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Strategies for Managing Multiple Decision-Makers

By Andrea McOwen

Do you know who is going to make the final decision to buy your solution? Can you identify the various categories of influencers in the buying process? In this video, Andrea McOwen, President of Strategic Enhancement Group, shares three strategies for managing multiple decision-makers in sales opportunities to win more business.

Andrea McOwen: 00:01 Hi, I'm Andrea McOwen, President of Strategic Enhancement Group. Did you know that more than 85% of sales opportunities involve multiple decision-makers? Yet, providing salespeople with the skills needed to manage that decision process is often overlooked by organizations. Today, we're going to take a look into how to manage multiple decision-makers.

Andrea McOwen: 00:32 Think about your own sales career. Was there ever a time when you weren't clear on who was involved in a decision and what their roles were? Have you ever made the mistake of thinking someone had a lot of influence on the decision and then realized later that they did not? Did you discover too late that the key decision-maker had a strong preference for another vendor?

Andrea McOwen: 00:54 It's important to identify who the decision-makers are and their role. Who will make the final decision? Who are the influencers? Salespeople can sometimes fall into a trap of thinking that the person with the biggest title will make the final decision. This can be dangerous. The person with the biggest title might not be the final decision-maker but may just be approving the budget. Influencers usually fall into one of three categories: the Funder, the Technical Expert, or an Evaluator.

Andrea McOwen: 01:26 I know someone who is a salesperson at a large CRM company. He had a sales opportunity at a large pharmaceutical company. The members of the decision team were the CEO, the Executive Vice President of Sales, the Sales Enablement Officer, and several others. The salesperson assumed the VP of Sales would be the final decision-maker, and the Sales Enablement Officer would heavily influence the decision. It turns out that the IT project manager was also on the decision-making team. She would be the person who handled customizing the CRM, managing its integration with other applications, and creating the rollout plan. To my friend's surprise, she was the decision-maker. Others on the team were the funder or evaluators.

Andrea McOwen: 02:14 My friend underestimated the degree of influence each member of the team had. He also did not consider the disposition of the decision-makers toward his offering and his company. It turns out that one of the members of the team who had a lot of influence on the decision had used a competitive CRM at another company. He went into the buy-in process knowing what company he wanted to work with. My friend failed to uncover that. So it is important to determine whether each decision-maker is an advocate, is neutral, or opposes you, your company, and/or your solution.

Andrea McOwen: 02:50 Finally, once you have identified the buyers' roles, determined their degree of influence, and their disposition toward you and your offering, then select the appropriate strategy and apply that strategy to influence the customer's decision process.

Andrea McOwen: 03:05 For example, if my CRM friend had realized one of his decision-makers had a relationship with a competitor, he could have highlighted the interests of others with a positive disposition toward his solution, thus elevating his solution to others on the team.

Andrea McOwen: 03:20 In summary, when dealing with multiple decision-makers, identify the role of each stakeholder and determine who will make the final decision.

Andrea McOwen: 03:29 Determine the degree of influence each person has and what their interests are, and their disposition toward you and your offering.

Andrea McOwen: 03:37 Apply a strategy that elevates your solution over that of your competition and win that sale.

Andrea McOwen: 03:43 To learn more about managing multiple decision-makers, please visit StrategicEnhancementGroup.com.

Published: June 19, 2024

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Andrea McOwen

President

Andrea McOwen has over 30 years of business experience and has been with Strategic Enhancement Group for 28 years. As the President of Strategic Enhancement Group she is leading the day to day and future direction of the company. Andrea manages the business relationships with Strategic Enhancement Group’s international business partners and coordinates the appropriate resources needed around the world to meet our global clients’ needs. Andrea has managed large global implementations for many diverse global clients and is experienced managing projects in 36 countries in every region of the world. Andrea has a strong foundation in sales, service and management. Andrea’s ability to quickly demonstrate an understanding of organizational issues, needs and priorities has gained her the confidence and trust of customers and employees alike. Andrea graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a B.S. degree in fashion merchandising/interior design with a minor in business administration. Prior to joining SEG she worked with a merchandise wholesaler in sales and marketing and was a General Manager in retail.

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