Battling the No Budget Blockade

Pipeline challenge of no budget for your deal. Hints and tips from inspir'em

It can be deflating when you have put in the work for a prospective deal only to be told that there is no budget. You might want to start again with another company in the belief that this deal is dead and it’s time to move on. 

Not so fast…

Let’s back up and analyse the steps taken to get to the dreaded words “I’m sorry but we have no budget for this”.

Step 1 – seeking out the customers’ pain

Nobody is going to buy anything unless there is a valid reason to do so; the status quo is a tricky boat to rock. 

Therefore, perhaps you need to go back to the beginning to understand what’s really happened.

Perhaps there was never a compelling reason?

Or just maybe, that compelling reason has got lost along the way?

One of the biggest challenges in enterprise deals is that the sales cycle can often be lengthy, with lots of people involved. Sometimes we need to go back to the foundations of opportunities to re-evaluate the pain which tickled someone’s interest in the first place. Identifying customer pain is the foundation we need to return to.

How big is the pain: papercut or amputation?

You may well have identified a valid pain, but does it warrant solving? Changing the status quo is still a hard sell, so unless the pain is meaningful to the business, there simply won’t be a budget for it.

How do you go about convincing your customer that their pain is not trivial, that it IS catastrophic and that it DOES warrant a reallocation of budget to solve this compelling issue? 


Step 2 - Qualification + Metrics = Success

Macro-economic events mean the numbers are heavily scrutinised.

Qualification of the numbers is where MEDDIC really comes into its own. 

As we discuss with our clients, continually qualifying every aspect of your deal with the relevant stakeholders in the business is essential. It keeps your communication relevant and keeps your deal on the table. 

Keep asking questions.

Unless you qualify the pain you have identified with your customer, you have no way of knowing how they feel about solving the issue. In fact, until you qualify the pain with the customer you have no way of knowing if they even know they have a pain! 

Let’s say they do know there is an issue, but when you start to qualify the pain, they don’t assign enough importance to it in order to make budget available. What now? 

Things change – keep checking your maths!

To everything you can in your deal, assign a metric that will enable your customer to see both the cost of them doing nothing, and the benefit of them working with you. 

That annoying little papercut can be magnified with metrics detailing: 

  • The long-term negative impact on their business.
  • Their susceptibility to falling foul of regulatory changes.
  • The financial impact of assigning personnel to deal with the symptom of the issue.

Whist metrics can also be employed to show:

  • The return on investment [ROI] of your solution to their issue.
  • The Time taken to see positive effect.
  • The extent of this positive effect.

Once you have identified a pain that warrants budget to solve, qualified this pain AND quantified it with metrics, you’re halfway there… but unfortunately halfway there doesn’t get a signature on the line. 


Step 3 – Economic Buyer buy-in

When discussing issues with budget, no conversation is complete without the Economic Buyer. 

Remember: An Economic Buyer owns P&L. If your ROI is good enough, they will be interested in implementing your solution in order to see that return.

It is therefore the Economic Buyer who will be assigning budget to your deal, so even after you have completed steps 1 and 2, if you haven’t identified and confirmed the budget with them, your deal is on thin ice to say the least. 

By now, you will have identified, and be well on the way to building your Champion. If this person really is a Champion, they will be working with you to get your deal in front of the Economic Buyer. 

A common issue with every stalled deal is that, unfortunately, the person who you think is a Champion, isn’t. 

The trick here is to assess your Champion as dispassionately as you can. It’s difficult when you have been working and building a relationship with a person you think is your Champion, to conclude that they are the wrong person. But if they are, the sooner you move on to finding the right person to get your deal over the line, the better. 

Always remember: A deal without a Champion is NOT a deal. 

So, in conclusion: If you are told that there is no budget for your deal: 

  1. Reassess your customer’s pain.
  2. Find the right metrics to qualify and quantify the pain to ensure it warrants budget spend – if your pain really is just a papercut, then qualify out and move on to another opportunity where the pain is acute.
  3. Requalify your Champion to ensure they will help you get your deal over the line.
  4. Make sure you get Economic Buyer buy-in.



If you are interested in new ideas, inspir’em sales meeting exercises and lesson plans are available to continue the development journey of your teams.

Contact us today to further boost your sales and see your revenue grow.

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