How can your company get ready for big deals?
Big deals are important, but they can also bring the house down at times.
Organizations want to expand quickly. Really Quick!! Start-ups are hungry for market recognition and want to go all out to impress customers. Large organisations want to stay in the game and have a lot of expenses to deal with; they know that if they don't get big deals, they'll die of starvation.
There are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to buy large deals:
I've seen organisations take huge risks in order to land some big deals. It can sometimes suffocate your resources, leaving you with insufficient bandwidth to handle the remaining customers. It's not a good idea to ignore your small customers in order to support one big customer or deal. Only choose the deal if you have enough money.
Is this a profitable transaction? You may choose a large deal in the hopes of increasing brand value, increasing customer reach, increasing acceptability, and so on. This isn't always the case. If the deal isn't adding to the bottom line, don't pick it unless it's very strategic.
Is the deal exposing you to new technologies, new markets, product enhancements, new service levels, or skill development? Large deals should not only be large in terms of implementation size, bill of materials, and value. It must serve as a springboard for achieving new goals.
Did you win this deal because you were the cheapest or because the customer wanted ”only you” to deliver? Deals won solely on the basis of price cause more harm than good. Your market reputation is ruined because everyone sees you as an aggressive player who isn't focused on adding value.
Carefully read the penalty clauses. Large contracts frequently include penalties for failing to meet deadlines. Sometimes you've done a good job negotiating the deal, but you've been too aggressive with the deadlines. Is your customer willing to make an exception for you?
Does your team have the necessary skill set and infrastructure to close the big deal? Do you need to expand your delivery capabilities? If so, how much will it cost and how long will it take to acquire it?
Finally, it's great to have big deals, but you should use your checks and balances to make sure they're in line with your goals.