Verifying = win-win
Here’s the thing: Everyone wins when you verify budgets quickly.
You get to prioritize important sales targets, you and your prospect focus energy where it’s needed, and you spend less time chasing deals that won’t close.
While we’re on the subject of time, that’s something we’ve analyzed in great detail at Upsales. After going through the data, we’ve found sales reps spend around 3X more time on deals that don’t close, compared to deals that do close. Time is money, right? Verifying budgets early is one way to get back some of that valuable time.
1st appointment: questions to ask
Maybe you feel awkward talking budgets early on. After all, we're taught from a young age to avoid talking about money. Well, your prospect is no different. They probably feel awkward too.
So try something like, “Can we talk about budgets?” You’re asking for permission, and giving the prospect control of the situation. It’s not like you’re putting pressure on by saying, “Let’s talk budgets.”
Asking the prospect in an open way means they’re more likely to be open with you. You can then move to the next step, and ask questions around:
Start by confirming your pricing aligns with the prospect’s budget. Be open and firm with the rationale for “why” your pricing is what it is. You could even prepare a script to remind you of your main selling points.
You don’t want to waste time giving a great sales presentation to the wrong people. Check the prospect has the seniority to request the necessary budget now. You also need to know they have the power to get things moving once you’ve agreed the sale.
Ask how many stakeholders are involved in the deal. Obviously, the more people involved, the more risks to your sales pipeline. For companies with <100 employees, try involving the CEO because they’re likely to have a say when signing things off.
‘I couldn’t verify the budget’
Well, it happens sometimes. If you can’t verify the budget, the prospect often:
Doesn’t know the answers
You may need to move the opportunity to Fallback in your Sales board. Maybe they need more nurturing first, or they just don’t have the authority to close the deal. Either way, set an appointment or reminder if you want to follow up in the future.
Doesn’t feel comfortable sharing budget-related information
This is a common one. The prospect may be more comfortable if you ask them what they’re currently spending. This can help open up the conversation, helping you understand what they need.
Verifying upsell budgets
Of course, verifying budgets works best when your prospect already knows they need what you offer. Upselling requires a different approach. If the prospect hasn’t considered what you’re offering as an upsell, they’re unlikely to have a budget ready.