The purchasing behaviour in a complex sales logic is determined by the customer’s collective way of making decisions – their decision culture.
Sales excellence is dependent on the buying behaviour of the customer. This is not only a matter of how your customer contact is behaving. Decision processes involve more and more people. On average 7 different departments are involved in a purchasing process, according to a study from Mercuri International. And according to a study from Marketing Sherpa, 21 decision makers are involved on average. This makes it critical to understand the customer’s collective way of making decisions. Our research, shows that there are several distinct decision cultures that you gain from being able to adapt to:
- Subjective doers. Strategically immature customers with a short term planning horizon, that are people-oriented. Consider problems mainly to be related to products and delivery, and always solves them with personal contacts with the supplier.
- Objective doers. Strategically immature customers with a short term planning horizons, that are process-oriented. Rely in their decision making on formal criteria, rules and procedures.
- Subjective planners. People-oriented customers but with a mid-term planning horizon. Rely on references, recommendations and long-term personal relations.
- Objective planners. Process-oriented customers with a mid-term planning horizon. Consider problems to be related to maintenance and service, and solves them with processes and routines.
- Developers. Strategically mature customers with a long-term planning horizon. Are both people- and process oriented. Consider problems from a growth- and development perspective.
Segmenting customers based on decision culture will improve your ability to qualify opportunities, match sales approach with customers, and in the long run, build sales excellence.