Getting Appointments with Decision Makers
The better you understand the buyer personas that make up the buying committee for your ideal customers, the better you can tailor your message to meet their needs and speak to their individual pain points.
Typically, there are only one or two high-level decision makers who have the purchasing authority to close the deal with your company. These are the people you ultimately need to reach, but they aren’t the only people deciding whether your solution will be beneficial for their organization.
In order to make account-based selling work for you, you need to target each buyer persona who has a stake in the purchase decision.
should you target?
The best way to get appointments with decision-makers is by identifying who would be the power user of your product or service and which roles they typically have.
For example, if you are selling a high-tech network security software solution, you can begin by asking yourself, “who would be the primary individual using this product?”
We know that individuals with “security” or “IT” in their title would be a place to start.
Your data may suggest that “VP of Security Operations” or “Chief Information Officer”are roles that benefit from and prioritize a powerful security solution, so make those two roles your starting point.
The power users for your solution might vary a bit more or even belong to multiple departments. By mapping these users early on, your SDRs can waste less time bouncing from department to department in a wild-goose chase to find the right person.
As a reference, the cybersecurity roles and pain points below are a prime example of effectively mapped out buyer personas.
Gatekeepers are low-level employees, typically in administrative roles, who are tasked with protecting the valuable time of decision makers. Running into gatekeepers in appointment setting is inevitable, but remember they are not the enemy.
These employees screen dozens to hundreds of calls per day, so the first step is to briefly explain why you’re calling and politely ask who you should be speaking to. For example:
Don’t use a call script when speaking to gatekeepers and don’t pitch your product to them, even if they ask you what you’re selling. This might just give them another opportunity to object instead of transfer you, so stick to a quick value proposition.
Finally, remember that these employees are often well-connected within their companies, so take note of their name and leverage their help in finding
the right contacts as you build out the account in your database.
Sales personas based on role
in decision process
Each persona category plays a unique role on the buying committee and in the overall decision-making process. Depending on which persona you’re speaking to, your SDR team should tailor their messaging to resonate with that role.
Each role will have different needs and priorities, and it’s the SDR’s job to identify what those are. We’ll talk more about identifying the priorities of different roles later in this guide when we discuss how to develop cold calling scripts.
One thing that SDRs sometimes forget to do is to consider the internal dynamics that can affect the purchase decision.
In order for us to identify the needs of the prospect, we need to understand what makes these three sales personas unique and how they work together to come to a consensus.
- The first touchpoint and main point of contact throughout most of the appointment setting outreach
- Might be tasked with finding a new product or service by their director or VP
- Delivers their research and findings to the influencer and/or decision maker
- Depending on the size of the organization, this role is typically held by a manager or specialist level employee
- Receives feedback from the evaluator either directly or indirectly
- Not the end user of the product, but the decision maker will consult with them on the perceived benefits or drawbacks
- This role is typically held by employees at the director level in the same department or a department adjacent to the decision maker
- Controls the budget and has the final sayover whether the purchase will be made
- May never see the product but relies on the influencer and evaluator to identify the value of the product or service as it relates to them and the business
- Often delegates the evaluation and research to the influencer and evaluator
- Typically a VP or C-level executive
Interestingly, there is a direct relationship between average selling price and seniority of the role with decision- making authority. In other words, if your ASP is low, individuals at a lower rank might actually get the final say on a purchase.
For example, if you’re selling a low-cost license product, then your buyers most likely won’t need upper-level management’s approval. The final decision maker for a purchase like this might be a manager or director.
On the other hand, purchasing an expensive enterprise solution likely requires approval from a C-level executive or from decision makers and influencers across departments.
Take this into consideration as you tailor your message for each role and begin your outreach efforts. Depending on the target company’s size, the evaluator and decision maker may be the same person. This is why it’s important to understand how companies are typically structured in your target industries.