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Why You Need to Engage the Entire Buying Committee (and Not Just a Few Decision-Makers)

Betsy Utley-Marin
June 12, 2024 6 MIN Blog

We’ve entered what Forrester calls the buying groups era. Gone are the days when your account-based campaigns just needed to reach a single decision-maker to make an impact and close the deal. Today’s buying decisions are made by a group of individuals who complete their online research independently but work together to identify the best-fit solution for their organization. 

And while Forrester reports that marketing budgets are already attracting and engaging these buying groups, the current systems and processes being used still fail to uncover and engage key buying committee members who can increase and accelerate group conversion. 

Embracing strategies that engage the buying committee is necessary to stand out. Let’s look at why full-group engagement is critical, and how you can ensure you’re reaching everyone where they are.  

Understanding the Power of the B2B Buying Group 

The expansion of the modern B2B buying committee over recent years mirrors the shifting complexities and increasing demands of the digital transformation. The rapid technological advancements and global market dynamics have heightened the procurement decision stakes. As a result, the responsibility of making complex purchase decisions no longer rests on the judgment and experience of a singular authority. Instead, decisions now take a more inclusive and multidisciplinary approach that requires the feedback and agreement of a broader group of a spectrum of backgrounds, departments, and expertise areas. 

The rationale behind the buying committee evolution is twofold: to leverage diverse insights for a more holistic evaluation and to diffuse the accountability of decisions across several shoulders. This reflects a broader understanding that the implications of purchasing decisions extend far beyond the immediate concerns of cost and functionality. Contemporary B2B transactions often impact multiple departments and require long-term scalability and adoption to succeed. The collective intelligence and strategic alignment of multiple decision-makers ensures a wider view of the purchase benefits and impact.  

Each buying committee consists of a diverse group of stakeholders, each representing different departments and bringing distinct perspectives to the procurement process. While the exact composition of the buying group varies depending on industry, company size, and the solution being purchased, the typical committee will contain professionals from finance, who focus on the budgetary implications and return on investment; IT, who assess the technological compatibility and security concerns; and operations, who are interested in the efficiency and scalability the solution offers. Other departments, such as human resources or legal, might also be involved depending on the purchase.  

Each member’s evaluation criteria reflect their departmental objectives and concerns, making it essential for marketers to not only leverage data to understand who is on the committee, but the specific lens through which they view potential solutions. Recognizing these varied roles and the expertise each member contributes is key to developing a sales approach that addresses and resonates with the collective priorities of the committee. Tailoring communication and materials to meet these diverse needs can facilitate a more informed and unanimous decision-making process.  

3 Strategies for Engaging Every Buying Committee Member 

Your engagement strategy needs to reflect the collaborative dialogue and the collective wisdom of the buying committee. When the committee comes together, data suggests that each buying group member shares four to five independently gathered pieces of information with the group to align on and determine a unified choice. Understanding and embracing all committee members’ viewpoints not only amplifies the chances of sealing the deal but also sets the stage for a lasting partnership. It’s not just about recognizing their individual importance but about leveraging their collective wisdom to achieve mutual success. 

1. Rely on Data-Driven Insights 

Data is key to not only uncovering the different buyer personas within the buying committee, but also understanding the content and messaging that will drive them toward a decision. Make sure to use both first-party data from direct interactions (sales insights, CRM data, lead/form fill information) and third-party intent data to understand these buyer personas. A combination of firmographic, technographic, and buyer intent data provides a clearer picture of who is looking for a solution and what they care about the most.  

 2. Focus on Personalization 

Targeted content creation based on buyer concerns, preferred content types, and buyer journey location will significantly increase your overall ABM strategy. Each member of the buying committee usually represents different functional areas and brings a unique perspective to the purchasing decision. Personalization allows you to tailor your content and messaging to address the specific concerns, roles, and needs of each member, making the information more relevant and compelling. 

Use data to not only determine buyer needs and concerns, but also where each buyer spends their time online to choose the most effective channels for content distribution. Here, it’s important to understand that personalization goes beyond just what content and messaging you use to engage buying committee members. It’s about how you engage them. Buyers progress through the funnel at different rates. One key decision-maker might still be in the awareness stage while everyone else has moved on to the consideration stage. By providing relevant information and solutions at the right time, you can more effectively support the decision-making process, addressing any objections or questions specific to each stakeholder’s viewpoint. 

3. Recognize the Power of Committee Champions 

While B2B purchases require consensus among the entire buying committee, engaging key members who advocate for your product or solution during the purchasing process can increase your chances of success in the sales process. These champions are enthusiastic about the benefits of your offering, understand its value proposition, and are willing to persuade other members of the buying committee. Once you’ve identified potential champions, focus on building relationships by showing a genuine interest in their needs and challenges. Offer support and resources to help them navigate the internal decision-making process and make a more compelling case to other committee members. It’s important to stay engaged with them throughout the sales process by addressing any concerns or objections they may have and providing ongoing support as needed. 

Start Engaging More Members of the Buying Committee Today 

According to Forrester, adopting marketing practices that engage all buying group members is necessary and urgent work. It not only allows for a deeper understanding of the organization’s comprehensive needs, but taking the time to connect with each stakeholder enhances the perceived value of your offering. A holistic engagement strategy distinguishes your approach in a crowded marketplace, showcasing your dedication to customer satisfaction and depth of service. It sends a powerful message about your company’s ethos and commitment to collaborative success. 

Get in touch to find out how Madison Logic can help you activate a more effectively identify and engage all members of the buying committee today.