How can I find prospects with a budget & timeline?


I need to get on the phone and start cold calling and try to find a prospect with a budget and timeline to buy our solution.How do I do this? Where do I start? Since i have sold software like this before I know that whenever the customer has a budget timeline and real pain point they already knew about the sale could happen in a shorter time.

Sales Selling

asked Apr 24 '10 at 03:40
484 points
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2 Answers


One key is how fast can you get to the true decision maker? If you're dealing with a gate-keeper who gives excuses for not letting you speak directly to the person making the final decision, expect a long sales cycle or probably no sale at all. Not that you shouldn't work with them, but I'd focus more on deals where you're pitching to the person writing the checks.

answered Apr 24 '10 at 03:50
Jeff O
6,169 points
  • Because this is corporate selling that would be c-level execs not so easy to accomplish don't you agree? – Stacey 14 years ago
  • Depends on the cost of your app/service. Many managers have either items already in their budget (they just need to pick which one) or an amount they can purchase without C-level approval. – Jeff O 14 years ago
  • What is typically the maximum they can purchase without c-level approval> – Stacey 14 years ago
  • $1000 - $5000 depending on the size of the company would be safe. – Jeff O 14 years ago


My advice: stay away from cold calling! :)

At one point in time (2 or 3 year ago) I spent thousands of dollars with Cold Calling, and the results were depressing, to say the least. The contact lists were good, the segmentation was right, the product was great, the callers were professional.

The problem is that people are sick and tired of getting inside sales people to bug them on the phone.
Also, most of the times, the timing is wrong. When you call in, chances are that they don't need the product yet (you are too soon), don't need the product anymore (you are too late), or don't need the product at all (either already have it or don't have a use for it).

What this means is that your window of opportunity is extremely small. Getting someone on the phone, that is willing to talk to you, and has an immediate need for your product is one of those "one in a million" shots.

You should really consider switching your dollars from outbound marketing into inbound marketing. Find how you can get in front of your targets (in places where they usually hang out, online and offline), and then wait for them to call you.

It's a tough decision, since in the first months you'll feel like your pipeline is gone for good... but the good news is that it starts growing soon and faster than it would have if you tried cold-calling.

The other good news is that your cost of sales will drop instantly. Instead of spending a lot of time and money trying to convince people that they need you, you'll have people that actually do need you to contact proactively, and this means they are further down the sales pipeline and probably have the need, timing, authority and budget to move on with the purchase.

Hope this helps

answered Apr 27 '10 at 02:49
825 points

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