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Smart Marketers Include Several Decision-makers At Each Company In The Database

Nov 17, 2007
It is preferable to send mail to all the people who affect a purchase within the customer company, from the top managers to the clerk who uses the product - try to hit every level of influence. Don't forget the money and techie people who will be impacted by the decision to buy as well. People like to get involved in the process or provide input, particularly when it comes to making a purchase.

For success, a B2B marketer needs to include a rich network of influencers in the database of prospects. At times, over fifteen people at a particular company will end up affecting the decision to buy. Most decisions are certainly made by more than one person, so it is preferable to include many people at one company than to contact one person at many companies. That is, it's better to contact ten people at a thousand companies than one person at ten thousand. The point here is quality over quantity, and the goal is to make contact with a series of influencers per target company to get a small group of buyers interested in making the purchase and going though the process together.

At times some third parties can assist with implementing these strategies. Some such parties are business associations, trade analysts, and industry press. Info companies such as Dun & Bradstreet can help determine the titles of business people who have buying power. For a fee, trade publication managers can put forth a list of their subscribers who reported that they influence purchases in the marketer's product or service category. Then the marketer can add these listings to their own database, enhancing and expanding the influencer info there. This can really help improve a marketer's idea of the inner-workings of a company, also fine-tuning the knowledge of who the people are, what their titles are, and how things work at a particular business.

The B2B marketer can also identify influencers by speaking with members of sales departments. A business' salespeople understand how the purchase process functions and who influences the process. This requires a lot of time but has the benefit of increased personal face-to-face interaction. Ask the following questions when speaking with salespeople:

- Do customers buy these goods and services to solve business or technical problems?

- Is it a technical person or a department manager who leads the purchase process? What problems does this person need to solve, and how will the product or service help solve these problems?

- How much budget authority is necessary in order to approve the purchase? Is the cost of the product or service in the authorized spending range?

- Does buying authority ascend to the manager level or the executive level? Ultimately, who will approve the distribution of funds?

- In a particular business, who will be impacted by the decision but won't actually influence the decision? There are many individuals at a company who are important in the buying process and smart markets will develop relationships with all of them.

Strategies like these can greatly improve your direct marketing database and increase B2B sales.
About the Author
Mac McIntosh has over 20 years of advertising, marketing and sales experience. Visit: http://www.sales-lead-experts.com for more info.
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