Understand how executives make purchase decisions.

A common hurdle your sales team faces is overconfident customers. They think they can solve their problem on their own. The customer asks their team, “Can we do it ourselves?”  It’s difficult to grow revenue faster than your industry’s growth rate and faster than your competitors. Leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access a revenue growth methodology to hit your number quarter after quarter, and year after year.


Your Customer’s Problem


Your reps are likely thinking that if your customer could have solved it without you, they would have already. Not necessarily. Many times, you introduced your customer to a problem of which they were unaware. That is what every sales leader wants. A sales force that delivers new insight. This is much different than answering active demand. If your sales force creates new demand, the buy vs. build discussion is essential. Your sales training must focus on couching this discussion through fear and greed. 


Your Customer’s Fear


The debate around fixing a problem internally or using outside help is natural. You are educating them through the buying process, and they are introduced to new information. Also, your customer doesn’t want to be exposed. People make decisions to avoid pain or derive pleasure. Fear of pain typically drives action faster than the thought of deriving pleasure. The fear lenses for your customer:


BossHis or her boss expects him to know these answers. Your customer was put in his role to fix these things.

PeersHiring a third party is a sign of weakness in some cultures. Your customer doesn’t want to be exposed.

Team – Your customer wants to appear knowledgeable with his staff. They don’t want to lose credibility in front of their team.


Your Customer’s Perspective


There are 4 main categories that a buyer considers when building a solution vs. buying a solution. In each category there are a series of detailed questions they ask themselves.


The Buy-vs-Build Guide will help your team. The guide will enable your customer to quantify the choices and answer this question.The 4 benefits you and your team will receive:


  1. Increase the probability of the customer choosing to buy.
  2. Reduce the number of deals that move to no decision.
  3. Prevent your team from alienating customers due to deal mismanagement.
  4. Identify when and how to structure the buy vs. build discussion.


Your Value to Your Customer at This Stage


Your job is not to prevent the customer from wondering if they can build. Your job is to teach the customer how to properly answer this question.  If you are dealing with a mid-level leader, ego and empire building may be in play. It is important to recognize this and embrace it.


What are the implications of doing it yourself and getting it wrong? 


The customer has made the decision to do something. The only thing that will matter is the results. The activities of whether they bought or built will be long gone.


You cannot rush your customer. You have to be prepared for them to decide build is a better option. The decision to buy or build goes through your mind when considering a solution. Your customer is no different.


Show Don’t Tell


As a sales leader, you have your finger on the pulse of the big deals. Of those big deals, how many of them are considering doing it themselves?


  1. Assemble the Big Deal Review team. Use this opportunity to view it from the customer’s perspective.
  2. Dissect the deal through this approach. Be objective with your assessment.
  3. Prepare your rep to show your customer a new approach to solve buy vs. build. Make sure he understands this is not criticism.


What else have you done to help a customer answer “can we do this ourselves?” Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you can make your number? Here is a Revenue Growth Diagnostic tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate yourself against SBI’s sales and marketing strategy to find out if:


  • Your revenue goal is realistic
  • You will earn your bonus
  • You will keep your job


Sales Revenue Growth



Matt Sharrers

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by embracing emerging best practices to grow revenue faster than the industry and competitors. 

Matt Sharrers is the CEO of SBI, a management consulting firm specialized in sales and marketing that is dedicated to helping you Make Your Number. Forbes recognizes SBI as one of The Best Management Consulting Firms in 2017.


Over the course of nearly a decade at SBI, Matt Sharrers was an instrumental early partner guiding SBI as the Senior Partner. Matt’s functional responsibilities included acting as the head of sales where he led SBI’s double-digit revenue growth, and was responsible for the hiring function to build SBI’s team of revenue generation experts.


Prior to joining SBI in 2009, Matt spent eleven years leading sales and marketing teams as a Vice President of Sales. Matt has “lived in the field.” As a result, he is the foremost expert in the art of separating fact from fiction as it relates to revenue growth best practices. CEOs and Private equity investors turn to Matt’s team at SBI when they need to unlock trapped growth inside of their companies.



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