How to Influence B2B Customer Decision-Making

How to Influence B2B Customer Decision-Making

Launching a startup is not easy, and the corporate world can be very cruel. The corporate world is difficult to access, and its decision-making process is neither quick nor easy. Many people intervene, exert influence and may even veto our proposal.

Our survival will largely depend on our effectiveness in converting business opportunities into new clients. It does not matter if our product is good, or if we offer an innovative solution: if we cannot access our potential clients and speak “their language” we will not sell… and the rest does not matter.

It is necessary to know how they think, how these types of clients work, how they make decisions, who intervenes and how long it will take to close the operation, since it could be weeks or even months. We must understand (and then “hack”) this process in order to prosper.

What exactly is B2B?


B2B means “business to business”, that is, companies whose customers are other companies just like eWorldTrade. You can also find B2C models -which market directly to the end consumer-, B2B2C schemes -they sell to companies, although they also have some kind of contact or interaction with the final consumer- and even C2C -particles who sell to others. Some use B2A to rate companies whose main business depends on public administrations!

How does decision making work in corporate environments?


There are tools such as the empathy map or the person file focused on one-person archetypes, on understanding a “typical” client, their characteristics, habits, needs, difficulties and aspirations… but is it always that simple? Obviously the answer is no.

In complex areas such as corporate, the decision does not depend on a single person, so the segmentation work must go further to collect the “wealth” of these decision-making structures, represent them and recognize the roles that are part of it. . This will then allow us to “attack” those potential clients in an optimal way, and even provide a different value proposition to each profile based on their interests or enhance the influence of certain actors.

In addition, when the person in front of us must buy “on behalf” of your company, he is making a decision that can affect both third parties and his own reputation: deciding a possible promotion, a raise, etc. Our emotions as human beings are part of us, whether we are at home or at work: having to be accountable to bosses or colleagues –and the insecurity that this sometimes causes-, the need to impress them and look good, etc.

The relationship between rational and emotional motivations, or between the needs of the company and those strictly personal, come into play until the final decision is reached.

WHAT PROFILES INFLUENCE B2B DECISION MAKING?

Identifying all the people involved in the process and giving each one what they expect and need is key to achieving a higher conversion rate in customers and closed operations in less time. There will be people who can approve or block the operation, or whose opinion can tip the balance.

EXECUTIVE MASTER IN MARKETING, SALES AND DIGITAL STRATEGY MANAGEMENT

Learn step by step to develop an integrated marketing plan with a global vision of the mediaSome of the roles to consider to define our Decision Making Unit are:

  • User : This is the person who will actually use your product or service.
  • Champion : He is the person most interested in what we offer, and our main advocate during the process. Sometimes it tends to have a technical profile.
  • Buyer : The person who controls the budget and has the power to authorize or make the financial disbursement.
  • ” Influencers ” : People with experience or reputation in the matter whose opinion is taken into account in the company.
  • “Veto Power” : They have the ability to block the purchase process for various reasons.

The list is not closed and there may be other specific roles of each sector or industry that we can consider and include so that everything makes sense.

FIGHTING THE “STATUS QUO”

When we enter a market we must consider that the “problem” on which we act will already be being solved in some other way (probably worse), associated with a “status quo” or equilibrium that we must break. Sometimes there may be hidden forces or interests that hinder or directly prevent a purchase decision in our favor. We need to know those details to face them (or get around them) and be part of the system by changing that balance without being harmed.

I want to know more about this!

If you want more, you have at your disposal this totally practical webinar , where you will discover how the decision-making process works in the corporate sphere and you can start mapping it with simple tools, “hack” it and increase your options of getting B2B clients. Enjoy it for free in audio or video!

Do you want to become a sales and marketing professional? We recommend the  Executive Master in Marketing, Sales and Digital Strategy Management  with which you will learn step by step to develop an integrated marketing plan with a global vision of both conventional and digital media.

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