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All Revenue Is Good Revenue Attitudes Force Compromises

by Hank Barnes  |  October 9, 2018  |  2 Comments

Revenue is important.  Growth is important.  But is all revenue good revenue?   Rarely.  But many like to say that.  They want to grow.  They want to close business.

What would you do?   There is a big deal on the table–the biggest in company history.  But it requires extensive customization and replatforming.   It will take resources away from current efforts.  It will require hiring, or training, support staff that are knowledgeable about the new platform.   And, it might be the deal that sets you on a new growth trajectory.

Source: via pexels

Source: via pexels

This is a an interesting situation and one that I lived in the past.   The company I worked for took that deal.  And it contributed to us growing our valuation and recognition.  But at the same time, I constantly wonder if it was the right thing.  We lost sight of our ideal target customer.  Innovation slowed down as we spent lots of time and energy on porting.  If I had to do it all over again, I’m not sure I would have done it.   But that is easy to say in hindsight.

At the same time, there are situations that are less dramatic.   You have a prospect that you realize it will be very difficult to deliver value to, but they want to buy. They are no where close to your ideal customer profile. Do you close the deal, knowing that there is a retention risk?  Or that you’ll have to divert resources to make it work?

This discussion is almost always a short term vs. long term perspective.   Short term, there is pressure to “make the number.”  And that scales across the company as you go from sales rep, to manager, to team, to division, etc.   But long term, I believe that most, but not all, of these questionable deals to more harm than good.

They cause angst.  They frustrate all parties.  And, done to often, they put you on a slippery slope of being more and more option to questionable deals.

There is no black and white answer here, all I’d like to suggest is think long and hard about moving forward if you question the ability to deliver the value to the customer or if it could negatively impact your ability to deliver value to other customers.


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Category: go-to-market  

Tags: ideal-customer-profile  revenue  strategy  

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
6+ years at Gartner
30+ years IT Industry

Hank Barnes explores the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. Using that customer-centric lens, he advises those responsible for marketing technology products and services, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and startup CEOs on next practices to drive success for their customers and their business. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on All Revenue Is Good Revenue Attitudes Force Compromises

  1. George Gibbs says:

    Good article. To me doing something that maybe you really are not sure about if it makes sense. Depends on the state of the company, where are sales? Is it a startup.
    I’ve made sales that were all about income for the company. In a different situation I would have passed on it.

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