In the intricate field of sales, identifying and connecting with the right decision-maker can make or break a deal. While engaging with various stakeholders within an organization has its time and place, it's the connection with the economic buyer that truly drives a sale to completion. This key individual holds the power to sign agreements and make final decisions, often overshadowing the influence of other involved parties.
Therefore, understanding who the economic buyer is and learning how to communicate with them effectively is vital. Let’s briefly explore the importance of the economic buyer, discuss strategies for reaching them, and demonstrate why focusing on this essential role can help you streamline the sales process and increase the likelihood of success.
Economic Buyer: Definition
You've been there—chatting enthusiastically with the IT manager, who's receptive and keen about your SaaS solution. It feels like a match made in sales heaven. Meet the user buyer, your internal ally, always on the lookout for something to ease life within the organization or solve a problem. However, this isn't the person with whom you will ultimately seal the deal. The deal maker—the one you need to serenade—is the economic buyer.
Who Is the Economic Buyer?
Oftentimes interchanged with terms like decision-maker or C-level executive, the economic buyer is the one holding the pen. They sign the agreement or nod in approval, and in bizarre twists of sales industry fate, can say 'no' even when everyone else says 'yes.' With the power to reallocate resources and adjust budgets, mistaking this buyer for anyone else in the sales process is like aiming your telescope at the wrong constellation. And it’s one of the top missteps salespeople make.
Why Is It Important to Include the Economic Buyer in the Sales Process?
Aligning with the economic buyer is essential, as understanding and meeting their priorities can help overcome hurdles to closing the deal. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of and actively engaging with this pivotal figure can significantly enhance your ability to achieve successful sales outcomes. Perhaps most importantly, it allows you to foster a deeper alignment with the authentic needs and aspirations of the client.
In contrast, failure to connect with this key decision-maker can result in lost time as well as potential opportunities and profits. It can also be like handing your potential deal over to your competition on a silver platter. Because if you aren’t talking to the economic buyer already, it could very well be that your competition already has their ear.
Advantages to including the Economic Buyer in the Sales Process
Including the economic buyer in the sales process not only accelerates the process, but smoothens the road to closing a deal. Here are just a few ways it helps:
- validates the commitment of the user buyer as a genuine internal ally
- facilitates direct alignment with decision-making priorities
- minimizes potential roadblocks and objections in the deal-closing journey
- increases the likelihood of closing the sale
As Jakub Hon, CEO here at SALESDOCk, is known for saying:
“If you’re not aligning with the economic buyer and instead just talking to your ally, oftentimes the deal will slip from your pipeline. Guess why? Because the competition is talking to the other stakeholders and involving the economic buyer in their sales process."
"If you’re not in control of the sale process, there’s somebody else controlling the process.”
How to Get to the Economic Buyer in Order to Include Them in the Sales Transaction
Navigating to the economic buyer can sometimes feel like finding the secret door in a maze. You've got to be patient, clever and direct. Here are a few tips suggested from our growing family of sales industry experts:
- Always be honest. Transparency is key here. You should always let your internal ally know why you need the connection to the economic buyer.
- Ask targeted questions. For example, ask questions about the organization’s approval process so you can start mapping it out. Additionally, ask questions about particulars like budget and revenue to uncover whether your champion knows the answers, or knows someone who does.
- Ask unanswerable questions. Pose queries to which the user buyer likely won’t be able to respond. This can be particularly effective if you get the sense that the user buyer is hesitant about passing along information or is feeling bypassed.
- Use a time-based trigger. This could simply be in the form of a statement to the user buyer that they need to facilitate a connection to the economic buyer within a set time frame. Otherwise, your boss will not allow you to continue investing resources in the relationship.
- Be blunt. When you’ve given it your all, sometimes it’s the only other way forward. Just remember to do it in a way that will continue to keep you aligned with your user buyer all the way through the process. After all, you still want them on your team.
And remember, as we’ve talked about before, nothing can replace an in-person meeting.
Take an even deeper dive. Check out the podcast episode entitled “The Sales Evangelist: Jakub Hon | How to Engage Economic Buyers and Get Them to Talk” on Apple Podcasts. And be sure to follow us on LinkedIn so you will know when part two of our series on economic buyers is published here on our blog.