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Selling based on roadmaps?

(I looked through the forum and don't believe this to be a duplicate, so sorry if it is. I see others about dealing with roadmaps, etc but didn't see this specific topic)


When you have features on your roadmap that are SUPPOSED to be released in the coming months, do you ever sell based on those "promises" from the product team? This is something that I've never done, but I'm getting pressure to sell on a feature that we've been told will be out in the next 8 weeks to bring in a deal for our end of quarter... and personally, I don't believe it will be out in the next 6 months based on the track record...


My approach has always been that I should have 80% of all my revenue closed going into the last 2 weeks of a quarter. In this scenario, it means I'm running my deal cycles properly and not forcing dates that are arbitrary tot he prospect.


This turned into more of a rant than a question, but how have you dealt with selling based on product roadmaps?

πŸ“ˆ Closing
9
CoorsKing
WR Officer
+11
King of the Coors Knights
No. No no no. Don’t do it. Product is the least reliable team on the planet, I always hedge that a feature will be released 6-12 months after product tells me it will be. Been burned too many times selling futures, and killing both my relationship and trust with customers.Β 
Feds_Watchin
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
This x 1000
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Senior Account Executive
Think about it like this. You sell on a promise, then don't deliver. Even though it's 100% on your company,Β  the client blames you and now sees YOU, not your company, as unreliable.

Not worth it.
braintank
Politicker
+6
Enterprise Account Executive
Never a good idea to sell something not on the truck when you have no control over delivery. If you're getting pressure to do it, ask your boss / head of product / whomever is pressuring you to deliver the message. If they're not willing to put their credibility on the line why should you? Also, your approaching a situation where you have to write an out into the contract (i.e. if you don't deliver feature X by Y date we can back out.) This is typically bad business and has revenue recognition implications.
SlinginSoftware
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
100% And as we're both great detectives, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about and where that pressure is coming from.

FYI - Ended up giving my 2 weeks, so July 31 is my last day - Once again, really wish there was a DM feature here
braintank
Politicker
+6
Enterprise Account Executive
Oh gosh I almost forgot who I was dealing with. If that's the case then NEVER trust product! Or, have one of our great leaders make that push. I'm sure they're willing to ;)
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Mooney
Politicker
+12
Director of Sales
If your getting pressured to close the deal around Product Roadmap promises, flip that on your boss and say can we put the exact date into the contract for the customer. That way you can close the deal without feeling like you sold them something you didn’t have and product is held accountable. If this isn’t an option, don’t sell on product promises because things always get pushed
Rallier
Politicker
+9
Account Executive
I used to be in your situation. I was pretty open about it with my prospects. I'd mention that feature X is on the roadmap to be released on this date, but in full transparency it probably will be a bit later than that
SlinginSoftware
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
I've always tried to do the same, but walk the fine line without un-selling the deal.

I'd usually put it in an email "Based on current estimates blah blah blah. Please once again note that these are estimates and this date may continue to change."

It's tough and this is the first time I've really been getting pressure to use a roadmap feature to close the deal (and say that it will be released in 8 weeks).
Oz
Ozz
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Selling roadmap sucks - Product was never able to deliver and caused a ton of overpromise and underdeliver. This happens a ton in enterprise sales and I don't run into this much anymore since our solution is more turnkey and out the box we got everything that fits for 90% of our ICP. Of course there's always nice-to-haves and you paint a vision for that.Β 
Feds_Watchin
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
You sell what is on the truck TODAY. If you deviate you will be caught with your pants down and it will not be pretty.
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
Don’t! It sucks because roadmaps can take much longer.Β 
Beans
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
Never ever sell the future.

It's something to talk about, but if you're not fixing a pain now it's not a fit and you're going to spend so much time managing expectations and putting out a negative view of your product.Β 
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