If you are interested getting more sales for your business, the ultimate goal of your prospecting efforts should be to speak with the decision maker. However, in today's B2B purchases, there can be up to ten decision makers. So, in this post, we'll go over how to identify a company's decision makers, as well as the questions to ask.
What is a decision maker?
A decision-maker is someone who makes important strategic decisions. They have the power and skills to evaluate available options, weigh the consequences of their decisions, and ultimately make a decisions consistent with their goals and objectives.
Who Make the Decisions in a Company?
Any company's decision maker is the individual who ultimately decides whether or not to invest in your proposal. The decision maker in a business-to-business sales cycle typically holds at
the top management level title, allowing them to "sign the check" without the consent of others.
It matters that you present to the decision-maker whilst selling to other businesses. They are the only ones who can honestly say "yes." If you sell to someone who is not a decision maker, such as an administrative assistant, they have the authority to say "no."
Nothing is more discouraging for an agent then spending an hour or so presenting to someone only to discover that they are not the decision maker. That is why it is critical to know who the decision maker is and how to tailor your presentation to them.
For example, selling to a finance executive takes a different technique than selling to a marketing director. The finance executive may be more concerned with cutting costs, whereas the marketing director may be more interested in increasing income.
Remember that there may be more than one decision-maker for a specific purchase. That makes knowing how to find them much more important.
6 Approaches for Identifying Decision Makers in 2024
You now understand what a decision maker is, but how can you locate one? If you don't know where to begin, you run the risk of wasting time prospecting rather than presenting. As a result, there is one place you should always begin:
Professionals today employ a variety of tools and platforms. However, LinkedIn is the gold standard. It is known as the world's "business hub." If Facebook is the social network for friends and family, LinkedIn is the social network for business-to-business transactions.
There are two basic approaches to using LinkedIn to find decision-makers:
Use Your Connections - If you already have a connection with the decision maker on LI, all you need to do is send them a message. If you are connected with someone in another department of the same organization, you might ask them who the decision maker is.
Look for Titles - If the above strategy fails, you can search the company on LI for specific job titles that tend to be decision-makers. You'll most likely find the right person, or at least narrow your search.
2. Make a Phone Call
It may sound archaic, but calling the decision-maker is sometimes the best option. The person who answers the phone will gladly advise you who you should contact.
3. Conferences and events
Attending business events and conferences might help you find key decision makers. These events allow you to meet individuals in person and network with the right people in your business. Furthermore, if you attend these events on a regular basis, you will begin to develop long-term relationships with key decision makers, which could be a useful asset in the future.
4. Cold emailing and cold calling
You can't always identify who makes the decisions based on their job titles. For example, the individual with ultimate decision-making authority isn't always the CEO. If you can't reach them through other routes, try cold emailing/calling the company and asking them personally. This could also be a smart alternative for tiny businesses with limited web information.
Reading industry blogs and newsletters might help you identify decision makers. Experts are frequently portrayed as key decision makers, providing insight into their methods and experiences.
6. Knocking on the door
You can also go to businesses in person to find what you're looking for. Although this may take more time, it has the potential to be quite powerful if done correctly. Instead of asking the receptionist broad questions, ask who the best person to speak with for your needs is. You'll have direct access to the decision maker and save time looking for them this way.
Professionals and specialists in your field can also help you identify decision makers. Consultants, lawyers, and accountants frequently have direct access to important decision makers in the firms for which they work. So look for professionals who work for companies in your chosen industry and contact them for assistance in selecting the ideal candidate.
8. Decision-Making Groups
A purchasing decision at the B2B level frequently involves more than one decision maker. This is especially true if your product will need to be implemented across multiple departments.
Furthermore, for morale reasons, decision-makers with ultimate purchase approval may prefer to involve others as decision-makers. Few account executives want to risk introducing a new tool or policy that irritates their personnel.
Companies may even have a policy requiring committee approval for particular purchases, such as those affecting critical business systems or exceeding a predetermined monetary amount.
When there are several decision-makers, as in the examples above, it might be difficult for the seller. You may obtain a commitment from one of the decision-makers just to have someone else say no.
You should also be aware of company influencers. These persons lack the authority to make decisions. They do, however, influence the decision maker with their comments.
Influencers such as secretaries (sometimes known as "gatekeepers") might boost or decrease the salesperson's chances of presenting to the decision maker in the first place.
Why Are Job Titles Insufficient?
Job titles are a great heuristic — or shortcut — for locating decision makers. Consider the fact that your prospects are often CEOs. Attempting to get an appointment with the CEO is usually the best course of action.
However, don't use job titles as your sole prospecting metric. Searching solely for job titles results in missed opportunities. You may end up ignoring organizations that do not have that specific job listed. Alternatively, you could contact someone with the ostensibly correct title only to realize that they are not the decision maker.
Other Methods for Identifying Decision Makers
What other information can you use to identify decision makers if job titles aren't the be-all and end-all? The following information can help you determine who you should recruit for:
Organizational Structure - What is the company's hierarchy? Is it a flat organization that makes decisions collaboratively? Or are the majority of decisions made by a small group of people?
Company Size - A large corporation with 1,000 or more employees has more decision makers. A startup with 20 people is likely to have only one or two.
Different industry standards and laws can influence who the normal decision makers are.
Questions to Ask to Find the Decision Maker
If you believe you have the decision maker on the phone, you must confirm it. Otherwise, you risk having to present to new decision-makers. Here are some qualifying questions to ask to identify every decision maker involved in the purchase:
Who else is a part of this decision?
Who will be the product's end user?
Which criteria do the other decision makers use to assess the purchase?
What was your most recent purchase in this category? What did you find appealing about it? What didn't you like about it?
What is the typical buying process for this type of product?
Who else will be engaged in this decision, besides you?
Customers, in my experience, frequently bring in (job title) to weigh in on this decision. Is that the case in this instance?
What other departments, except (x), will use or benefit from the product?
What must occur in order for this purchase to be fully approved?
Who else should I show this solution to if they have a say in the ultimate purchase?
I want to make certain that all parties are properly informed. What are the names of the others who will have a say in this decision?
I need everyone involved in the decision to be on the phone for my presentation. As a result, there will be no confusion about the product and what it does. Who else could it be?
In my experience, (job title) always wants to have a voice when purchasing a product like this. Do you think we should consult with them before making a decision
Implementing solutions like these can be difficult. Let's make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Who else should we enlist to make sure this happens?
Are you the sole decision-maker, or are you part of a committee?
What part do you play in approving this decision?
How can I assist you in communicating this to your other stakeholders?
You can't make a sale until your proposal reaches a company's decision maker. However, in B2B, finding the decision maker necessitates strategic planning and probing inquiries. So, make sure you use the techniques above to cut down on prospecting time and streamline your overall sales process.
We hope that helps!