It is often noted that successful salespersons interact with the right employees of their prospects/customers.
What is less often discussed is with how many of these folk a salesperson should interact. The question is more and more relevant because decision-making is increasingly and more and more diffused.
IDC’s 2010-2012 survey has something to say about this question.
In a survey of IT buyers (see figure 8) customers/buyers report the following statistics when asked “How many people were on your buying team including yourself — that is, the group actively involved in influencing the short list of vendors considered and making the purchase decision?”:
- Companies with 100-499 employees: 3 to 4 people
- Companies with 500-999 employees: 4 to 6 people
- Companies with over 1,000 employees: 5 to 7 people
Noteworthy is that in two out of three scenarios the number of employees involved in making a decision is increasing.
What a salesperson needs to know is that buying is a collaborative effort. As such, not only a wider view of the process is needed the typical marketing funnel and CRM single-person view of leads is lacking in a broader view of how customers buy unless used by sales as a single strand in a larger weave.
*Things That Need To Go Away: Marketing and sales efforts, which focus on persons, contacts and a decision-maker and are not holistically geared at accounts i.e. multiple persons.