If you are involved in any sales activity, you can understand importance of closure.
After-all, making someone sign on the dotted line is often nerving moment for the people involved. It is also true for IT deals whether you are selling software or services.
More than often, we get so engrossed into solutioning aspects of IT Outsourcing deals, that we often forget (or skip) associated selling/buying/budgeting processes.
While it is important to understand –
- Deliverability – How much effort it takes to deliver the IT project ? Do you have enough skills/resources to deliver ?
- Profitability – How much it costs to the client & you? Does it meet your margin requirements ?
- Risks – What are the key risks potentially impact deliverability/profitability of the IT solution ?
Part often overlooked is about client’s sales/buying/budgeting process. If you look at withdrawals in IT services space (rate at which deals move to hold/delayed), it proves a point.
We always start with premise of helping our clients and adding value to the business. While it is good to have such mindset, also ask these questions to the client.
- Does he have real and urgent need to buy ?
- Is he open to the change ? What is business case behind IT project ?
- How is budgeting/procurement process structured ? What are typical timelines to get it through ?
- Who are the key decision makers – boards/committees/key stakeholders ? What are typical approval steps involved ?
So that you can figure out whether it is just going to end up as another interesting conversation or is it something that will compel him to act and buy your services/software.
While it may be uncomfortable discussing client budget rather than technology aspects, often it is the only difference between winning and losing in commoditized market of IT services.