In most deals, there is one buyer and one seller, and most departments within an organization identify strongly with one of these labels. The reality, as any legal department will tell you, is much more complicated – almost all organizations act simultaneously and over time in both of these roles. Even in the case where a deal is for the sale of an entire company, mechanics like seller financing or equity incentives mean that even the sellers are buying into the buyer’s risks!

Our view of the world is that customers may actually fit into one or more of the following labels: