From No-Budget to Signed Deal Using Provocation-Based Selling – Webinar Executive Summary

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As part of the Marketo Revenue Masters Webinar Series, Principal Consultant for TrellisOne Consulting, Kathleen Schaub and Senior Vice President of Sales for Marketo, Bill Binch, co-presented a webinar entitled “From No Budget to Signed Deal.”

The purpose of the webinar was to explain the concept behind provocation based selling and how it can reach high level executives. The webinar covered 3 key questions:

1)What does is mean when a lead says they “have no budget” for you?

2)What provokes an executive to spend their budget on your product or service?

3) How do I get the attention of executives looking to spend their budget on my product or service?

This is an executive summary of the presentation.

What does “No Budget” Really Mean?

There is no such thing as having no budget. Everyone has a budget. When a prospect says they have “no budget,” what they usually mean is that their budget may not be for your product or service. The underlying question is why doesn’t the prospect have the budget for us? These are some possible reasons:

1) “No One Understands Our New Product” – Executives can only budget for products and services that they know about. When the solution to their problems is something they have never seen before, they need to learn before they budget.

2) “A Financial Downturn has Cut Expenses” – Even in stable economic conditions, 85 percent of a budget may be allocated towards ongoing expenses. This leaves less room for when money gets tighter, as every dollar spent is scrutinized more.

3) “We are Much Smaller than Our Competitors” – Often the larger company is the one that is trusted faster. Companies allocate their budget to proven companies even if other companies can provide better solutions.

4) “Entering a New Market” – A firm that is entering a new market is encountering uncharted territory and uncertainty. This uncertainty may make them less apt to devote a portion of their budget to your solution.

What Provokes an Executive to Spend their Budget on Your Service?

Provocation based selling is the best way to get an executive to open their budget to your product or service. This is done by identifying a substantial, near-term solution to an urgent, industry-specific, role-specific problem. How do we identify an urgent problem? Kathleen Schaub used the image of “poking at a bleeding artery.” This image illustrates an urgent problem that is causing profits to gush out of an organization. The problem should be something that is specific to the prospects industry and the executive’s role in their organization. Different roles and industries have different problems.

The solution to these problems must be something substantial that can be implemented right away. Provoking the executive and getting them to notice this problem is a significant step in the provocation pitch. The provocation pitch is structured like this:

1) You Have a Big Urgent Problem

  • The problem is specific to your industry
  • The problem is specific to your role
  • Competitive parity- your competitors are already addressing this problem

2) Your Are in Trouble

  • Be Provocative – tell prospect their problem puts them in danger. Disturb their equilibrium without upsetting them.

3) We Know The Way Forward

  • We can provide substantial relief
  • A solution that is near term
  • Supported by customer stories and proven facts

How do I get the Attention of Executives looking to spend their Budget?

Delivering the provocation pitch is one thing, finding the executives to deliver it to is another. How can you target executives looking to spend their budget on a new solution?

1) The Executive Social Network – Find a person connected with someone significant in your company and network with them. Utilize tools like Linkedin to examine the industry, region and the roles within the industry.

2) The Affiliated Event Connection – Use a trusted organization as an intermediary. An example of this is an industry conference. Executives arrive at an industry conference predisposed to meeting others and sharing solutions.

3) Survey Connection – Use a survey to collect data about a problem that is plaguing an industry. Establish an initial connection with target executives and offer to share the information you have gathered and how they differ from their competitors.

4) Executive Peer Networking Event – Lodge a provocation pitch to a group of senior executives by holding a small, exclusive executive roundtable event. The topic will relate to your provocation story and feature a case study.

5) Thought Leadership Provocation – If you have a thought leader in your organization, organize a speech circuit and collect a list of attendees. Marketing and sales follow up with a provocation story and campaign.

To view the full webinar as part of the Marketo Revenue Masters Webinar Series, click the link below:

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