3 Proven Ways to Find, Reach and Engage Multiple Influencers and Decision Makers
Are you talking to all the key stakeholders in a buying decision? Do the decision makers and influencers want to talk to you? Or do they run from you? The importance of identifying and understanding the roles of all the players, uncovering the real decision makers and influencers, and engaging with them strategically cannot be underestimated.
In a 2015 survey of over 100 enterprise sales leaders, 50% missed their quotas for the year and 33% attributed their lost deals to a lack of visibility with key decision makers. And the winners? They named their #1 success factor as being able to establish key relationships with most decision makers and influencers. That’s a powerful statement right there. Here are some tips to make sure you’re talking to the right people.
#1: Find the Strategic Decision Makers
Ask questions about what the overall business is looking to achieve and try to pinpoint their priorities. If their answers are too narrowly-focused or too generic, then you’ll need to make contact with executives higher up the chain. Know how buying decisions are influenced and made in the organization to help find the right decision makers.
#2: Get to Know Everyone-Even the Naysayers
Many people would rather only talk to those they know and who like them. This is because they prefer to hear what they want to hear: good things. As salespeople, we need to understand everyone’s point of view, both good and bad, to get the full picture.
When you’re faced with decision makers and influencers who are not necessarily your biggest fans, don’t ignore them – instead, make a concerted effort to talk to and understand them better. Get to know everyone’s point of view so you can chip away at their objections little by little. You can’t make everyone happy, but you can work to neutralize these naysayers once you understand their issues.
#3: Build Credibility with the Top Level
Change the conversation from features/benefits to their overall business goals and priorities. Executives at the top level of an organization tend to want to discuss how to achieve specific business outcomes. They may not give you details if you haven’t yet built credibility with them, do your research – there is plenty out there. If you cannot find specifics, then try to understand the types of business outcomes that like-type executives care about. In addition, don’t just talk in the context of what you sell. Talk more about what they are looking to accomplish both inside and outside your realm. Let them know you want to understand their challenges in the broadest sense to truly understand their priorities and best help them achieve their key business goals. You may find out that what you sell is not their highest priority, which will allow you to manage your time more efficiently.
When you effectively identify, understand and win over all the key stakeholders in a deal, especially top-level decision makers, and influencers, you will no longer be the one they run from. Instead, you will become part of their solution to improve their success and reach their goals. Ensure you know who is controlling and influencing the buying decision, whether they like you or not. It’s the only way to get the full picture so you can address objections, differentiate yourself from the competition, and demonstrate your value.