John O' Gorman

The New Buyer Obsession: Benefits Realization

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Buyers have a new obsession. It is called ‘benefits realization’, or alternatively ‘benefits delivery’. They have lost faith that promises made before the sale will actually materialize and are determined to intervene to ensure that they do.


Benefits Realization

Buyers Become Benefits-Obsessed

It makes no sense for organizations to spend many months in planning the right strategies, finding the optimum solutions and choosing the best suppliers, simply to leave the most important element to chance – that is the realization of benefits.

“Managing a project is not the same as managing its benefits.”

Managers have learned that benefits – just like anything else – must be planned, tracked and managed. They are increasingly seeing benefits management as essential to the management of success.

Buyers Focus On The Full Costs-Benefits Equation

Cutting costs has long been a key driver for procurement. But, what happens when costs cannot be cut much further? Well, the focus turns to the other side of the costs-benefits equation and ensuring that benefits are fully realized. Managers have logically turned their attention to benefits and performance.

“Sellers must measure, communicate and reinforce benefits…”

Traditionally most attention was focused on cutting costs in respect of suppliers and projects, with considerably less on maximising benefits.

Helping The Buyer To Realize BenefitsHowever, that is very much a one dimensional view of the bottom line. After all the price-value (or benefits) equation isn’t just about price negotiation, but performance management and most of all benefits realization. Benefits realization is at the core of ‘getting more for less’.

‘Show Me The Money’

‘Show me the money’ is a popular movie-inspired catch-phrase that has been discovered by buyers and reworded into ‘show me the benefits’.[1] It is a new mantra for internal project management and programme delivery. Moreover it is a taunt for suppliers who are being increasingly measured upon the fulfilment of their promises.

Benefits realization is essential to good buyiung for the following reasons:

1. To ensure that the benefits realized are verified

2. To ensure that all benefits are maximized.

3. To ensure that benefits are sustained.

4. To ensure managers delivering on their plans.

5. To justify decisions and ensure access to resources

6. To manage stakeholders.

Using Benefits Realization To Sell

Benefits realization needs a plan and the ingredients of such a plan are described in the full Whitepaper.

While the benefits plan is normally the buyer’s concern, it is also a powerful tool for the seller. It is a new way for the seller to tell the buyer that ‘we are obsessed with your benefits too‘.

Elements of the benefits plan can be used in terms of the needs analysis and solutions definition steps of the sales process, as well as in the proposal writing and project planning or implementation stages.


Get the full Whitepaper to gauge how effectively you are handling benefits realization and the impact this could have on your sales success.


[1]‘Show Me The Money’ was popularized by the 1996 movie ‘Jerry Maguire’.

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