The big fish -

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  • The Big Fish Battle Tested Strategies for Winning the Deal that Changes Everything
  • The Art of the Deal There are many books on product market fit, agile development, marketing for start ups, etc. that give you blueprints for success. But sales and esp. winning big deals is still a black art. The Big Fish process is about creating a science where previously there was only art; it is a repeatable, process driven way of landing game changing deals.
  • What is a Big Fish? A major, name brand endorsement of your company/product in the form of: a large purchase order a distribution deal a validation of your technology a celebrity endorsement any other form of major validation A Big Fish provides credibility (and credibility is everything)
  • The Big Fish Principles 1. People make decisions, not corporations 2. Your job/role determines your motivations 3. Motivations are the key to getting deals done 4. Pro bigfishermen use a systematic, repeatable process for understanding motivations and getting deals done
  • The Big Fish Principles 1. People make decisions, not corporations
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Corporate Strategy
  • The Big Fish Principles 1. People make decisions, not corporations 2. Your job/role determines your motivations
  • Psychology of Large Orgs Start Up vs. Large Org. Start ups are all about risk (since they have nothing to lose) Big companies are all about risk avoidance (no matter what they say) The key is using an understanding of personal motivations to help overcome institutional risk.
  • Psychology of Large Orgs Motivations depend on where you sit! Like sibling birth order, your position in the large org. defines your thinking. Its human nature What motivates employee #23,345 is not the stock price! If you were them youd think exactly the same way.
  • Psychology of Large Orgs 2 Key Big Fish Motivations I want to be important I am afraid of looking dumb Keep these mind and many things will become clear
  • The Big Fish Principles 1. People make decisions, not corporations 2. Your job/role determines your motivations 3. Motivations are the key to getting deals done
  • The Big Fish, Key Players Start-ups need to be concerned with 3 types: Champions: your advocate, guide and all around domain expert whos mission it is to help you get a deal done Decision Makers: those with the power to sign a contract and your ultimate target Blockers: those that dont have the power to say yes, but do have the power to say no
  • Champions Champions can come from anywhere, but typically they have the have these essential characteristics: are well respected in their domain rarely have any real power have deep knowledge about their organization want to/motivated and able to help you * Champions want to be/feel important*
  • Blockers Those who present roadblocks to be overcome. They cant say yes, but they can say no. Very similar in character to Champions they are usually: are well respected in their domain have deep knowledge about their organization have little to lose by saying no have contrary goals to your own * Blockers want to feel/be important, but they accomplish this by saying no as opposed to yes*
  • Decision Makers Those with the power, typically they have these essential characteristics: They dont have a detailed understanding of your product/company Rely on others for recommendations Are risk adverse and need to have a solid underlying foundation that reduces their exposure in case they make the wrong decision (i.e. the deal goes bad). * Decision Makers are afraid of looking dumb*
  • The Big Fish Principles 1. People make decisions, not corporations 2. Your job/role determines your motivations 3. Motivations are the key to getting deals done 4. Pro bigfishermen use a systematic, repeatable process for understanding motivations and getting deals done
  • The Process Heres how the process works: 1. Find champion and refine your pitch 2. Identify the Decision Maker(s) & Blockers 3. Work with Champion to reduce risk for Decision makers and convert or neutralize Blockers 4. Sign deal, repeat
  • Finding Champions Leads from free product, traditional marketing, PR/Buzz, direct outreach, etc Buying next 90 days? No? Ignore. But wait, look again! Look for brand names, interesting titles, email addresses, etc. and mark for further qualification
  • Champion Archetypes The Dreamer usually someone with deep domain expertise whos vision of the future matches yours. wouldnt it be cool if. The Schemer wants to use you to solidify his/her position gain advantage over a rival person/division The Climber looking to use the attention you bring to rise above the pack The Old-Timer - wants someone to pay attention to him, value his input
  • Qualifying Champions How can he/she help? Who are the decision makers? Can your champion access them? Are they well respected or can they connect you with someone who is? Do you connect with them personally? Professionally? Is the timeline reasonable? Be realistic. Caution: be aware of time wasters!
  • Refine the Pitch What you have to offer Market pressures What they care about Champions will help you refine your pitch based on internal priorities. Listen! The answer is not always obvious.. Examples include: competitive pressure product differentiation blocking function option on the future pressing need personal interest
  • Blocker Archetypes The Realist Has looked at the data or the numbers and just doesnt believe. Saying no is a matter of logic. The Traditionalist Has always done something a particular way and sees no reason to change. The Expert Knows all the minute details and is focused on the trees, not the forest. The Enemy The Champion of a competing solution. The Doubter Doesnt say no, but points out everything that could go wrong to everyone else
  • Getting Around Roadblocks Two ways of dealing with Blockers Turn them into Champions Bring them in on the benefit Make them important Spend the time so they know they are being heard Isolate and/or Neutralize Them Win over their boss Isolate their opinion Make their objection seem personal
  • Decision Maker Archetypes Top Dogs (CEO, President, COO) Big picture thinkers. Practice Leaders - (IT, CSO, CIO, CFO, Ops) Typically run cost centers as opposed to generating revenue. Business Leaders (Sales, Marketing, GMs, Product) - Directly involved with generating revenue and usually judged on their numbers.
  • Getting the Green Light Remember its about reducing the appearance of risk, not actual risk. How do you defend the decision if it goes bad. Build a Credibility Platform Press/media attention Other customers Support from thought leaders Competitive pressures Internal support
  • Theres much more So much more: Negotiating the deal Dealing with lawyers/accountants and others Competitive situations Multiple company alliances Strategic Investments Products that cross departmental/business boundaries Big Fish support structure And, and, and.
  • Be Careful What you Wish for Cautionary note: can you handle a big fish? Potential heavy demands on R&D Product integration Product roadmap drift Milestones, deliverables, accountability, yikes! Reliance on a small number of customers Skewed view of the market (whats good for the Big Fish isnt necessarily good for you.)
  • The Big Fish Principles 1. People make decisions, not corporations 2. Your job/role determines your motivations 3. Motivations are the key to getting deals done 4. Pro bigfishermen use a systematic, repeatable process for understanding motivations and getting deals done
  • Thank You Paul Weinstein paul@paradem.com