Last week I shared some insights from a recent conversation I had with a colleague of mine, Tim Fixmer, who runs a successful B2B group business in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, named CCI Media LLC. As we discussed the many changes in marketing over the last 3 decades, Tim reminded me of the “considered purchase” concept — a complex buying decision of financial impact: risk and reward — that I covered in last week's Marketing Minute.
To put a bow on that conversation (holiday pun intended), I wanted to share some more of what was discussed with me, including the role of the B2B magazine in impacting decision-making units (DMUs). Here it is, mostly in Fixmer's own words.
Rarely, if ever, will a single individual make a “considered purchase” alone. Analysis and input from others in the same and different departments and disciplines within and outside the company is almost always involved in the buying process. A purchase is a “big deal” and thoughtfully supported decisions are best made by a team with varied and complementary experiences. Identifying the members of the DMU can be difficult and getting the right introductions to people who are not only hard to find, but once identified, difficult to get to — are the cause of many lost sales. Many sales are missed because the selling team has overlooked an important member of the DMU.
The best, most successful professional salespeople know how to correctly identify a DMU. They also know how to backtrack and cultivate anyone they’ve ignored. Even top-notch sales teams don’t always accomplish the DMU penetration as well needed by individual situations. In many situations, decisions were made behind the scenes by members of the DMU who were never contacted by the sales team and who consequently made decisions with the information available.
Several scholars have identified a template for a generic DMU: