How Many Decision-Makers Should You Engage?
By Paul Reilly
Reilly Sales Training’s latest research reveals that top-achieving distributor salespeople actively engage 5. 6 decision makers in the buying process.
This research proves that several individuals influence
the decision-making process. Distributor salespeople
can no longer rely on one individual to make the
For over 30 years, Reilly Sales training has analyzed
top-achieving salespeople. Over those years, top achievers emphasized the importance of relationships. Top
achievers attribute most of their success to their customer
relationships. Top achievers believe customer relationships
differentiate them from the competition. Top achievers
are not only product and application experts; they are
relationship management experts.
Salespeople often meet with only a couple of decision
makers. They fail to penetrate the account deep enough.
This leaves an account vulnerable. If the main contact
leaves, the salesperson has no relationship. The salesperson has to start over.
Only meeting with a couple of decision makers limits
the salesperson to a narrow view of the organization.
Every decision maker has a different set of needs and
different view of the organization. If you’re only meeting
with a couple of decision makers, you’re not completely
satisfying the organization’s needs.
There are multiple opportunities in every account.
Consider the average number of SKUs for the industrial
distributor. The distributor offers these SKUs because the
customer has a need. Different decision makers have a
need for different solutions. Meeting with fewer decision
makers means fewer opportunities. Each new decision
maker represents a new opportunity.
Distributor salespeople need to set new goals. Too
many distributor salespeople focus on growing sales
instead of growing relationships. Salespeople view an
existing opportunity and tell themselves, “My goal is to
sell two additional product lines,” or “My goal is to sell to
the customer’s other locations.”
What if you focused on building relationships instead
of growing sales?
There is a better metric to determine account
penetration. Rather than focusing on product lines and
total sales, focus on relationships.