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How to Market to the 5 Types of B2B Buyers within an Organization B2B businesses need to have completely different approaches to marketing than B2C establishments. Here's how:

By Shaun Haase

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Last year, 51% of B2B marketers planned to spend more on marketing. While increasing marketing spend is one tactic for growing your business, better targeting can be equally, if not more effective. In order to do this, you must accurately identify each type of B2B buyer within an organization and understand that they each have different selling points, all of which are still aligned with the foremost goal of improving company performance in one form or another. B2B targeting should be tailored to each buyer's specific traits and functions. Here are five common types of buyers, and some suggestions on how best to communicate with each of them.

Analysts

They are tasked with the initial research and analysis to find solution to specific problems and provide recommendations to various decision makers within an organization. While they won't make the final decision, their work is of extreme importance, as the information they gather will serve as a trusted resource for others. In order to help analysts generate insightful reports, be sure to provide as much detailed information on your product as you are able so they can cherry pick relevant information. Data-driven infographics can be a great tool for communicating product benefits in a format that is not only easy to decipher but also quantifiable. Graphs and charts are helpful too, since analysts can simply copy and paste these elements into their reports instead of creating them on their own. Finally, consider providing competitive comparisons with detailed feature lists – these one-pagers make it easy to evaluate multiple product options in one simple task.

End users

They will be the ones using the product on a regular basis. Their opinion of a product carries a great deal of weight and their satisfaction is critical. Not only will these individuals be using the product every day, they will also be the first the ones to raise concerns if it doesn't meet their needs. Constantly seek their feedback to make sure your product is delivering exactly what is expected of it. You may find opportunities to upsell them on additional features/services based on their needs. Since end users are the ones who most frequently use your product, the key selling points for them are the product's functionality, usability, practicality and potential time savings. Don't waste your time on how competitive the cost is or how seamless the backend integrates with the company's existing infrastructure – this information is relevant, but for a different type of buyer.

IT

They must never be overlooked; you must demonstrate to the buyers that your product is both easy to set up and compatible with a wide variety of systems. Provide them with clear and easy steps on integrating your product with existing infrastructure and software. One of the most time consuming tasks that IT professionals face with new products is integration and employee training. Provide facts on the setup process for new employees by showing metrics which demonstrate a short training time and onboarding. Another important aspect of a product is reliability. Highlight uptime and other performance-based statistics that demonstrate stability in order to show IT that your product is dependable and easy to maintain.

Finance

They will play an important role in determining the specific value that your product provides to the company and if it's worth the investment. Focus on both the short and long term benefits so that they can fully understand the benefits your product brings immediately and in the future; make sure to quantify this in dollars saved or earned. Visual graphs can go a long way when trying to prove that your software will provide significant value. Finally, be clear on which position you're taking – are you competing on price alone or overall ROI?

Executives or department heads

They are the most important buyers of all, as they will have the final say once all pertinent information is presented to them. The key step towards winning them over is establishing meaningful relationships. Have your senior leaders attend major industry events and conferences to establish awareness about your product and put a face to the company. It takes time and effort to develop relationships with key executives, so have patience and make sure that your team is well informed and aware of your key message.

When determining the key message, drill down to on one or two essential and unique benefits of your product; simplify your message as much as possible. Doing this will keep executives interested and aware on your product throughout the entire sales process with a consistent message. These buyers are more interested in high-level value than the details so be sure to highlight impactful and tangible benefits through relevant case studies.

As you can see, there are different types of buyers, and correctly marketing to each of them is a complicated process. By better understanding their individual needs, you'll be able to create a message that resonates strongly across each of their respective functions. You'll also find yourself in a stronger position to close the deal, establish long term relationships with your new customer, and most importantly, generate sales to drive the growth of your business.

Shaun Haase

Contributory Author

Shaun brings more than 12 years of business leadership and entrepreneurial experience to his role as CMO of ProsperWorks. He graduated from Standford, obtained various leadership positions and founded two highly successful companies: Bazaar Advertising Solutions (acquired by Epic Media Group), a performance marketing services platform and DNA Games (acquired by Zynga), a social game development company leveraging big data to structure optimized game experiences. Most recently, Shaun ran online revenue at DocuSign, the #1 SaaS eSignature platform in the world.
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