Measurable Negotiation Skills Development

Program overview

Skills Café partnered with a life sciences firm to deliver an interactive negotiation skills training program tailored for their Sales and Procurement Teams. The workshop yielded measurable outcomes and participants demonstrated a transfer of learning to the real world.

Target audience

Entry to mid-level professionals in Admin, Finance, HR, Vendor Management, Sales and Procurement teams 

Learning needs 

Target audience struggled with negotiation skills, particularly the “softer aspects.” A training program was designed to address these challenges, starting with negotiation fundamentals and tactics.

Key areas for improvement included:

  • Understanding the other party’s needs: Participants had difficulty seeing things from the other side’s perspective.
  • Adapting strategies: They struggled to adjust their approach based on the situation (e.g., with vendors vs. customers).
  • Empathy and non-verbal cues: Recognizing emotions and body language proved difficult.
  • Stress management: They needed strategies to stay calm before negotiations.
  • Balancing business constraints: Negotiating effectively while considering cost or other limitations was a challenge.
  • Handling tactics: They found it difficult to counter tactics used by suppliers, vendors and customers.

Program design – adaptive paths

Participants of the program belonged to Sales, Operations, and Procurement. While the Sales team needed to use negotiation skills for better selling, the Operations and Procurement teams needed negotiation skills for better vendor management. Instead of running two separate programs for department specific needs, a single program was created with learners going through a common workshop, but taking different self-paced paths for pre-assessment, practice, and post-assessment. This design can be visualized through the diagram provided below:

Adaptive PAths

This design approach ensured:

  • Tailored Learning: To cater to specific needs, participants were divided into Procurement and Sales teams for separate sub groups within the main learning cohort.
  • Assessment Effectiveness: Each sub group went through focused pre- and post-assessments to gauge knowledge transfer and measure learning impact.
  • Engaging Format: A two-day, facilitator-led workshop provided a strong foundation, followed by spaced learning refreshers and quizzes to reinforce key concepts over time.
  • Certification: Participants who completed all activities and achieved a passing score received program certification, recognizing their accomplishment.

The adaptive paths were delivered in a seamless fashion using the Skills Café Learningweaver platform.

Building negotiation expertise:

The two-day workshop program focused on three key elements of learning: Discover, Apply, Reinforce.  

  • Discover (Day 1): Participants delved into the key behaviours and attitudes of effective negotiators. This includes interactive sessions like case studies, role-playing, and group discussions.
  • Apply (Day 2): Armed with newfound knowledge, participants put their skills to the test through realistic simulations.
  • Reinforce (Reflect & Action Plan): The program concluded by helping participants analyze their negotiation style and identify areas for improvement. They then create personalized action plans to solidify their newly acquired skills.

Boosting long-term retention:

To solidify learning and bridge any knowledge gaps, the program incorporates spaced learning refreshers. These include:

  • Concise Handouts: Key concepts are summarized in clear and easy-to-reference handouts.
  • Targeted Refreshers: Essential information is revisited at spaced intervals to reinforce memory.
  • Interactive Quizzes: Engaging quizzes challenge participants to apply their knowledge and identify areas for further improvement.

Evaluation strategy

The program was designed for focused evaluation through a comprehensive pre- and post-assessment. Customized case studies with scenario-based quizzes targeted the specific needs of Procurement and Sales teams, gauging knowledge acquisition at each stage.

  • Richer Assessment: The post-assessment included an additional assignment with open-ended questions. This challenged participants to move beyond basic recall and apply learned concepts creatively, providing a deeper understanding of their skill development.
  • Evaluating Success: By comparing pre- and post-assessment results, the program’s effectiveness in improving negotiation skills was demonstrably measured.


Demonstrating Program Success:

A detailed report analyzed participant performance through pre- and post-assessments. Overall scores jumped from 68% to a significant 77%, showcasing a clear improvement in negotiation skills.

Group-Specific Gains:

The program effectively addressed the needs of both Procurement and Sales teams. Procurement’s performance soared from 72% to 79%, while Sales saw a dramatic increase from 53% to 73%.

Personalized Feedback:

Beyond overall results, individual reports provided in-depth insights. A subject matter expert reviewed and graded open-ended responses, offering personalized feedback for each participant. The average grade of “A” further solidified the program’s effectiveness.

Client speak

Journey delivery

  • LearningWeaver: Used to deliver pre and post assessment, sub-tracks for Sales and Procurement teams, spaced learning, and action proejcts. Participants were able to log in to their accounts on the learning portal, and access the various assessments and activities assigned to them. This included the pre and post-assessment, in-built practice quizzes, handouts and learning refreshers. 
  • It’s a Deal: A game on effective negotiation skills, handling tactics, and closing deals.

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