Insights | Podcasts

BC Startup Sales Podcast - Convincing Prospects to Buy vs. Build with Wendy Gonzalez (Sama)

April 09, 2021
Wendy Gonzalez Buy vs Build 001

This week we had Wendy Gonzalez, CEO of Sama, join the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast to discuss "Convincing Prospects to Buy vs. Build."

Here are some of the main questions and ideas we discussed in the podcast:

1. To help set the stage for the conversation today, what do we mean when we’re talking about build vs. buy more broadly, and also what does it mean more specifically within the context of Sama?

2. Let’s start with how this impacts the beginning of the sales process. When you’re going after prospects to drum up new business and your team is having those early prospect conversations, is this build vs. buy “objection” something you are actively trying to draw out when qualifying prospects to see how they’re leaning? Do you try to avoid bringing it up unless they do as you don’t want to introduce unnecessary objections/potential blockers into the discussion?

3. As your team is going through the discovery process with a prospect, is it important to get at the root cause/concern for why companies are thinking about building it themselves, or is it always the same couple of reasons that come up?

4. You mentioned you work with quite a few Fortune 100 clients. It seems like the bigger the company, the more often this build vs. buy debate comes up as they have more resources to build stuff themselves (and the associated cost savings could be more substantial). Has that been the case in your experience?

5. It seems like there are two separate sales going on here: 1) convincing them to buy vs. build in the near-term and 2) also buy vs. build in the long-term. How do you and your sales leadership think about this?

6. As a follow up to that, will you sometimes turn down business and disqualify a deal if you think you’ve done a good job at #1) but not #2) (convincing them to buy vs. build in short-term but not the long-term)?

7. What are key selling points you all lean into when convincing prospects to buy vs. build?

8. What about using references or case studies as a deterrent for companies thinking about building it themselves - is that a thing?

9. The decision of the prospect to build vs. buy is quite strategic. How does your sales team strategically leverage you and others on your leadership team when trying to convince an important prospect to buy vs. build?

10. Any common pitfalls or misconceptions as folk approach the buy vs. build convo with their prospects or customers?

11. Any final thoughts, tips or tricks for folks to summarize?

Big thank you to Wendy for coming on the podcast and sharing her insights with us!


Wendy Gonzalez is an executive passionate about building high-performing, high-functioning teams that develop and scale innovative, impactful technology. With two decades of managerial and technology leadership experience for companies including EY, Capgemini, Cycle30 (acquired by Arrow Electronics) and General Communications Inc, Gonzalez is currently the CEO of Sama, the provider of accurate data for ambitious AI, used by leading technology companies such as Walmart, Google, Nvidia and Getty. Before taking on her role as CEO, Gonzalez was Sama’s President and COO, and is an active Board Member of the Leila Janah Foundation.

If you liked “Convincing Prospects to Buy vs. Build” and want to read more content from the Bowery Capital Team, check out other relevant posts from the Bowery Capital Blog.