I came across the phrase of this post title as recounted by a couple who sold their data company ten years in.
It relates to the three-ish years of readying their exit. When interviewed, Data Shed co-founder, Anna Sutton, revealed in The Times;
The phrase I kept hearing throughout the sale process was “offering comfort” — we needed evidence to show that what we quoted as our new business pipeline would land as that.
No-one buys a business with neither plump order book nor debatable future sales forecast.
How 'predictable, measurable' is your funnel output today? Have you a reliable potential business estimate?
I have experience in this. From before subscriptions became a thing. When clients paid for my nascent salesforce knowledge management SaaS at a monthly user rate.
Deliberately crafted to guarantee positive working capital across decent horizons.
Also, at that heady Millennium time, as antidote to what I saw, and users too, as overpriced up-front software costs or profiteering lease 'deals'.
I was though forever on guard for potential spanners of new-in-post management oversight crashing in at customers, and different ways of annual budgeting cropping up.
To offset any political enforced churn these may cause, I ensured a rolling 90-day contract, stipulating said notice period. Only making investment myself when buffer cash reserves were above quarterly running costs.
I fixated on monitoring, testing and building the optimal sales process anyway. But with added incentive to get as close as possible to knowing precisely what the funnel amount at any given time would likely yield income wise.
This can easily become an integral obsession in high-performing sales outfits. Whether at the 'predictable revenue' end, or with the 'you don't rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems' enthusiasts.
It is one very much worth pursuing.
How are you offering comfort on such scale?