Business Buying Process

Identify the business buying process for your customer in the beginning of the relationship. Your best sales closing technique will not be useful if you do not understand who has to approve and sign off.

The wider your base of contacts within the customer the better chance you have of understanding the buying process for their business.

Do you know what your customer needs to do in order to buy your product and/or service? You could be taking all the right steps - it is not just what you need to do as the sales person, it is also what the customer needs to do to get the approval to buy from you.



Chart Buying Process for Customer's Business

What is the buying process for your customer's business & how can I get the information?

Document the buying process for your customer's business

  1. Ask your main contact to flow chart the buying process in their business. If they are not sure then ask about next steps - who approves it after they do, etc. If your main contact does not understand the buying process in their organization than you need to broaden your reach within this organization
  2. Does your client need to put together a justification? Will discussion be held to discuss the product and/or service? How can you help?
  3. How is funding approved within the organization? Understanding this process will help you understand the buying process within the business.
  4. Talk to other vendors that are not competitors. The buying process is probably the same or similar for the for similar dollar amounts. Sharing and pooling information with other sales people can help fill in any gaps you might have about your client's buying process.
  5. What departments will be effected by your product and/or service? They could be part of the approval needed.

  6. Develop a questioning strategy to gather information. Ask the open ended question. Ask questions all across the organization. A big mistake many sales people make is to rely on 1 person within the organization.

    Ask your key contact "What happens next?", etc.

  7. Identify who is who.
    Who is/are...
    The gatekeeper
    The end user
    The person that owns the money
    The proposal reviewers
  8. Identify where you customer is in the buying process.

Once you know the buying process for your client's business you can then plan and align your next steps to their process. Use your sales closing technique each step of the way. Develop a questioning strategy to help you developthe road map through the business buying process.


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