16.10.2017 Funding

Winning a Deal with a Large Corporate (Part 1)

In a short two-part series, we will look at the procurement process and what it takes to not only get the project off the ground, but to establish a long lasting partnership. In part two we will look at pricing, but first we will look at the considerations for Corporate buy in.

Corporate Buy In
As an entrepreneur, your company is setup to address the very issue you’re proposing to your potential corporate partner. If the whole corporate procurement value chain understood the issue, and the value your solution brings, then there would never be an issue. Unfortunately, this is seldom if ever the case, so here are a few tips to reduce the time from initial met to agreement.

Educate as many people as possible – If you think you have your first meeting and those in the room will be as excited about your solution as you are, then you are sadly mistaken. You need to take the initiative to quickly determine the organizational layout and get your hands on an organization chart. If you can’t, try to make one for yourself. Once you have that, then ensure you you get face time with and educate people from these three groups:

Business – these people will be your day to day relationship managers and will be the key and gateway to the rest of the organization.

Tech – understand the tech requirements and current infrastructure. Ensure that the proposal falls in line with current capabilities and resources.

Procurement – finding out the process and due diligence documents ahead of time to expedite the process is important.

Find a junior champion – Most organizations are littered with lazy and incompetent people who have no ambition to see a new and innovative process through. But on the flip side, there are a number of junior level employees who are passionate and eager to make a name and make a positive difference in the corporate. These are the people you want to get close to and use their work ethic and passion. Help them build out the organization chart for you, get the right people in the room, and most importantly, help navigate the internal politics.

Think post PoC (Initial “test” project) – The original proposal must include operational information post trial, both in terms of operational capacity and pricing (more on pricing in Part 2). Ensure the Corporation knows that the commitment is needed long term to ensure a successful partnership.

Focus on the customer – Corporates sometimes get too excited around “what’s trending”, as it’s a hot and fun topic. But ultimately what they contract for is what serves the customer. So, focus on their needs or their end customer’s needs. Showing true benefit in either resource or cost is key.

If you are able to keep these few tips in mind when engaging with corporates, with the aim to win a deal, then you should be in a good place.


James Sanders

Project Manager & Startup Coach – SIX Group

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