Buying Teams Don’t Have to Be Cloaked in Secrecy
Today’s buying committees are large and amorphous. Gone are the days of handshake agreements on the golf course. Closing a deal now requires influencing a large group of people.
The more buying team members you can identify, the stronger your competitive advantage will be.
The average size of a buying team nowadays is between 14 and 23 people, according to Gartner. You could play a full game of football with the higher end of that range!
With that many people involved in a deal it can seem impossible to understand each of their unique motivations, speak directly to their individual concerns, and win every single of them over and close the deal.
That task becomes even more difficult if you don’t know there are members of that buying committee behind the scenes pulling the strings. You may not have spoken with them or found their information while prospecting, but they could still be a crucial part of making the final decision.
Let’s take a look at a few ways you can uncover the full buying committee, understand their engagement levels, and craft personalized experiences for each member of the buying team.
How to Uncover Hidden Personas
If a buyer at a critical account is doing their best to stay behind the scenes — say, reading your content but not filling out forms, only gathering internally with their teams — it’s difficult to understand who they are or how to reach them.
The secret to uncovering hidden committee members is utilizing a platform that can enrich your data. Relying on form fills, manually updating your CRM, or crawling through meeting notices in an attempt to map out the buying team all but guarantees you’ll miss people.
To ensure you’re capturing those missing titles and departments, use technology that can automatically and regularly find the personas you care about. Instead of hunting on LinkedIn, you can let your tech stack work for you so you have a clear picture of the organization.
See Your Influence on the Entire Buying Committee
Once you’re starting to capture the personas you’ve been missing, it’s time to understand their level of engagement. Even if you didn’t previously know about a Director of Revenue Operations, they could still know a lot about your company, your offerings, and the ongoing opportunity.
To gain visibility into the entire landscape of the buying team you’re working with, you need to have an understanding of the level of engagement you’ve reached with each department and persona.
Your sellers might be getting stonewalled by one department telling them there’s no budget or interest, while another team is keenly interested. An incomplete picture could lead you to give up on an account that is ready to buy.
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:
By combining both the ability to acquire personas you are missing and gain insight into their level of engagement, you have real-life data about which departments and titles are most influential to your deals — and where you should focus your efforts.
How to Engage the Entire Buying Team
Once you have a good understanding of the entire buying team and its level of engagement, it’s time to consider how to best engage the members of that committee. Like we mentioned earlier, each individual will have different goals and concerns. It’s crucial that you deliver an experience tailored to their unique needs.
The key to giving them that personalized experience is to understand the topics, value drivers, and solutions that speak to them. Even if they’re performing anonymous research and ducking meeting invites, you can still gain knowledge about their activities by capturing buying signals.
By uncovering their Dark Funnel™ activities, you suddenly gain insight into the content they’re reading, the topics they’re researching, and the pain points they’re facing.
Instead of creating generic campaigns focused on the wrong personas, you can start launching highly-focused campaigns that speak directly to those you know are most likely to be receptive — leading to higher quality engagements and better opportunities to move the deal forward.
While buying teams might seem large and scary, once you’ve uncovered the personas lurking in the shadows and found their level of engagement, it becomes a lot easier to align marketing and sales to deliver an experience that delights your buyers.
It’s easier than you think to uncover buying teams at your key accounts. Artificial intelligence built for B2B can automatically spot critical personas, pull them into your CRM, and help you understand their needs and interests.