How B2B marketers can help overcome the “no budget” excuse

I just came across a great question posed by Elizabeth Zennadi of Direct Marketing Partners on LinkedIn‘s B2B Lead Generation Roundtable (which group members can access).

Calculate ROIShe asked, “How are you responding to the ‘budget excuse’?” The responses from other business development professionals come straight out of the real world where sales people live. They range from “Just kiss more frogs” to “No budget usually means ‘I do not see the value.'”

The answer by Keith Finger of Keith Finger Marketing is the one that prompted this post. His comment was, “I believe companies look to vendors to help them make money or save money. Given that, I discuss ROI up front so people understand there’s a benefit.”

Benefits, after all, are what B2B, or any, marketing is all about.

Now I ask — why wait until the lead is passed on to sales before establishing this benefit? Many B2B marketers may have been told, “Don’t talk about cost except in generic statements such as ‘great ROI’ or ‘competitive pricing’ or ‘affordable’ or even ‘low cost.’  But there is a way B2B content marketers can present the ROI story during the nurturing process and that could help move leads closer to being sales-ready.

It’s with an online, interactive ROI calculator. Not all business types can take advantage of this because of their pricing structures, but for those who can it’s a great tool. The online calculator lets the prospect fill in the parameters that fit his or her own company. These might be the number of users, staff involved in completing a task, number of projects or other costs. Once filled in, the calculator automatically reveals an ROI customized to the prospect’s business.

The more personalized a marketing message is, the more productive. By providing an ROI calculator that shows specific numbers to the prospect, marketers deliver much more than a passive message.

Prospects who have calculated their ROI won’t be as likely to use the “no budget” excuse once the lead is turned over to sales.

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