How to Score Customer Problems by Budget Availability


The training stuff (that we were working on) was a cost center. People just said… we don’t have a budget for that, but we do have all these marketing problems. We had to be closer to the money.Chris Savage, Wistia CEO

It’s very likely that many of the prospects you speak with during problem interviews don’t have budget or are not in a position to influence an economic buyer.

If you’re serious about selling and building a business (I hope you are), you need to stay close to the money.

Were there early adopters that you interviewed that had their own budgets or shared the problems of economic buyers? How far removed was the budget? Out of whose budget would a solution need to come out? How is that money currently being spent?

When a problem really matters, companies are willing to spend to have that pain removed. As I previously mentioned on this blog, companies don’t spend on nice-to-haves, they invest with expectations of Return on Investment.

Budgets are rarely created. To sell in B2B typically means getting economic buyers to reassign existing budgets.

To understand what budgets are available for the taking, fill out a grid as follows for each problem you identify during the customer discovery phase:

BUDGET DISPLACEMENT GRID

Problems with large committed budgets are good indicators of real pain and business priorities. They’re also great product replacement opportunities.

Looking at the grid that you filled out, you’ll remove any problems with budget owners you can’t reach (e.g. the CEO) and take note of all problems without budgets.

The easiest way to reduce friction and generate your first sales is to go after existing budgets. If a budget needs to be created in order to purchase your solution, chances are you’re looking at a much longer funnel and a completely different sales process.


Download the First 6 Chapters of Lean B2B for Free

This 80-page sampler will cover the major differences between B2B and Business-to- Customer (B2C) product-market validation, show you new techniques to define your vision for success, find early adopters, select market opportunities and assess the risk of ventures. Download your Sampler Today »