The most common objection you’ll get in SaaS sales, which will drive you nuts at first, is … Not Right Now. I Don’t Have Budget. It’s Great, But Not This Quarter.

Let’s unpack this for a minute. No one needs another piece of business software. No one. Every business is mostly running OK already with its tech stack, and it’s unlikely your little app, alone, is going to change the revenue/profits course of any customer.

Instead, the reason most SaaS purchases are really made are initiatives. Companies have decided to improve a functional area this year. The decision may be made strategically in a big company, or sort of by the seat of the pants in a small one … but still, it’s an initiative.

A company can’t do everything, every year. It can’t strategically improve sales software, financial software, quoting software, recruiting software, QA processes, call center software, etc. Certainly not all in one year. It’s too much business process change in one year.

So that means statistically, you may be the odd man “out” at any big company. Yes — we’re interested. Just not this year.

What does that really mean?

  • Well, first, the losers (whose initiatives don’t win) still have champions. Even if a new ATS system didn’t make the cut this year, if your solution is not too expensive — your champion may still be able to get it done.
  • Second, the winning initiatives need attached solutions to make them work. Salesforce won this year? Well, you may need another 10 or 20 apps to make it hum.
  • Third, failing solutions from prior years still have embedded budgets. If your champion is so frustrated with an existing solution, eventually, she can use that budget to buy another solution.
  • Fourth, there’s always an “extra” budget for every VP and C-level exec. Everyone has at least a little extra budget for tools and solutions that solve their problems.

So … you just don’t know. Budget can come from multiple places. The key is getting to the right champion, and understanding her needs.

The company itself almost certainly will do fine without buying your solution this year.

But your champion at the company? She may still be looking for a win this year.

Identify her real problem in your space — if there is one. Deliver it for her. Solve her problem.

And that budget may just come from somewhere, somehow.

(note: an updated SaaStr Classic answer)

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