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The Power of Group Decision Making on B2B Sales

The Power of Group Decision Making on B2B Sales

Recognising the Power of Group Decision Making

CEO...

The Power of Group Decision Making on B2B Sales

Recognising the Power of Group Decision Making

CEO of Customer Think Corp, Bob Thompson, penned an article in October 2012 where he berated those involved in B2B sales and marketing for failing to acknowledge the growth in customer power when it came to the transaction process. He accused them of being slow to respond to the effect and still using 50 year old approaches towards their customers rather than embracing new strategies and techniques and really engaging with their consumers.

Currently, 50-80% of B2B purchasing is completed before there is any sales involvement at all, and that sellers are being cut out of the early stages in transaction development as consumers find more effective options.

If today's B2B sellers and marketers are to re-establish their position within the transaction process, they must accept that their role is to be an integrated element in the group decision making exercise rather than the primary component. 

The Group Decision Process
Christine Crandell of New Business Strategies also recognises how B2B purchasing has altered in the past five years and has identified the motivations behind the new approach to strategizing a purchasing process:

In the first instance, a change in the company or its market will stimulate the requirement for a new product or service. An internal group of decision makers will be formed to evaluate whether or not the change in circumstances will best be met by the purchase of an external solution. The group of decision makers will begin an internal dialogue of trying to find the optimum solution for the needs of the company; this could include tools such as social media, internet searches or communication with other users within their sector.

As research of the best available practices is evaluated, a draft strategy will begin to take shape. If the group of decision makers decide that the purchase of a business solution is a viable option, only then will a list of potential sellers be developed and explored.

By this point, two thirds of the process will have been completed through the group dynamic, leaving the vendors with limited opportunity to actually 'sell' their products or services. The power lies very much in the hands of the decision makers who will use their strength to articulate precisely what they require from the vendor. This could include issues such as the negotiation of costs, the identification of product weaknesses and the request for detailed demonstrations and product or service veracity. 

Power to the People
Unlike B2C purchasing, which is very much led by the psychology of the individual when it comes to making buying decisions, B2B is founded on the power of group decision making dynamics. It is a wise seller who appreciates the give and take effects on the group decision. They will be composed of a team of individuals, working together in a bid to add value for their company from the products or services which they are acquiring.

Both consumers and sellers will be working to a common end, to optimize their company profits through repeat sales and repeat purchases, making it vital that both parties should develop a sustainable, durable and empathetic relationship.