Traits of Top Salespeople

"Top salespeople are focused: they keep their eyes on their goals without getting distracted."

Month: June 2022

Selling To A Committee

Selling To A Committee

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, buying committees are getting larger. Salespeople have no option but to become skilled at dealing with buying committees.

Whenever a company makes a purchase decision that involves a team of people, factors including self-interests, politics, and group dynamics will influence the final decision. Tension, drama, and conflict are normal parts of group dynamics because purchase decisions typically are not made unanimously.

One critical research finding is that 90% of study participants confirmed that there is always or usually one member of the evaluation committee who tries to influence and bully the decision their way. Moreover, this person is successful in getting the vendor they want selected 89% of the time. In practicality, it can be said that a salesperson doesn’t have to win over the entire selection committee, only the individual who dominates it.

According to Gartner, the typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves six to 10 decision makers‚ each armed with four or five pieces of information they’ve gathered independently and must deconflict with the group. At the same time, the set of options and solutions buying groups can consider is expanding as new technologies, products, suppliers, and services emerge.

These dynamics make it increasingly difficult for customers to make purchases. In fact, more than three-quarters of the customers Gartner surveyed described their purchase as very complex or difficult.

Understand the Power Matrix

As you meet people and develop a sales opportunity within your prospect, you need a tool to help you make sure you develop relationships with the correct people with the appropriate power and influence to help you.

The Power Matrix is a great tool to understand the organization. I promise you, that if you can successfully fill out the Power Matrix in every account, you will be phenomenally successful. You can read more about the Power Matrix here and learn much more in my book Eliminate Your Competition.

You may purchase my book Eliminate Your Competition from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

Map Out Committees Early On

It’s often impossible for an outsider to get a clear picture of an organization’s internal structure and personnel layout, but we’re better equipped to map it out than ever. One simple first step is to pull up a list of the company’s employees on LinkedIn and seek out job titles that are commonly involved with researching vendors or choosing solutions.

If you’ve already developed a solid relationship with one contact at a company, you might consider asking them outright about additional key players. (“Is there anyone else on your team I should be chatting with about this? Would you mind introducing me?”)

Work with Marketing to Build and Shape Brand Awareness

One pitfall that can disrupt a unified front in the buying committee is when one member takes a liking to your solution, but another has never heard of your company. You can mitigate this risk by collaborating with your marketing colleagues on strategic brand awareness efforts. The tools available through LinkedIn make it easy to target your ads toward particular accounts, titles, or seniority levels.

And remember, it’s not just awareness that matters, but perception. Ads and content need to portray your brand in the right way — the same way you’re trying to sell it. So it’s crucial that the sales team take an interest in helping to create marketing messaging.

Keep Track of Movement within Accounts

Buying committees aren’t static. People enter, leave, and change roles. This is why we consider multithreading (connecting with numerous people at an account) to be so critical and why the ability to save accounts and leads in Sales Navigator is such an integral feature.

When you do so, you’ll receive sales updates that keep you posted on job changes and other important developments with your prospects. This enables you to react quickly and ensure you’re not losing touch with a committee without even realizing it.

Make Content Easy to Share

Ideally, the compelling content you share with your contacts on a buying committee will be shared with other members. Take steps to facilitate this outcome by ensuring your documents, videos, links, and pricing sheets are easy to pass along.

When it comes to making large purchase decisions, involving a team of people will always be messy. There will be tension, drama, and conflict as everyone tries to assert their own self-interests and negotiate for what they want. This is normal, and you should expect it. The key is not to let these dynamics derail the process or prevent you from selling your product. Learn to navigate these waters and understand how group dynamics can influence decision-making. You can sell your product with the right approach even when faced with committee buy-in challenges.