12 Questions to Help Determine Your B2B Buyer's Budget
Does your prospect have the budget for your product?
Every successful B2B sale has one common ingredient: asking the right questions. Learning about your customer is vital to optimizing your sales team’s efficiency and the time they spend on each lead and/or opportunity. Custom BANT questions help Bottom of Funnel (BOFU) leads determine if they're ready to make a purchase, or if they need more nurturing. BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline. While each aspect of the BANT framework is important, let’s dig into one of the most critical buying considerations: Budget.
How do you determine your buyer's budget?
Regardless of your price point, it’s important to know whether your potential buyer has the budget available to obtain your solution. If not, this would not be the right time to try to convert them. Be careful not to confuse affordability with budget. Many large corporations can afford your solution, but until a buyer has a specific budget earmarked for your solution, a purchase is not likely.
So how exactly do you figure out your buyers’ budget?
By asking the right question(s).
According to Clodura.AI:
Asking non-intrusive, tactful questions related to your prospect’s budget could give you an insight into what they seek and what you offer at a set cost. Prospects can still be won over if they hover around the cost of your services, but if it is not a match entirely, it is best to seek other leads.
So instead of asking, “What is your budget?” here are 12 questions you can use to determine if your prospect has the budget for your product:
- How much do you currently spend on similar solutions?
This will provide insight on their ability to spend in your category, based on their current spend with your competitors.
- Do you have a contract with one of our competitors?
This direct question is best suited for niche solutions with only a few providers. Based on your prospect's response, you may now be faced with the decision of whether or not to help them out of their current contract with one of your competitors.
- Leading companies spend about [$XXX] per employee per month on [XXX solution category]. Do you currently have a budget allocated for this or will you need to create one?
This is an easy upfront determinant of their existing budget for another solution in your category. Most likely one of your competitors.
- We estimate that your team could potentially gain [$XXX] amount per [week, quarter, year] by making this [change]. How does that compare to the budget you’ve set aside?
This frames your product in terms of potential gain, rather than an expense.
- What is the Return on Investment (ROI) you’re hoping to see?
This helps set expectations with your prospect for their expected returns and/or future goals being met by your solution.
- How much would it cost if you haven’t fixed this issue in five years?
This is a direct reminder for your prospect of the costs they're bearing by waiting to solve their problem. It also provides a glimpse towards their "Need" and "Timing" for your solution.
- How much would it cost to build this solution by yourself?
This question is testing whether your prospect has the resources and knowledge to solve their problem internally, or if they’re sure they want an external solution.
- How heavily will price factor into your decision?
This helps you determine how much you''ll need to justify the pricing for your solution, based on the value you create and/or the problem(s) you're solving for your prospect.
- Would you be willing to meet us at our price with our high level of customer service?
This is a question for premium providers. If you know your high-quality product costs more than your competitors you may want to have prospects determine upfront if your pricing will be an issue for them.
- Have you ever had to invest in a solution beyond the scope of your budget?
This question is probing for your prospect's flexibility with budget and pricing, especially in relation to scope. Follow up questions may be a good idea here based on the answer options you provide. For example, "If so, how did the budget allocation take place?"
- Are you comfortable with our billing cycle?
This question is for providers who may bill differently than their competitors. If you only sell annual subscriptions, you may want to determine if that longer term commitment is keeping a BOFU prospect from converting and/or trying your solution.
- What is your annual revenue?
While not directly related to your price, this question helps your categorize your prospect's organization and estimate how your product could proportionately increase their revenue or reduce their costs.
How Are These Questions Helpful?
While this is not a comprehensive list of budget-related questions, they do allow you to gather in-depth insights into your prospect’s budget. Or lack thereof. The answers to these questions may help you realize your prospect doesn't have the necessary budget for your solution at the moment, and maybe they need to be nurtured or converted with a promotional offer.
These questions also guide the purchase decision for your prospect. By answering budgetary questions, they're evaluating what your solution is worth to them, albeit subconsciously. Either in potential gains/growth for their business or in reduced risks/expenses.
What you discover about your prospect's budget can play a significant role in successful conversion and timing. You may learn things about your prospect beyond their budget that can help you personalize your sales approach. Or you may realize your solution is not a good fit for them. Either way, by asking the right questions you’re optimizing the use of your sales team’s time for leads and prospects that are closest to their purchase decision.