Monday, 28 April 2014

Where is the money going to come from?

As we approach a third of the way through the year, many businesses are assessing how they stand Year-To-Date with regard to their annual target. Often a need is identified to undertake some short term tactical activity to get the required sales run-rate back on course.

Under such circumstances, I have noticed a tendency to immediately focus on which clients might spend more than forecast and/or which prospects can be moved to a higher probability of conversion. I believe a better starting point is to first consider the 'types' of monies potentially available. I have found that this provides a better context and rational when we then come to discussing specific opportunities, be they on a prospect, product or geographical basis.

The most common are;

a) A budget exists, they are going to spend with us, we just want them to do it sooner (a version of eating our own lunch, just at breakfast time!)

b) A budget exists, they are going to spend with us, we believe they could spend significantly more

c) A budget exists, they might spend with us and only us - they need convincing

d) A budget exists, they might spend with us or others - they need convincing

e) A budget exists, but they are not considering spending with us

f) No budget, but the client would like to spend with us

g) No visible budget, we can envisage how they could spend with us, but the client has not bought-in and/or been engaged

h) Contingency budget exists, we can envisage how they could spend with us, but the client has not bought-in and/or been engaged

Looking at such scenarios and then seeing how they apply to both general and specific opportunities can help to focus effort. For example, when looking at short term revenue generation, sales people often gravitate towards f) which is pointless (although critical for long term business development).

The premise is, if you want to turn on short term revenues, think about following the money, rather than just the client and/or prospect.