In the intricate world of enterprise buying, understanding the decision-making process is crucial for sellers aiming to close deals. The buying process isn't just about the product or service in question; it's about the people behind the decisions.
Let's dive into these roles and understand their significance.
1. The Economic Buyer:
The linchpin of the buying process, the economic buyer is the individual or group (e.g., a steering committee or board) that gives the final nod and signs off on the deal.
While they might not always be hands-on during the selection phase, no purchase happens without their approval. Sellers often grapple with the question: "Who is the economic buyer?" Identifying this role is very important.
2. The Decision Maker:
Often mistaken for the economic buyer, the decision maker is the one who evaluates options and provides recommendations. They might be delegated this responsibility by the economic buyer. However, their power stops at making recommendations; they don't have the authority to seal the deal.
3. Technical Buyers/Gatekeepers:
These are the evaluators. They assess specific aspects of a deal, such as its technical feasibility, commercial terms, or legal conditions. Think of them as the guardians of the company's standards. While they can halt a deal if it doesn't meet certain criteria, they don't possess the power to finalize it. Their feedback, however, is invaluable.
4. User Buyers:
Often overlooked, user buyers are the ones who will ultimately use the product or service. They might not always have a significant say during the buying process, but if they don't see the value in a solution, it can spell trouble for sellers. Their satisfaction is a testament to the product's utility.
5. The Coach:
A bonus role, the coach isn't always present but can be a game-changer. This is someone within the organization who believes in the seller's solution and offers insights about the decision-making process, perceptions of the solution, and guidance throughout the buying journey. Building a rapport with a potential coach can be a strategic move for sellers.
In conclusion, the enterprise buying process is a dance of multiple roles, each with its significance. For sellers, recognizing and establishing contact with these roles can be the difference between a successful deal and a missed opportunity. As you navigate the complex world of enterprise sales, remember: it's not just about what you're selling, but also about understanding who's buying.
Herwig shares his entire process in our latest Playbook:
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