built in both the negotiation itself, and the subsequent review and critique of your performance. Experience should always be viewed as a positive, even if the outcome is less than optimal, because it supports an ongoing learning culture.

Only a select few trusted leaders participate in negotiations. We never review or discuss outcomes, good or bad. There are no records kept of previous negotiations.

Individuals are empowered to participate in negotiations and build experience. Teams are involved in regular reviews and the outputs are retained for future reference.

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2. Processes and tools

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Successful commercial execution requires consistent processes and effective tools to ensure a consistent approach and maximise potential to deliver value. 

We do not see value in investing in planning tools, and so have no organisational software or tool to assist in our negotiation process. Individuals have their own preferred way of approaching negotiations, and these approaches may differ even within teams.

We have invested in processes and tools which ensure we have a consistent methodology for everyone to follow. We bring in external experts to help us develop our processes, plans and execution. We regularly assess consistency and compliance with our processes.

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3. Data and systems

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Negotiation is often hampered by a lack of information. The purpose of information is two-fold: to provide accurate understanding, and to enable systems to turn data into intelligence to support decision-making. 

Individuals have to proactively do their own research to find information. Records of previous agreements are hard to find. Internally, those who own industry and market data do not share pertinent information.

We are able to access historical agreements and databases of industry information to inform our decision-making in negotiations. We are frequently better informed than our counterparties. 

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4. Risk and power

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A mature commercial organisation has tools in place to identify risk and power. It is able to quantify risks with a value, put mitigation strategies in place, and assess whether they can be creatively traded as variables. The balance of power will also be objectively assessed and negotiation strategy adapted accordingly. 

We don’t formally identify risks when planning negotiations. We address issues as they come up. We won't carry out a formal power assessment; if we perceive we have less power than our counterparty and this becomes problematic, we adjust our targets.

We investigate risk and put in place plans to deal with or mitigate those that are over a certain perceived value. Anticipated risk is monitored throughout the process. We assess the balance of power in every negotiation and put in place plans to improve our position as early as possible.

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5. Alignment

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To successfully execute commercially, it is critical that all stakeholders are consulted at the beginning of the process. They should agree on the objectives before the negotiation commences and be clear about their role and responsibility throughout. Stakeholders should be communicated with effectively as the negotiation unfolds, as well as at the end, to ensure support of the agreement. 

Objectives are set at individual, or at best, department level. It is rare that senior management will be involved, and there are no systems in place to keep them up to speed on the progress of the negotiation. If they do get involved, it's often late and not constructive. 

Objectives are clear to all stakeholders from the outset. They only change following a robust appraisal of the situation. Everyone knows their role and responsibility. We review this regularly based on learnings from previous negotiations.

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6. Communication

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Effective communication is a critical success factor in all negotiations. Whether communications are internal or external, consideration should be given to their platform, message and audience, as well as ensuring appropriate governance throughout. 

Communication occurs solely within the negotiation team, and information sits solely with them. There are no communication strategy meetings, and it's not clear who to address questions to. Internal communication tends to only happen if a positive result is achieved.

Negotiation planning takes place before negotiations commence, including alignment of internal stakeholders on the objectives, approach, roles, strategy, communications plan and escalation. We objectively review communications from the counterparty and plan appropriate responses. Stakeholders are regularly updated on progress and all changes or outcomes.

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7. Engagement

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Highly commercial organisations are proactive in their approach, and provide significant support managing negotiations across their teams, in their processes and as part of their organisation's ways of working.

Focus is primarily on sales and procurement as specialisms, and there is little engagement around negotiation as a core skill. Skills are mainly developed "on the job". If results are discussed it will be during an appraisal, where the focus is on the results, rather than planning, preparation or execution.  

Everyone is trained in negotiation. New hires are tested for negotiation skills. Negotiation results are openly discussed and we learn from each others' success or failure. Senior management are engaged with the status of negotiations. 

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8. Skills

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Developing the skills of a team is key to the success of any organisation. Developing negotiation skills has far-reaching positive consequences and is essential to successful commercial execution. 

Most of the time people learn on the job from participating in negotiations. If there is any formal training it is delivered as part of general training, and often by managers. Negotiation is not recognised as a core skill in our business.

We can all talk about how we negotiate and why, and are actively encouraged by the organisation to develop our skills. The organisation employs negotiation experts to train us, and if required help us plan and execute negotiations. Team members who demonstrate excellent negotiation skills are valued as mentors.

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9. Mindset

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Mindset is about the ability to build and sustain confidence. Without the appropriate commercial mindset, no amount of skills training will improve the performance of an organization. 

Negotiations are the last step in the process to get a deal over the line and are typically last minute, tough discussions. No time is allocated to planning. You are expected to think on your feet, and to have already built the right relationship with the other party. 

We spend time planning our upcoming negotiations. We also review and discuss previous negotiations and practice negotiating internally. Those who lead negotiations are encouraged to develop others.

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