Jennifer Feeney, Senior Program Manager, Sales Focus, Inc.
July means new State budgets and this year’s buzzwords include “deficit” and “belt-tightening”. Not exactly what a salesperson wants to hear. But 2014-15 can be a great year to introduce new products to State Government Decision Makers. You just need to tailor your value proposition to their budget realities.
Early Fiscal Decisions – Immediate ROI
Win business early in the fiscal year by matching your value proposition to immediate ROI. Government Decision Makers need to hold off on expenditures because of the increased budget constraints. Overcome this objection by clearly illustrating your product’s short term ROI. This must be concrete dollars and cents. You must show your DM that this deal will not only save budget dollars but will establish the DM as a leader in fiscal cost-cutting. In their political world this gives your DM more leverage and clout in how budget dollars are spent during the entire fiscal cycle.
Mid-Year Decisions – Unseat The Incumbent
Banging your head against the wall because you KNOW your product has more features for less cost? Time to fight for what’s yours! Ask for the opportunity to compete against the current vendor. Don’t just passively wait for the RFI to post! Find out if there are smaller offices inside the agency that can test pilot your solution. Get the contract end dates and find out if the agency is really under contract or just surfing the option years. If your target agency is staring at shortfalls they may be willing to de-scope an overpriced incumbent, especially during an election year.
Fallout Money – Making It Easy
The end of year shuffle and scramble is all about making it easy for the DM to say yes. Be ready to waive fees if needed and offer up free training. Map out the implementation process so your DM doesn’t get shot down internally with the ‘it’s too hard’ excuse. And all the rapport building you’ve been doing all year? Now is the pay off. You’ve already established yourself as an expert, as the trusted advisor in your industry. Close the deal!
Jennifer joined Sales Focus Inc. in October 2013. As a Program Manager, Jenn believes in building solution-based teams that can quickly identify the target customer’s needs and match it to their client’s value proposition. Jenn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org