What Budget do you have in mind for Failures?
In my role as the Shared Services Head of KINDUZ, I am contacted my multiple vendors for a bunch of different services. While most of the vendor management gets handled by my team, a few niche/creative areas I like to handle myself. A few days back I was discussing Digital Marketing with a Marketing Company. They soon sent me a quotation which, to me, seemed proportionately high. When I told the vendor the same, he immediately retorted, “I understand your concern. What budget did you have in mind?” I was perplexed. While I understood his question, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Shouldn’t he first ask me what outcomes I have in mind? If he can create a solution for me which meets my Outcomes, will I not create a budget for him that meets his requirements?”
Below are my thoughts on why focussing on Budgets first, often leads to failure in achieving Outcomes.
No Good Product/Service comes Free
As a Business Owner, I respect the price of the services that we hire. I understand services and products that add value to my organization have an associated value in the market as well. Of course, I therefore, have budgets in mind for services I want to hire.
Focus on Business Need vs. Business Budget
As a vendor, if you are more focussed on my budget than my Problem Statement, I think there is a serious reason to be concerned. I am concerned because, for me, the criteria of evaluation for business products/services is not “fitment into budget” but more importantly, “fitment into business need”. If you have an offering that meets my business need but not my business budget, I will work with you to either:
- Rescope my requirement, or
- Reprioritize my requirement, or
- Discuss payment terms (tying down vendor payments to successful outcomes), or lastly and most unlikely,
- Review my Budget
Measuring success through Sales in place of ROI Delivered
The common challenge in the industry is that Sales people are measured on the numbers they have closed and not the Value they have delivered. I know the minute I share my budget, I will get a quotation that will match or come close to my budget. However, will this quotation come close to my business need, is anyone’s guess. Partners/consultants/vendors working with the right intent understand this and hence, never start conversations with budgets. We work on identifying Business Problems and creating solutions that solve Business Problems. I invite sceptics, who think that this model sounds good theoretically but will not work practically, to visit any one of the KINDUZ offices to see the success of this model. I have proudly worked with multiple partners in creating and implementing solutions that deliver more value than I had originally planned at lesser budgets than I had originally set aside. And of course, KINDUZ as an organization has created similar solutions for most of our customers.
If you are interested in working with KINDUZ as a partner or a customer, my humble request to you – don’t start the conversation with budgets. Let’s discuss Business Outcomes first.