The process of B2B sales is usually complex and involves up to 10 stakeholders. Mind that these stakeholders don’t share a single point of view, so it takes enough hot air to run a small city before a decision is reached and the deal is closed.
However, the hardest thing is to get started. And before you start selling you must identify your decision-makers.
“What’s so hard about finding B2B decision-makers?” you may ask. Everything. It’s no longer enough to merely look up people with the necessary job title.
Nothing is worse than wasting precious hours talking to a person only to find out later that they aren’t, in fact, responsible for the final buying decision and you have been barking up the wrong tree the whole time.
So, if you want to identify a decision maker quickly and painlessly, take some time to read some of these tips and suggestions.
Is using a job title the best way of reaching B2B decision-makers?
You enter the job title of your decision-maker into a LinkedIn search field, get the results and start sending emails. Piece of cake, right? If things were truly that easy, businesses wouldn’t be struggling with high bounce rates from their B2B emails and depleted lead databases.
The harsh reality is that using this approach lowers your chances of finding viable opportunities and distorts your perception of key decision-makers.
- You may be pursuing the job title that looks perfect for your services but in fact, your real decision maker is located elsewhere.
- You may end up ignoring a bunch of viable customers because their company doesn’t have the job title you’re looking for.
- You don’t pay attention to the specifics of the company. For example, the operations can be covered by a job title that is not on your list but is highly relevant to your goals.
The end result? Endless feeling of exhaustion because you know that your search takes away your time but doesn’t provide you with anything of value in return. Additionally, you get a couple of straws to grab on but those hopes are ruined as soon as you send the first email to the title that looked like the perfect fit at first.
So, what should be your fail-proof course of action?
Create a decision-maker persona
Be strategic and realize that your decision-makers may differ from company to company. Both small businesses and enterprises assign different titles to your area of interest. So, if your search revolves around just one particular title, you’re heading your campaign towards inevitable doom.
Your ICP profile should include several decision-maker personas. To outline those, you should know your qualifiers.
- What revenue are you counting on?
- What industries are a priority?
- What size should your target companies be?
- What kind of tenure should they have?
Aside from these questions, you should also ask yourself:
- What kind of decision-maker am I looking for? Yes, it’s important. Some businesses need decision-makers who can become a link between you and the person in charge of making the final decision. Some companies need those who cover all the processes related to making a purchase. Some businesses target end-users. Knowing your type is knowing how to structure your campaign and unique value proposition.
- How long the sales cycle is going to be? You must understand the buying process that occurs at your prospects’ company and see how your product fits in with all of this. Know who makes the big decisions and who makes small decisions that lead to those big decisions, etc. To pinpoint the right person, you must be clear about the budget percentage you're asking for, and how your product fits in with the company’s strategic vision. Sure, everybody wants to be a gamechanger. But in B2B outside sales, it’s really about delivering the product to the people who need it. The more high-value your product is, the more people will be involved in the process.
- How does my website look like? Once you understand the general profile of your decision-maker, try to put yourself in their shoes and look at your website from their perspective. What page would they be interested in? Which one of your CTAs would catch their attention?
Build a framework for your research
Your decision makers work in complicated ecosystems. Each one of these systems has an individual structure. Knowing their trends and struggles lies at the core of the best sales prospecting practices.
Of course, before you start figuring everything out, you need to do massive research. This is the reason why we at Belkins don’t put everything on our SDRs’ shoulders and have an entire Research department to do all the digging. After this, they provide the SDRs’ with all necessary data, so they could do their nurturing magic.
What can help you with organizing the data? In order to achieve this, you should ensure that your entire company has adopted the account-based selling framework. It’s the most productive and efficient way of organizing both your end-users and your decision makers. In addition to properly segmenting your audience, you can use that framework to assemble and assign the right team to work with the targeted titles — from account managers to SDRs. You should be able to pick the right people for the right job - understanding the current needs and specifics of every person that matches your ICP is the only way to make it possible.
Our general advice: Don’t be satisfied. Just don’t. Avoid the satisfaction, no matter how much you want to praise yourself and feel like most of the work is done.
In your search for B2B decision makers, let your dissatisfaction guide you. It sure feels good to find the right address from the first try but the world of data is a tricky place.
For example, LinkedIn is the primary source for finding decision makers. But it’s not enough to tinker with search fields for a while and call it a day. There are alternate databases and assets that can help you make your search for decision makers more productive while removing the risks of finding invalid data. In our article about sales prospecting tools, we have outlined a wide range of sources that you should take a look good at.
Did you find this piece useful? What are your thoughts regarding the tools we mentioned? Don’t be shy and send us an email! We’d love to know your thoughts.