If you are new to the world of business and wondering what a company goes through before reaching any purchase decision, then read on because here I’ll discuss about the purchase decision steps followed by most companies. Understanding these steps would be crucial for you to influence their buying process.
Recognizing the Need: Any decision to make a purchase is absolutely need based for a company, unlike individual buyers who may purchase products or services just for their happiness. No emotions are involved when a company decides to purchase anything. It’ll buy only what it needs. If you can fulfill their needs, then bingo!!
The source of these needs can be traced back to anywhere in the organization. In the buying center concept, “initiators” are those members of the organization who recognize any need for the first time. In fact, these initiators also buy or use the products or services in question. It’s important for you to know who they are and what makes them tick.
The ‘need’ for new solutions is usually identified by users, while buyers identify any requirement for re-purchasing any products. A new trend has emerged among companies to make automated re-purchase decisions by removing any human involvement. So, how can you barge into the process to promote your products or services?
As a marketer it’s very important for you to understand this aspect well, as it would be a great challenge to replace the products that are currently being purchased by the company. Straight re-purchase situations are even more difficult to handle as companies often reach the purchase decision immediately after recognizing a need.
Companies usually generate a specifications sheet documenting the requirement for any particular product or service that needs to be purchased. Several members of the buying center may be involved in creating the specifications document.
So, if you want to sell your products or services to a company, try to develop close contact with those who play a lead role in creating the purchase specifications documents. This will definitely improve your chances of being considered while a company is buying any products or services that you supply.
Even though it may sound very simple, the actual process of reaching a purchase decision in a company is quite complicated as various factors are taken into account.
Search for a Better Deal: Now this is one point that is different between individuals as customers and companies as customers. You’ll hardly find a person who’ll want to save 2 cents on a gallon of gas. But a company that has a large fleet of trucks and cars, saving even a cent would be a great amount. That’s the reason they’ll always search for suppliers that offer them a better deal. When companies decide to change a vendor, most of them are looking to reduce their costs. Are you ready to fit the bill?
The ‘search’ step for companies in their buying process involve identifying a number of suppliers who meet product specifications set by them. Members of the buying center then screen the suppliers to select the vendor that offers them the best deal. What you should do at this point is thoroughly analyze the business in question and make an offer that is customized to their needs.
But there are some industries where buyers are given other options for selecting suppliers other than through supplier presentations. These industries include chemicals, auction sites and online marketplaces. If you are one of them, then keep your eyes and ears open! Something off the beaten track may work out well for you!
As a supplier, try to become one of the options that a company would consider while making any purchase. In some cases, you may have to become a part of an approved supplier’s lists, thus, ensuring that members of the buying center will not overlook your offer when they fix any deal. Suppliers in auction sites or online marketplaces should try to be included in those websites that are relevant to their business.
So, now that you know how companies make their purchase decisions, I hope you’ll be able to develop the right strategy to be at the right place at the right time and with the right offer! It’s time to beat the recession, so all the best!