The Roles In a Typical Buying Team — and How to Use ABX to Woo Them

5 minutes
Mar 30, 2022
Account-Based ExperienceSales Effectiveness

The modern B2B buying process is complex and lengthy. Gartner reports that these days, there are typically six to 10 members of a buying team, and each one has their...

The modern B2B buying process is complex and lengthy. Gartner reports that these days, there are typically six to 10 members of a buying team, and each one has their own goals when purchasing a product. And it’s your job to ensure their needs are met throughout the process.

Most sellers don’t have a clear picture of that buying team. Gartner also reports buyers spend only 17% of their time speaking with sellers — meaning you don’t have much face time to converse with your potential customers.

That means a lot of the buying team’s time is spent beyond your view. They’re researching on news sites and blogs, reading industry content, or speaking with their peers. All of this anonymous activity is being conducted in what we call the Dark Funnel.

ABX Gives You Critical Insights into Your Buying Teams

To truly understand your buyer’s team, you must utilize ABX (Account-Based Experience) tactics to:

  • Discover the members of the buying team
  • Understand the pain points each individual is facing
  • Learn what content resonates with them
  • Deliver a buying experience personalized to their role

ABX is all about delivering a personalized journey to your buyers so they feel like you are speaking directly to them and their needs. Not every sales cycle will be the same, so why use a one-size fits all approach to your selling?

There are six typical buyer personas that are typically associated with a buying process:

  • Initiator — The person who kicks off the process
  • Influencer — Typically a high-level executive who drives overall strategy
  • Decider — The person with final sign-off on the decision
  • Buyer — The person who signs paperwork and completes the process
  • User — Day-to-day user who will be managing the product and its offerings
  • Gatekeeper — Acts as point-of-contact and controls information flow

Let’s explore some typical roles you might encounter in a B2B buying cycle, where those roles fit into the above personas, and how you can win them over.

C-Level and VPs: Less Face Time, More Relevant Engagement

Any major B2B purchase will eventually make its way to the desk of a C-level executive or VP. These people drive strategy at an organization and are responsible for signing off on big purchases.

Your face time will typically be limited with these people. ABX activities for these roles should focus on influencing them when you’re not speaking directly to them.

Their buying personas include:

  • Influencer
  • Decider

Because of their outsize influence in the process, you must understand their goals and provide them with relevant information.

Below are two typical positions in an organization, what they care about, and how ABX activities can get them to your corner.

Chief Revenue Officer

CROs are concerned with everything related to revenue, which means their position is squarely in the spotlight and has huge responsibilities.

This position is growing quickly, so don’t be surprised when you encounter more CROs during your sales process. Ventana Research states that  25% of organizations will have a CRO by 2023.

What they care about:

  • Increasing their revenue team’s deal size and win rate
  • Clear picture of revenue — where it’s coming from, when it’s being booked, etc.
  • Efficiency and lowering costs to acquire customers

How ABX can win them over:

  • Create content that highlights your organization’s impact on driving revenue
  • Don’t neglect the big picture in conversations with other buying team members — the CRO is an influencer and will be asking these questions

Chief Marketing Officer (or Chief Market Officer)

The CMO oversees overall brand direction, focuses on building a strong pipeline, and ensures their teams are aligned with sales goals.

What they care about:

  • Real and direct impact on driving pipeline and revenue
  • Consistency in messaging and branding
  • The competitive landscape
  • Building an efficient tech stack

How ABX can win them over:

  • Understand their current state — what technologies do they currently use?
  • Highlight how your solutions help their tech stack, using customers who are similar to them
  • Utilize their branding and messaging to tailor your conversations

Directors and Managers: Reach Them at the Right Time with the Right Information

These are the people who are researching your product (and your competitors’), reading your content, and eventually reaching out to you.

Effective ABX activity for these roles is a mix of uncovering their activities, engaging with them at the right time, and delivering highly relevant content.

Their buying personas include:

  • Initiator
  • User
  • Gatekeeper

Let’s look at some of the roles you might encounter at this level.

Director of Demand Generation

The Director of Demand Generation is all about driving pipeline and engaging with the company’s target audience. There’s a good chance they’ll be a heavy user of your platform, or will interact with it regularly.

What they care about:

  • Functionality and ease-of-use
  • Integrations to existing technology
  • Clean and accurate data

How ABX can win them over:

  • Deliver content relevant to the keywords they’re actually searching
  • Ditch the forms — don’t block their path to good content
  • Serve targeted ads that reflect their current place in your buyer’s journey

Sales Manager

Sales Managers oversee sales activity such as cold calling, email activity, and following up on leads. Most likely, your platform will have an effect on how the sales team does its job. That means the Sales Manager will be involved in the process.

What they care about:

  • Conducting meaningful sales outreach
  • Moving prospects further down the funnel
  • Hitting quotas

How ABX can win them over:

  • Reach them at the right time — sellers are incredibly busy so you need to make sure they’re actually in-the-market for your solution
  • Highlight how you integrate with their existing technology to improve their workflows

Conclusion

The B2B buying process can be long and arduous. If you don’t know who makes up the buying team on the other side of the table, you can’t be as effective when selling.

Using ABX tactics can help uncover the members of the buying team and help you target your activities to give them a personalized, and effective, experience.