It's not uncommon for companies to have multiple decision makers. In addition to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), other decision-makers in a company's operations may include a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), a Chief Operations Officer (COO), a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and more. According to one study, in fact, the average company now has a half-dozen decision-makers who are directly involved in making purchases. As a B2B sale rep, you need to know what's important to each decision maker.
#1) Prioritize Decision-Makers Based on Influence
Even if a target company has multiple decision-makers, some of those decision-makers may have greater purchasing influence than others. A CEO, for example, will likely have greater influence over the purchase of new products and services. But remember, they can be providing the authority based on the recommendation of the facility or plant manager.
#2) Seek an Internal Referral
Try to acquire an internal referral from someone who works for the target company. The decision-maker whom you contact may tell you that he or she needs to check with another decision-maker before signing off on the purchase. You can encourage decision-makers to follow through with a purchase, however, by seeking an internal referral. If another worker recommends your B2B company's product or service to one or more decision-makers at the target company, it may help close the sale.
#3) Research Before Contacting
It's always a good idea to research the decision-makers in a target company's operations before attempting to contact them. If you don't know who all the decision makers are, then use SalesLeads' Company Search. The Company Search will allow you to learn about the company in general, but also uncover the decision makers and other levels within the organization. We'll provide you the phone numbers, email address, title and location.
The more you know about a decision-maker, the better your chance at convincing him or her to buy your B2B company's product or service. Whether you're planning to contact a single decision-maker or multiple decision-makers, you should research them on LinkedIn to learn more about their job roles.
#4) Keep Sales Pitches Short and Simple
Because they are typically upper-level executives, decision-makers are busy people who aren't interested in listening to long sales pitches. Tailor your message as how your product or service applies to their company in the area they are responsible for. But be sure to include in your pitch that you have the support and endorsement of those that would be using the product or service.
#5) Schedule a Follow-Up
Don't forget to schedule a follow-up when contacting decision-makers in a target company's operations. Rather than telling a decision-maker that you'll call him or her back at an undisclosed date, ask the decision-maker when, exactly, is a good time for you to call back to further discuss the deal. Scheduling a specific time and date for the follow-up will increase your chances of reaching the decision-maker and, therefore, generating moving it along the sales cycle to close.
#6) Send Valuable Content
A common mistake B2B sales reps make when selling to multiple decision-makers is failing to offer anything of value. They focus entirely on their sales pitch while neglecting to offer value, meaning what will your product or service do to help improve their business. You can offer them customer referrals, video recommendations or written case studies to support the value you're pitching.
#7) Reference Positive Customer Reviews or Testimonials
When selling to multiple decision-makers, reference some of your B2B company's past customer reviews or testimonials. Assuming they are positive, the customer reviews or testimonials will reinforce the value of your B2B company's product or service, which may compel the decision-makers to make a purchase. Research shows that over nine in 10 B2B buyers are more likely to make a purchase after reading a positive customer review or testimonial.
#8) Mention the Other Decision-Makers Whom You've Contacted
Another tip to follow when selling to multiple decision-makers is to mention the decision-makers at the target company whom you've already contacted. If you've already talked to a decision-maker -- and assuming he or she expressed interest in your B2B company's product or service -- you can mention his or her name to other decision-makers at the same target company.
#9) Work Your Way Past the Gatekeepers
Of course, you'll need to work your way past the gatekeepers when selling to multiple decision-makers. Gatekeepers are lower-level professionals, such as a receptionist, who holds the "key" to the decision-makers. To get past them, you must explain your reason for calling while maintaining a polite and professional persona in the process.
#10) Personalize Communications for Each Decision-Maker
Finally, you should personalize your communications for each decision-maker whom you intend to contact. Rather than reading from a generic script, use custom messages that are personalized specifically for the decision-maker. With personalized communications, you'll create a stronger connection with decision-makers that increases your chance of generating a sale.