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The Burning Platform Buyer and the Big Bang

At the center of each 20th century corporate sale was often the constant feeling that the buyer had to take immediate action.  Their platform was burning and the buyer needed to make a decision.  The provider would work hard to shove as much biased information down their throats as possible in a short period of time to secure budgets and get the Big Bang deal.  The Eureka moment had been hit and a sales hero had been born.  A selling practice was to always being in the buyer’s face with more information supporting that provider’s offering.  Most 21st century buyers are savvy to this flawed series of events.  Today’s buyers use a more patient and informed process.

Think about the times you have seen sales teams wait until the last week of the quarter to close deals that help the company make its stated revenue targets.  Unusual deals will be done and profit will be sacrificed.  The provider or selling company will sweeten the deals to make sure the revenue is delivered at the top line but not without extraordinary financial terms to gain the agreement.  It may feel invigorating to close these opportunities and it makes us feel like we can make the improbable happen.  But it’s a sugar high that can also leave us feeling dysfunctional.  If we would have worked together the entire year as a team with a strong process to improve our probabilities, we would do less of these kinds of deals and creating more profit for our stakeholders.  Poor margins are less likely to happen when we are truly working together. 



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More Stories By John Ryan

John is an experienced leader with a strong background of defining and executing company strategies. He is especially skilled in channel management, market analysis, brand marketing and selling technology products and services. He has successfully served in a number of executive positions and has been in management for 20 years. John is currently writing a book on increasing revenue generation. He has been a co-author of a comprehensive marketing methodology for high tech companies and has helped venture capitalists and private equity firms gauge their technology investments. In 2004, John served as Vice President of Marketing for the NA arm of the $6B IT Services division of Siemens, AG. John served on the board of directors at WebTrends, purchased by NetIQ (NTIQ) for $1 billion in 2001. WebTrends was highly successful dominating the web site analysis and reporting space. Prior to WebTrends, John was the Vice President of Marketing for Tivoli Systems. John has worked as a contracted consultant for established companies, start ups and top analyst firms. John can be reached at [email protected] or you can follow him on Twitter @buyersteps

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