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sales strategy - key people

Advanced Sales Training, E-learning

· sales strategy,sales process,sales training,e-learning,Key People

This is the third in a series of advanced sales training and e-learning articles.

Sales Strategy - Key People

Successful sales strategies often hinge on understanding and effectively engaging with the key people involved in the purchasing process. In the world of B2B sales, this is often referred to as the "Buying Centre." To excel in sales, you need to know who the key players are, how they exert power and influence, and how to identify sponsors and points of focus. In this article, we will delve into these essential aspects of sales strategy.


a) The Buying Centre

The Buying Centre is a concept widely used in B2B sales and marketing. It refers to the group of individuals within an organization who are responsible for making purchasing decisions. Understanding and effectively engaging with the Buying Centre is critical for sales success. The key members of the Buying Centre typically include:

The Buying Centre

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1. Decider / Decision Maker: The individual or group who FORMALLY identify there is a requirement to act and make the decision to purchase. They will be affected by personal, organizational and business environment factors. Their final decision may be subject to the approval of a higher authority.


2. Influencers: Influencers are individuals who can impact the decision-making process, even if they don't have the final authority. They might be subject matter experts or stakeholders with a vested interest in the purchase.


3. Buyers: Buyers are responsible for the actual procurement process. They handle the paperwork and logistics involved in making the purchase.


4. Gatekeepers: Gatekeepers control access to the decision-makers. They are often administrative assistants or secretaries. Building a good rapport with gatekeepers can make it easier to reach the decision-makers.


5. Users: Users are the people who will actually use the product or service being sold. Their input can be valuable in influencing the decision.


6. Approvers: A high ranking person in the company, individuals who can formally veto or authorise a purchase (can say yes or no but may have limited involvement in the process). Identifying and connecting with this individual is crucial because they have the final say.

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The Approver

Understanding the roles, needs, and concerns of each member of the Buying Centre is essential for tailoring your sales approach. Different people have different priorities, and addressing those can significantly impact the buying decision.


b) Power & Influence

In any organization, there are individuals who hold more power and influence than others. Recognizing these key power dynamics within the Buying Centre is vital for your sales strategy:


1. Formal Power: Some individuals have formal power, meaning they hold positions of authority within the organization. The Decision Maker typically falls into this category, but other high-ranking executives may as well.


2. Informal Power: Informal power is often derived from expertise, trust, or relationships. Influencers, particularly subject matter experts, may wield considerable informal power within the organization.


3. Allies and Advocates: Identifying allies and advocates who support your product or service can be a powerful sales strategy. These individuals can help you navigate internal politics and influence the decision in your favour.


4. Champions: Champions are individuals who actively promote your offering within the organization. They are enthusiastic supporters of your product or service and can be instrumental in securing the deal.


To maximize your effectiveness in sales, it's crucial to map the power dynamics and identify key influencers and decision-makers. Building strong relationships with those who hold power and leveraging the support of advocates can significantly impact your sales success.


c) Sponsors & Points of Focus

To advance your sales strategy effectively, you need to find sponsors within the organization. These sponsors are typically high-ranking individuals who support your product or service and are willing to advocate for it. Here are some key points to focus on:


1. Building Relationships: Developing strong, trusting relationships with sponsors is essential. They need to believe in your solution and be confident in your ability to meet their organization's needs.


2. Understanding Their Goals: Sponsors have specific goals and objectives. Tailor your sales pitch to show how your product or service can help them achieve those goals.


4. Navigating Roadblocks: Sponsors can help you navigate internal roadblocks and objections. Be prepared to work with them to overcome challenges that may arise during the sales process.


In conclusion, a successful sales strategy is not just about selling a product or service; it's about understanding the people involved in the decision-making process. By identifying the members of the Buying Centre, recognizing power dynamics, and cultivating sponsors, you can enhance your ability to win deals and build lasting customer relationships. Sales is not just about what you sell; it's about who you know and how you engage with them.

Questions? Does your sales strategy take in to account the dynamics of the buying centre and key people? For more information about e-learning for Advanced Sales Training visit