Most sales-related mentoring focuses on improving the performance of the seller. The other half of the sales equation, however, is the buyer, and there's nowhere near as much guidance about engaging that half of the equation.
"Today's B2B buying decisions are not being made by a single person; they involve multiple individuals from different departments with different responsibilities. It's essentially a 'buying committee,' and you must engage and convince each of the buyers why they should work with you throughout every stage of the sales funnel," says Rishi Dave, CMO of Dun & Bradstreet.
Today's B2B buyers are usually teams
As global competition ramps up, the number of people involved in most B2B purchasing decisions has as well. A 2016 CEB report indicates there is an average of 6.8 individuals involved in every B2B buying decision, and each of those people has a different perspective on how your solution might positively or negatively impact their own needs and goals.
Consequently, your job, as one of today's B2B sales professionals, is to engage each member of each buying team and reach out to them based on their particular pain points. Some members may instinctively opt for the lowest cost option or one that maintains the status quo. You must build a consensus within the buying team that shows them a comprehensive solution that works best for the entire business.
Approach the team with a two-step process
Industry professionals have identified two independent steps that have proven valuable in approaching and converting members of the buying team:
- Find a champion to carry your message - There is often an individual who wholeheartedly buys into what you're selling. Enlisting their help can be the decisive factor in the team's ultimate decision to purchase your solution. Once you've identified the most likely candidate, take the time to provide them with the information they need to educate their colleagues about the value that your product offers.
- Remove existing dysfunction with "collective learning" - With the aid of your champion, structure the team conversations around seeking collective support where each member sees and agrees with the value to the others as well as to their specific department. These conversations reduce the opportunity for conflicting opinions to sidetrack the purchase by focusing on the product's benefit to the entire company, not each department.
Selling to a team means helping each member overcome individual biases in favor of furthering the collective whole. At Consensus, our buyer enablement tools help you identify who to talk to and when, so you can equip your buyers with the information they need to close on your deal as quickly as possible.