While crafting your product, service or pitch it is crucial to consider how the decision making process is going to look and who the people involved in the purchase decision making are. Like in most aspects of sales, decision making within a company is more complex, as it involves figuring out the structure and hierarchy of the organisation. Here are the main few types of stakeholders, whose opinions might determine the purchase decision.
Influences are essentially anyone whose opinions might count in the purchase decision. The influence can be internal, or it can come from outside the organisation, and it ca also be formal or informal. The influencers’ relevance comes from their ability to affect the opinions, and ultimately the choice of the decision maker.
Recommenders are the people who do the research and evaluation, based on which they recommend for or against the purchase. They are different from influencers, because their word carries more weight and can essentially make or break the deal.
Economic buyers are the people with the purse strings. They sit further up the decision chain and often control or approve the purchase or budget. They can be corporate VPs, oce managers, spouses, principals or people respected in an organization for their expert knowledge
They may be the economic buyers or they may reside even higher up in the decision making hierarchy. Decision makers wield the ultimate purchase authority. Sometimes you call them the CEO and at other times they are simply mom and dad. As they are the ones making the final call, it is absolutely crucial that you make sure you understand their motivations.
End users are the ultimate beneficiary in or outside the organisation. They are the day-to-day users of a product. They interact with the product, use it, love it, and hate it. A deep understanding of their need and motivations is vital, even though the end user may often have the least influence in the sales or adoption process. Think about a child’s toy. The child is excited to get the toy and to play with it, but the parent is the one making the decision to purchase it.
Saboteur are the people that can obstruct or derail the process. They can lurk anywhere and hold titles including CFO, CIO, spouse or purchasing agent. They can be found in strategic planning departments or in your own home, where their veto can slow things dramatically. Find them. Identify patterns that reveal where they’re hiding in the decision process.