Most B2B sales include distinct buyer tasks, including recognizing a problem, evaluating and comparing available solutions, and selecting a supplier. They can also include anywhere from six to ten decision-makers. In short, it’s a complex process where traditional sales and marketing strategies are becoming obsolete, and sales reps are facing the challenges posed by digitally dominant buying behaviors.
Implementing the optimal sales approach for your B2B sales team can boost its sales effectiveness in meaningful ways. Here’s how you can help them adapt to changing methodologies and find the decisive players in complex sales.
Who Are the Decision-Makers in Complex Sales?
Decision-makers have the power to make strategic choices like expansion, acquisitions, and investments. In B2B sales, the decision-making process includes making financial and purchasing determinations about what to buy, at what price, and from which supplier.
B2B decision-makers can include C-level executives, team managers, and financial officers, with the number of relevant stakeholders varying depending on the size, industry, and buying process of each organization. In complex situations, sales reps can also interact with various gatekeepers who don’t necessarily make purchasing decisions but are instrumental in moving the buying process forward.
Typical participants in complex B2B sales are:
- Buyers and payers
- Influencers or advisors
- Users and evaluators
While multiple stakeholders help businesses manage risk, they also add numerous layers to the buying process. These key steps will help your sales reps find the relevant decision-makers and give them an edge over the competition.
- Fine-Tune Customer Profiles
The best way to quickly identify multiple decision-makers in a company’s buying team is to accord each their own persona. Fine-tune buyer personas to correspond to at least the seven participants listed above and then add pertinent information like pain points, priorities, demographics, and domain expertise.
- Research, Research, Research
No decision-maker wants to waste time on a sales pitch that doesn’t address their needs. You might know your product or service inside out, but if you don’t understand how it will help each individual company, you’re going to hit a brick wall. Learn your lead’s industry and niche, and research the players, market trends, and competitive landscape. Only then will you see which solutions are relevant to your prospect.
- Solicit Referrals
Once you have a clear view of who your buyers are, find ways to leverage existing professional relationships for solid referrals that can smooth the way in cold calls and emails. If that isn’t an option, implement outbound sales best practices.
- Ask the Right Questions
After making an initial contact:
- Use the information gathered in your research to begin building trust with your prospect.
- Forego hard selling and focus instead on the decision-maker’s success.
- Listen carefully to the lead’s feedback and ask them targeted questions that help you discover and understand what the company’s buying process is, who the relevant stakeholders are, and how your offerings can address pain points.
- Recruit Advocates
Whenever possible, simultaneously engage and cultivate multiple stakeholders. You’re looking to connect with individuals who are change advocates and believe your solution will help them solve problems or achieve goals.
- Bypass Gatekeepers
Whether they’re executive assistants or junior financial analysts, many decision-makers have gatekeepers who, if you can’t avoid them altogether through referrals, you’ll want to get on your side. Be sure to respectfully engage with them so they pass on the information that you can be trusted and are genuinely interested in helping the company grow and succeed.
Think about how individual decision-makers define success and tailor your messages to their unique experience. For instance, some might be more invested in what your product or service can do for them from a staff training perspective. Others are responsible for IT support, regulatory compliance, or ROI.
- Adopt the Right Sales Tools
Technology can help you find, track, and nurture decision-makers much more quickly. The most effective sales tools make it easier to:
- Land and set appointments for your sales team.
- Fill your pipeline with qualified leads.
- Gain insight into lead quality and purchase time.
Most importantly, they help you profile decision-makers and develop your prospect list for maximum sales effectiveness.
Complex B2B Sales Prospecting Done Right
Single decision-makers rarely call the shots in B2B sales, and corporate buying, in more cases than not, is a non-linear process. Whenever possible, you want to avoid waiting for lower-ranking stakeholders to sign off on a sales pitch before engaging higher-level ones.
Partnering with a sales and marketing services provider like 3D2B helps you identify and close deals with the right decision-makers more quickly. As a vertical service integrator, we can help you maximize your market share through effective B2B lead generation, channel development, lead management, and more.
Book a consultation today to learn about how we can help you improve your organization’s B2B sales process by building long-term relationships with high-quality decision-makers.
Call us at +1 813-320-0500 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA) or contact us online for help meeting your sales goals.