Most companies find that when they simplify and speed up the sales contracting process, they do more than simply reduce their legal fees. They end up with more contracts signed. And on more favorable terms.

All of which translates into a better bottom line.

If you're interested in having us help you succeed in the contract phase of the sales cycle, all it takes for us to get started is for you to answer a few questions.

Your answers will give us much of the information we need to do an initial analysis of your contracting process and your company.

You'll note that we ask as many questions about the latter as the former. That's because the organizational and market context in which you operate are critical factors we take into account as we propose a solution.

We've tried to make our questions as quick and easy to answer. And maybe a little enlightening.

Call us or email us if you would like to find out if you qualify for a free initial analysis. If you'd like, we'll be happy to walk you through the questions. Just call or email us at theLastTHIRD.

Or just fill in the blanks and choose the appropriate responses. Then hit the button. And you're on your way to more closed contracts.

Curt Sahakian

About Us - What We Do

Basic Information About Your Business
  1. What do you make or resell (describe the product and/or service) and What are its benefits and features?
  2. How do you make or source it?
  3. Describe typical customer profiles as well as the typical purchasing decision makers and influencers.
  4. Describe distribution channels and/or sales force (quantity, quality, strengths and weaknesses)
  5. Which of the following do you consider as strengths or weaknesses vis-à-vis your competitors: (a) superior market share, (b) a combination of features, benefits, image and specifications most in demand by customers, (c) lower cost of production.

Customer Relationship Factors
  1. What is the typical size of the organizations that you sell to (approximate number of employees)? Do they tend to be bureaucratic, entrepreneurial or other?
  2. What are the top three factors that most drive your customer's purchasing decisions?
  3. How do you find your customers and what is the length of a typical sales cycle?
  4. What strengths cause your customers to select you over your competitors? What weaknesses cause them to select your competitors over you?
  5. How much does a typical existing customer buy from you annually?
  6. How often do your customers tend to rebid or shop their business?

Contracting Activities
  1. How many major (and minor) sales contracts do you negotiate each year or quarter? What is the average price point?
  2. What % of your revenue comes from (a) new sales vs. follow on sales, (b) products vs. services, (c) maintenance and support vs. sales of the supported products.
  3. In how many of those do you use a lawyer (or should you use one)? In how many of those, does the customer use a lawyer?
  4. How many, and what types of people, get involved in the negotiations on your side? How about on your customer's side?
  5. How many meetings (telephone or other) and how much calendar time does it take to close a typical contract?
  6. What is the most common cause of customer delay in getting your contracts negotiated, approved and signed?

Contracts - Basic Information
  1. How many different types of contracts do you have and what are they? (i.e.. license, distribution, support, maintenance, upgrades, new releases, custom development, change orders, special services, IP escrow, etc.)
  2. Of those which do you use the most often... and which account for the most revenue?
  3. How many years ago was the last major rewrite of your contracts?
  4. Summarize any significant changes in the following since then: (a) your pricing model or pricing metrics, (b) the nature or variety of your offerings, (c) your business model, (d) your new customer profile.

Contracts - More
  1. Do your contracts contain "Whereas" preambles? Do they have a "preprinted form" look or a "legal document" look?
  2. How many customer signatures does a typical major deal require?
  3. What are the three (or more) most commonly negotiated contract terms (other than price)?
  4. What are the top three (or more) risks that you expect the contracts to protect you from?

Current Structure and Process
  1. Do you use inside or outside legal counsel?
  2. How many hours or dollars of legal time do you estimate that you spend on a typical negotiated contract?
  3. Who participates in the decision making process to determine what concessions (financial, operational, and legal ) are, and are not made, in the negotiation process?
  4. What do you like about your current contracts and contracting process?
  5. What needs to be improved? If you were to make one improvement, what would that be?

Ongoing and Future Changes
  1. Are you expecting or planning any changes in the following in the foreseeable future: (a) your pricing model or pricing metrics, (b) the nature or variety of your offerings, (c) your business model, (d) your new customer profile?
  2. What are these changes?
  3. Are there any departments that are more territorially defensive regarding change than others? Which departments are these?

Opportunities and Threats
Enter a number 1 to 10 (1 disagree - 10 agree)
Sales Issues
1. We are meeting or exceeding our sales projections.
2. Our sales projections predict we will grow faster than our current market is growing.
Our market is growing as opposed to shrinking.
Our products are, or are becoming, commodity products.
We are planning to launch new products and offerings and/or explore new markets.
Our industry is consolidating.
We have lost some large customers recently.
Market Place Conditions
In comparison to our competitors, we are gaining in market share.
In comparison to our competitors, our offer to the market has that combination of features, benefits, image and specifications most in demand by customers.
In comparison to our competitors, we are most cost effective producers.
People Issues
We are difficult to do business with.
We are planning to launch new products and offerings and/or explore new markets.
We have a culture of fast decision making and a sense of urgency throughout our organization.
We have no departmental silos. Our various departments collaborate well together with little political friction.
We get complaints about how difficult it is to do business with us.
We are constantly innovating and trying new ideas.
For the last 3 years, employment has been either growing or stable.
We have not had any downsizing in the last 7 years.

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Curt Sahakian, Esq.

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