We have all experienced the challenge of trying to please everybody. It’s like Mom trying to plan where to go for dinner with a family of five. One person suggests tacos, another pizza, another the golden arches, another hotdogs, and another seafood. The best go-to in this case might be “eenie, meenie, miney, mo”!
Of course, a decision made by a B2B buying committee is not as simple as using a children’s counting rhyme to randomly select the best product. The point is, decision-making is much more challenging when there are several stakeholders involved.
So, how do you ease this process for your buyers and your team? By getting to know your buying committee more intimately.
Always keep in mind that they have a problem and you have the solution. Here are five ways to help get “in” with a buying committee.
1. KNOW WHAT YOU’RE UP AGAINST
Anytime you’re approaching a buying committee, you should be aware of the challenges ahead. Let’s examine a few that you may come up against.
- Your selling window is small
- The committee is well researched and comparing you to competitors
- There are many people to consider and appeal to
- Getting to the decision-maker(s) will take multiple attempts
- Buyers are often overwhelmed with information overload
- Not every committee member has equal say
Too many hurdles to jump? Don’t be concerned. Even with all of these challenges, they are still in the market for a good solution. You’re in a position to help.
2. CONSIDER THE COMMITTEE’S JOURNEY
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.
Seems intimidating, but only to the ill prepared.
- Take a good look at their customer journeys; they will differ based on roles. Map them out, if necessary.
- Anticipate their pain points and concerns.
- Find a good place to insert yourself within the buying cycle.
- Take an empathetic approach as you provide a solution.
The goal is to make their decision process feel as effortless as possible.
3. RESEARCH THE BUYING COMMITTEE
Vet the committee members. The more you know about them and what they are seeking, the more prepared you will be.
It is up to you to deep dive. Research who your buyers are or who could potentially be on the committee.
Visit the corporate website and research the various roles of committee members. Become familiar with their respective needs and how your solution will meet them.
Today, 69% of business buyers expect companies to anticipate their needs.
It’s important for them to see that you know your stuff and their stuff. This shows that you have invested time and interest in helping them find a solution. This also makes way for personalization in your messaging.
4. KEEP YOUR SALES TEAM ON ONE ACCORD
Collaboration is key. According to a survey, 3% of respondents want to buy everything online but 65% find value in discussing their needs with an expert. This is your sales team’s shot, not just to sell, but to listen and gather information.
Sales teams must be on the same page. Be sure your team meets on a weekly basis, swapping information – notes, transcripts, ideas, insights. Know which sales representatives have been in contact with whom and gain intel on the buying committee.
Assign a point person, if you don’t already have one. You want to make this process as simple as possible for your buyers. Speaking with multiple sales people is a pain and information is easily lost. Also, you don’t want to repeat information or overload your buyers.
Tweak your marketing content to address your buyer’s needs so that it’s relevant. We can’t have sales without marketing! Involve your marketing team in your weekly meetings to keep them aligned with your process. Also, where possible, don’t forget to personalize your content.
5. KNOW YOUR KEY DIFFERENTIATOR(S)
Listen to your buyers and understand the tangible differences between your product and your competitors. Ask yourself how your offer differs from others and designed in a way that solves their specific problem. What makes you better than anyone else?
If you know the company’s needs and have researched your competitors, this part should be a walk in the park.
Look beyond the product to other areas where you edge out the competition. It’s not always about the product. There are several others that may rival your offer.
Find where you can win.
- Is your onboarding process straight-forward, efficient, and seamless?
- Do you provide great training and a clear path to success for your customers to follow?
- Are you thought leaders in your space?
- Are your customer service representatives accessible?
- Is technical support fully equipped and empowered to answer any questions and make decisions to help customers do their jobs better?
Also, be more than a salesperson. Listen for what you have in common and relate to them on a human level. This is part of getting to know them. Delivering exceptional customer and user experience will keep customers loyal.
Ultimately, companies want to partner with those they feel have invested time in getting to know them and their needs. They are in search of the right fit for the long-term.
The process of seeking a solution isn’t something they care to repeat often. Do your part to make it as painless as possible and place them on the path to success.
To learn more about ABM, check out The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Account-Based Marketing.