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.
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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