What a difference 7 months makes! The first week of 2022 – when cost of capital was all but free and spending in all industries was booming – financial markets and consumer confidence hit an all time high.
Now, as Ezra Klien of the NY Times coined it… we are clearly at the ‘end of the everything era.’
A Q2 2022 Quick Start Strategies sales performance survey found 83% of participants say they 'lack confidence' in delivering next quarter's revenue projections. Additionally, 91% of late stage sales losses (Closed/Lost) were not lost to competition, but rather pushed and labelled ‘No Decision.’
I recently embarked on a ‘listening tour’ with a wide group of cross-industry companies, ranging in size from $50m to $17b, to understand how the current economy is impacting their technology spend for the balance of 2022. As you would expect, with inflation spiking and economic uncertainty, any tech spend deemed discretionary faces intense scrutiny that inevitably will lead to, in the best case, a delay.
The ‘tour’ uncovered a number of ‘discretionary spends’ that were funded. Inevitably these purchases included a time sensitive compelling event, and a strong value proposition. One interviewee provided the following analogy on sorting through their discretionary spend pile: “Its like your TV cable bundle. We all have a zillion channels. To save money you go to a ‘special bundle’ with only those channels you cannot live without, you stop paying for everything else, and you save substainially.” She went on to say that economic downturns were the perfect opportunity to sharpen one’s pencil.
What to do
As budgets tighten, the antidote for avoiding the discretionary spend pile is creating a rock solid ‘fact sheet’ for both your existing customers and pipeline opportunities. A ‘fact sheet’ is a simple world-on-a-single-page overview that outlines:
- Why: the company needs your specific solution today (compelling event)
- What: what are the specific objective deliverables that your solution will provide for them
- How: your solution will be easy to deploy and deliver measurable value
Note: make sure you achieve ‘transference’ of the fact sheet. Do not merely create and email the ‘fact sheet’ to your prospect. Rather, review the ‘fact sheet’ with your key sponsors, and modify its contents to include those key words and phrases that solidify the value proposition and make it unique to their company.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step (Lao Tzu)
Take the step of driving the conversation of value aligned with a compelling event with every customer and prospect in your pipeline. If value and timing is defined, then you can move your solution from the discretionary spend pile to the budgeted, ‘can’t live without’, technology spend list. This drives current quarter revenue performance, and longer-term revenue predictability – while significantly diminishing the high cost of late stage no decisions.
We have, over the last 8 years, created a library of best practice fact sheets that I would be happy to share. Just send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested.