BUT there are lots of times that just working harder and pouring in more resources is not the smart answer. You can chase them, woo them, strategize how to win them with no win. You can give them references, invite them to lunch, and do lunch-and-learns and still not have a contract. You can raise your value, lower your price or try to get to their CEO, but most of the time you NEVER win the business, and those times when you get a trial order it ends BAD.
So what is going on here, and how do you avoid all the investment and heartbreak for this fruitless BO chase?
“Revenue Generation” is a diagnostic science, so let’s diagnosis this situation. To do that, we will use two tools. The first tool we have written about before, and that is the BellCurve.
A refresher regarding this tool shows us that every product, offer, company (both buyers and sellers), and employee lives on this curve somewhere based on how much brain vs. how much stuff they are either trying to buy or sell.
New products that buyers have NEVER heard of, don’t know how to buy or use are born over in the far left corner. Since the buyer has no experience with this type of offer, they depend on the seller to bring brain to the buyer so the buyer can apply this new product to solve major problems in their world.
Buyers and sellers are at every spot on the BellCurve, however most SME (Small Medium Enterprise) companies are left of center. As the BellCurve shows only a small number of buyers live in that small left-hand area of the curve, but they are willing to take the risk to spend big money on something they have never seen before.
For all the buyers across the BellCurve (BO or small), you can chase, strategize and invest forever, and MOST buyers will never leave their current place on the curve. So Revenue Science suggests that you place yourself as the seller on the curve by the brain / value you sell vs. selling stuff. Next place the BO buyer on the curve by the amount of brain / value they want to buy vs. buying stuff. Now see how close the two organizations are.
If on the curve you and the buyer are more than one track apart, it is unlikely the deal will ever happen, and if it does, it will be ugly.
The second diagnostic is “the buyer’s rules of engagement,” and this can be applied with the BellCurve or as a separate way to diagnose if you want to invest in a BO target.
Definition of “Buyers Rules of Engagement”: How does the buyer do business today? Do they want vendors or partners, do they always use a RFP process or do they sole source, do they lease or buy, do they ever do prototypes or trails, do they pay promptly, does every conversation go through purchasing, etc.?