That simple question gets at one of the underappreciated realities of B2B buying and selling. With budgets tight, your product or service often needs to elbow in. And often that means something else taking up budget needs to go.
Sounds obvious, right? But often we assume that companies are taking a “where have you been all my life?” approach to our products and services. The truth, at least initially, is just the opposite. Maybe it’s better to say they take a “we have no money” approach when they walk into the room or hop on your conference call.
Allow me to translate what we have no money really means: “We have no more money because we’re not (yet) prepared to swap out other things in our budget. And we’re not (yet) prepared to do that because we don’t (yet) see the added value in what you’re offering us. But now’s your chance to convince us otherwise.”
That’s where the value conversation comes in. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s you getting to know your customer, their business model and value drivers, and how they provide value to their own customers. Ideally you would have gathered this information before launching your product or service, but if not, there’s no time like the present to get as clear a picture of your customer’s value reality as you can.
Why is this important? With targeted questions asked with your product in the back of your mind, you can determine the financial (and sometimes psychological) cost of them trying to meet the same objectives as you want to help them meet. You’re looking for the cost in dollars of them hiring someone, using an older platform, maintenance costs, etc. That reveals a rough picture of what the customer is currently spending to try to solve the same problem you also want to solve, but only better.
Say that current number is $40,000 per year, but with only a fraction of the results you can deliver. You now know that if the cost of your product or service is anything under that, but with 30% greater ROI, and you can demonstrate that, you’re on the fast track to making the sale.
(Note: Certainly you’re not limited by their current costs, but you still might be getting a premium price for your product or service even when staying within their current budgetary allocations. That’s because the current allocations might need to be higher than expected due to waste and inefficiencies in the customer’s existing process.)
Why are you on the fast track to the sale in this scenario? Because you’re swapping a more expensive option with fewer results for a less expensive option with greater results.
That’s called winning at math.
So before you get too deep into the weeds with conjoint analysis, content strategy, and the like, start having more and better value discussions with customers and prospects. Show them the value, and they’ll show you the money.