In the past, categorizing B2B sales leads was a pretty simple concept: any decisions having to do with buying technology were generally made by IT leaders, meaning that you could craft your sales pitch to one person. However, this situation has changed over the years, and the changes only figure to become more pronounced going into 2015.
We are now living in a world where technology has direct applications to a variety of business processes--including marketing, sales, customer service, and more--so it should come as no surprise that B2B sales teams can no longer succeed focusing on only one type of buyer. For instance, if you're selling software that supports marketing processes, you might have to sell that software to marketing, IT, and senior management. Buying decisions are now made across departmental silos, so sales teams need to be able to craft sales messages that can account for this new reality.
Determining the buying hierarchy
While buying decisions are increasingly collaborative, there will most likely still be one person who has the final say. Identifying this person is important, as they will serve as the focus of your sales efforts.
In addition, all buying organizations will have key influencers who may not have the final say, but will provide input to those who do. In order to make the most of these key influencers, it's important that you find out who among them would benefit the most from your product, as these people can be advocates for our cause. Once you've identified these people, provide them with resources they can use to sell your offering to others within their company.