Are You Missing Key Buying Team Members in Your Manufacturing Deals?

5 minutes
Sep 06, 2022
Sales Effectiveness

Modern buying teams are large and difficult to uncover. And when key decision makers aren't identified or actively engaged throughout the sales process, even late-stage deals can be threatened. According...

Modern buying teams are large and difficult to uncover. And when key decision makers aren’t identified or actively engaged throughout the sales process, even late-stage deals can be threatened.

According to Gartner, the average buying committee consists of 14 to 23 people. Each member has unique needs, pain points, and issues to solve when they’re exploring new solutions to purchase.

In a relationship-driven industry like manufacturing, a lot of money and time are invested into getting to know buyers and becoming a trusted partner. By identifying all members of the entire buying team, your sellers can:

  • Build more meaningful relationships and trust
  • Accelerate sales cycles, and
  • Generate more revenue

Let’s learn how.

More Insights, More Opportunities

Failing to accurately uncover the entire buying team at a target account can lower your chances of winning the business. Or, if you aren’t aware of decision makers at a current customer account, you may miss out on opportunities to expand your business.

But closing the deal takes more than simply identifying key stakeholders. You also need to:

  • Know how engaged each member of the buying team is with your brand and content
  • Craft personalized campaigns to increase engagement

This might sound like a lot of work, but with the right tools, it’s pretty straightforward. And the results can be astonishing.

(For instance, 6sense was found to deliver 450+% ROI, a 2x increase in average contract value, a 4x increase in win rate, a 31% increase in opportunity volume, and more in a Forrester 2022 TEI Study.)

Let’s look at how manufacturers can discover hidden members of buying teams, determine their influence with stakeholders, and increase engagement.

How to Find Hidden Buying Team Members

The secret to uncovering hidden committee members is using technology that can identify anonymous buying behavior in real-time and find contacts you didn’t know existed.

Since not every member of the buying team is attending meetings, filling out forms, or chiming in on email threads, they won’t leave a trackable digital trail. But those crucial decision makers are still researching your product, visiting your website, and searching for topics related to your company.

The right technology will help you capture those previously hidden and anonymous buying signals. We call this uncovering the Dark Funnel™. Because nearly 70% of the buyer’s journey is happening anonymously, you need to capture those activities if you want to find members of the buying team that are flying under the radar.

Shining a light on the Dark Funnel™ means you’ll uncover:

  • Pages buyers visit on your website
  • Topics they research on the internet
  • Third-party review sites they’re visiting
  • Competitors they might be researching at the same time
  • Insights into their readiness to buy

Identifying unknown buying team members requires the ability to capture their anonymous activity and connect that data with your existing information about the team. Capturing that data in one digestible place makes it much easier to visualize and keep track of the entire buying team.

See Your Influence on the Entire Buying Committee

With so many people making up the average buying team, it can be difficult to understand the level of engagement you have with each individual member. Some decision makers might be more familiar with your offerings while others don’t know as much. Having real insights into each individual’s level of engagement makes it easier to understand your overall progress with an account.

For instance, your sellers might have a great relationship with one plant or one department, but unaware that another facility is heavily interested in your services. An incomplete picture could lead to missed opportunities for expansion or new business.

A platform like 6sense can give you a quick and easy visualization of the depth of your reach within an account, as seen in this screenshot:

A screenshot of the 6sense Persona Map shows how many people within various departments are engaged in buying journey research.

A visualization of the personas within a company and their level of engagement in the 6sense platform.

This data will help you identify potential champions, or areas you need to make more headway.

How to Provide a Winning Experience to Every Buying Team Member

Once you have a good understanding of the entire buying team and each members’ levels of engagement, it’s time to consider how to best engage them.

Initiating Interest

After identifying new members of the buying team you’ll want to proactively engage with them so they are as knowledgeable as possible about your offerings and existing relationship with their company.

Since you know their role, department, and location, you can add them to campaigns you’re already running. Even better, you can use real-time data about their interests and research to tailor an even more personalized experience.

Deepening Engagement

The key to deepening engagement with buying team members is to treat them as individuals by providing a personalized experience for each of them. With the right tool, even anonymous online research can yield rich insights that help tailor messaging.

When people do online research, even if they never fill out a form, they leave a trail of clues about who they are and what they’re interested in. By uncovering these activities, you suddenly gain insight into the content they’re reading, the topics they’re researching, and the pain points they’re facing.

For manufacturers, this information is extremely valuable and ensures marketing and sales are working toward the same goal. Instead of wasting time and money on generic campaigns and outreach, your teams can be sure they’re focusing on the activities they know will resonate with each member of the buying team.

Unlocking deep insights makes it easy to create content, webinars, presentations, videos, or any other type of content that will speak directly to the buying committee and their individual needs.

Conclusion

In the relationship-driven world of manufacturing, it’s critical to account for every member of the buying committee. If you haven’t engaged with a critical decision maker, it could imperil your deal. Discovering the entire buying team, mapping their level of engagement, and using insights to deliver each member a personalized experience is easy with the right technology.