How to identify the decision maker in the sales process

When it comes to closing deals, it’s important to know if you are talking to a decision maker or not. Identifying who’s the person in charge can be a bit of a challenge. So how do you identify the ultimate decision maker for your product or service?

Do your homework

Start with the company’s website. Browse through the site to learn more about the structure and size of the organization. Check out the ‘About Us’ section and try to figure out who might be the person that would be responsible for the department you wish to speak with. Use social platforms like LinkedIn to determine if this person is the main stakeholder in the decision making process for your product or service.

Once you have a clear view of your decision maker’s profile, make sure you actually have the right individual. You can do this by getting the answers to a couple of questions when you are in actual contact with the intended decision maker:

  • Are they in charge of the budget?
  • Do they make the final decision in the purchasing process for the product or service you have to offer?
  • Who else might be involved in the decision making process?

Are the answers to the first two questions ‘Yes’? Good, it seems you are a step closer to identifying the decision maker for your product or service. But you’re not completely there yet.

Related: 6 steps from initial selection to actual sales activities

Identify the key influencers

There are a few important factors that influence the decision making process. Experiences in the past play a role, but actual people can be a major factor of influence too. People whose role or perspective may have an impact on the purchase decision. Like a software end-user, for example. Or someone within the company whose perspective (intentional or unintentional) exerts pressure on your decision maker’s decision. We call these kind of persons key influencers and we always make sure these people stay on our radar as well, because every piece of information about the decision maker is valuable. And besides, you never know when this influencer will lead you to a decision maker, right?

Get in touch with the decision maker

So, now you know who you are targeting, and you know who might be involved in the decision making process. Based on this information you should be able to determine if you have found the decision making person for your offering. Still not 100% sure but can’t wait to get in touch? Sometimes simply arranging an appointment with someone within the organization can be the first step of getting in touch with your decision maker. Especially when the person you are meeting appears to be that key influencer!

Tips: Don’t automatically focus on the top floor. The credence that the president or owner is the company’s decision maker is a logical one, but not always the right one. If you for example are a SaaS provider and you developed an amazing HR software solution, getting in touch with a company’s owner is nice but pretty useless when this person is not the one who takes the actual decision. Getting in touch with the company’s HR manager will probably be way more effective when it comes to creating an opportunity to actually sell your solution.

Tools: A (simple but) steady CRM is crucial to build a good relationship with your sales prospect and to keep track of the entire sales process.

Convinced that you found the decision maker for your deal? Great, you are one step closer to selling your product or service! Feel like you need help with the selling process? Don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us a message, we’re happy to help you out!

Topics: Sales