According to IDG Connect, the average mid-to- large enterprise now has ten individuals involved in the average IT purchase decision. This is double the number of stakeholders compared to 15 years ago.
These stakeholders include representatives from IT, Finance, Executives, Business Unit Representatives and Procurement. And while the business stakeholders individually can’t say “Yes”, they can exert a definitive “No” on key purchase decisions.
Many IT sales professionals know this all too well, having won over the technical team, but losing the deal in the later stages by failing to secure business unit, executive or finance approval.
What’s a Solution Provider to Do?Although part of a joint business decision, you can’t blame individual buyers for being a little selfish: caring most about what’s in it for them. And if you look at the diversity of the team, you can see that what matters to IT is going to be very different than what matters to a business unit like Manufacturing or Product Management, which in turn, will be dramatically different from what Finance and Procurement ultimately care about.
For IT, the value of the solution might be to address high IT operating costs and improve IT support productivity. For Product Quality it might be high quality failure rates, generating a reduction in reworks, returns and spares. For Finance it might be reducing days-sales-outstanding and days-to-close. Each stakeholder has their own unique set of business objectives, challenges, current costs and risks, KPIs, perceived value and competitive criteria.
To be successful in driving faster, more favorable decisions, it’s key to understand the role each plays in the purchase decision, and present what matters one-to-one to each stakeholder.
We recommend arming sales and the buyers with personalized answers to the three key questions:
This should include:
The Bottom-LineAs the buying process evolves to include more stakeholders with unique decision drivers, it is more important than ever that IT sales and marketing understand the role these players have in the decision making process, and specifically deliver the content the stakeholder needs to justify a “Yes” decision.
To do this, we recommend leveraging interactive tools that can automatically provide the quantitative and qualitative value-focused content each role needs to logically and emotionally connect with and justify the purchase decision.
In turn, this assures that decisions don’t get derailed, and help to drive faster, more favorable purchase decisions.