Was It Really A Good Deal?

Was It Really A Good Deal?

Picture this situation: It is quarter end and your team just landed a big deal with days to spare. Everyone is excited to get that PO, book that business, and cash that commission check. After all, that is what you are paid to do in sales, right?

But who is asking the question if this was really a good deal for the company? If your organization does not have enough pipeline and closing any deal, especially at quarter end, is the “marching orders” for sales, the deal quality is sure to suffer. Unfortunately, all too often this is exactly what sales is paid to do.

What exactly constitutes a good deal for the business? First, the deal should advance the corporate strategy. This means it should have been sold to a customer that fits the profile for an ideal customer – something that should have been determined as part of the business strategy development. It should also contain the proper mix of products and services that are aligned with the corporate strategy. It should have been sold with the appropriate discounting in place and contains the applicable transactional and legal components such as acceptable payment terms, returns policies, warrantees, guarantees and penalties. All of these elements should be predetermined when developing a Strategic Deal Profile—a critical tool for executing corporate strategy.

Second, a good deal is one that is “good” for both the seller and the buyer. Does it have the right elements in it to make it a good deal for you, the seller? Many of these are defined by the Strategic Deal Profile, but others may be particular to this opportunity and circumstances surrounding this sale. Is it a good deal for the buyer? It must also contain the right elements that will allow you to produce the results the buyer is looking for.

For example, if it is critical that you go live with your solution by a certain date, ask yourself if you have the right elements in the deal? Suppose the seller is short-handed and has an inexperienced staff. Did you sell implementation support and training for their staff? Or what if uptime is crucial after implementation? Did you sell the right level of support after the sale? Finally, did you and the buyer agree to regular Customer Business Reviews (CBRs) after implementation to ensure that you both delivered the value (and get credit for doing so) and your company remains relevant and on top of changes at the customer?

It is delivering value (and getting credit for that value) for this sale that will make for a long term customer. It is staying on top of the changes with the customer that will create new opportunities for you and your company—but that is something we will take up in a future post.