Closing six figure enterprise brand deals and want to save weeks, or months, during Service Agreement negotiations? Use your lawyer.
Here are 6 lessons I’ve learned over 7 years of closing dozens of $100 - 500K ARR SaaS, and management services, deals in my career in media, financial services, CPG and real estate:
- Even in 2023 the nature of a SaaS - recurring revenue, data moving between two companies - screams VERY RISKY to the average Corporate Counsel at a large company. They’re used to dealing with everything from HR suits to M&A. So break things down in simple terms and assume they’re smart, just not informed yet.
- Have your counsel reach out to them when you’re about to create a Service Agreement together. Have your lawyer review business objectives, what the software does, how data is handled and risk mitigation with their counsel. This is a 30-60 minute conversation that will save you 10’s - 100’s of hours later. Their lawyer now understands what’s trying to be accomplished and you’re not fighting over dozens of redlines.
- Have your lawyer, and BD Team, ready to go with layman explanations of how your software, and business, handles customer, company and financial data. Specifically how you comply with GDPR, CCPA and God forbid, FINRA or HIPAA. This saves huge hours on both sides.
- Let the lawyers “Lawyer.” Align with your counsel on what’s important for your company, and what isn’t. Then let them have at it knowing you’ll get 50-80% of what you’re asking for and if what their lawyer has said 'no' to is critical to you, and your business, the deal doesn’t go through.
- Indemnity around data transfer, or downtime, are usually big ones to push back on. Again, the Corporate Counsel for the other side wants to mitigate the most risk. You have to let them know that if AWS, Facebook, etc. goes down and you’re using, or collecting, that data to provide your product you’re not liable as it's not your business.