With all the different types of buyers with their specific roles in the sales process and especially the buyers cycle, it appears to be difficult to locate the main decision maker or economic investor. This is a critical point.
You want the opportunity to discuss your offerings or solution to this buyer – since he or she is the only one who can say YES. All the other types of buyers or decision makers can say “no” which is why it is so critical to find this person. B2B sales people tell me this is one of the most difficult tasks in the sales process – identifying the specific individual who can say yes.
In talking to the best sales people – the b2b sales superstars – they agreed on four signals used to identify the economic buyer or investor. These four are…
- Are Sale Specific
Here we are talking about each specific sale offering you are making to a prospect or customer. For prospects – this takes more effort and you will need a coach to find out who this person is within the organization. For customers – you again use your coach and other contacts to guide you. The key here is to avoid the “easy way” or thinking the same buyers from the first sale will be the buyers for the second. Think about who would be or have the most to gain or lose due to a financial decision impacting the organization. Now you are getting close the real decision maker.
I have seen too many mistakes made by b2b sales people who either pursued the same first time decision maker or bundled multiple sales objectives into one (shotgun approach) offering with one decision maker – only to find out they made a mistake as to who was the investor or real decision maker.
- Are Highly Placed
Real decision makers – the investors – are usually found in the “C-Level” of rank within an organization. While there can be exceptions to the rule, just remember the larger the sale, the more impact upon the organization, and the more functional areas touched by the sale offering – the higher the rank. While this is a common sense thing, many b2b sales people avoid the top executives due to some type of fear. Overcome the fear and take action – meet with the highest level you can get to with a little effort. The extra effort will payoff in a huge way.
- Control the Budget
Ask questions about who controls the budget or who sets or builds the budgets. The answer is usually the person who has the ultimate decision making authority. It’s their budget! They usually have the power to modify it, change it, or move funding from one area to another area to get the deal done. Remember the old saying – the one with the gold has all the power!
- Ability to See Into the Future
This may sound a bit hokey, yet, it is a very important element in finding a true decision maker or investor for the buyer organization. To see into the future, this person must have strategic involvement with the organization. They know the inside story on where the organization is going in the future. What are the priorities for the organization and they also have insight into what must get done to change the organization for the future success. The key is to find the individual who wants to champion a change or course redirection. And, you will be part implementer and part catalyst for making it happen.
There you have the big four signals to who is the investor decision maker for your b2b sales opportunity. Use these as a guide during your hunt for the person who can say yes to your offering – it usually means the difference between coming in second or winning the big prize, the b2b account business. Use these b2b sales tips to find the right people in the decision making process and win more accounts.