How to Get Closer to the Buying Committee
August 20, 2019
The typical B2B buying committee comprises 6.8 people on average. In the technology sector, buying teams can be even bigger, averaging 12 to 14 participants.
Reaching each person on the buying committee with the right message adds a layer of complexity to closing deals. To provide salespeople with a deeper understanding of the inner workings of a buying committee, we went straight to the source. We interviewed the buying committee at Relativity Space, a small but rapidly growing high-tech engineering firm that builds reusable rockets.
The result of these interviews is “Get Closer to the Buying Committee,” a new guide that gives you a first-hand, real-world perspective of how the buying committee wants to work with salespeople.
Understanding the buying committee’s point of view makes it that much easier for you to establish the right relationships and guide prospective accounts down the purchase path. Relativity Space’s buying committee places a high value on salespeople, especially those who do their homework, understand the needs of a small but growing company, and can suggest useful solutions.
Read on for a cross-section of illuminating quotes on the buying process from Relativity Space’s buying committee:
We started as two people three-and-a-half years ago, are now around 85 and will be at 150 by year’s end. Every time the company doubles in size, we expect every process to break. To stay ahead of that, we will distribute more purchasing authority, effectively elevating large purchases to the leadership team and making sure purchasing doesn’t become a bottleneck as our processes scale quickly. —Jordan Noone, CTO and Co-Founder
To win our business, vendors should think strategically about where their product is heading long-term. We’re a young company with huge growth potential. We aren’t looking for a one-off purchase. We’re looking for vendors that understand our mission and align with us early so we can grow with them.—Alex Kwan, Head of Finance and Business Operations
As someone who does a lot of purchasing, I receive a great deal of ads, emails, solicitations, and inbound mail. These range from being completely irrelevant to ones I’ll log in the back of my mind for future reference. What was irrelevant at one time can become relevant in the future. Having seen or heard something from a vendor, I can research it when the time is right. —Ruby Willman, General Operations Manager
Trust is fundamental to our core mission at Relativity. We’re trying to do a fantastical thing in terms of 3D printing a rocket within a short duration. To achieve that goal, we need to work with vendors that can meet our schedules and satisfy our needs for high-quality products. —Alex Kwan, Head of Finance and Business Operations
The last thing we want is someone not telling us correct lead times or giving the wrong technical information. You can make erroneous and deleterious decisions based on bad information. By maintaining a good relationship with honest, open, and clear communication, salespeople can work with us to jointly achieve desired objectives. —Eliana Fu, Senior Materials Supply Chain Engineer
It’s critical that a salesperson knows a lot about Relativity and our brand and our mission. Then they can understand if their technology aligns with our business and technology now as well as with our future vision. —Alex Kwan, Head of Finance and Business Operations
A nightmare sales process is when the salesperson will not give me the information I need, such as a lead time, until I place an order. If the product won’t arrive for four months, we need to know and source another vendor. Not telling me that your product has a really long lead time until I’ve signed a contract is unacceptable. —Ruby Willman, General Operations Manager
It’s a turnoff when sales reps haven’t done their due diligence and don’t know if they can solve a problem we are experiencing. —Jordan Noone, CTO and Co-Founder
Meeting in person is important when it comes to a vendor understanding our needs and us getting a true sense of their product, such as touching a piece of metal that’s going in a rocket ship. —Eliana Fu, Senior Materials Supply Chain Engineer
[Cold calling] is a desperate act, which leads me to believe they’re not confident in their subject matter. When a salesperson is extremely confident in their subject matter, it breeds confidence in me, making me more inclined to work with them. —Eliana Fu, Senior Materials Supply Chain Engineer
Once we understand who the sales representative is, LinkedIn is a good source to vet them. We don’t have time for someone to get up to speed. We use LinkedIn to make sure the salesperson has the right experience, can help us, and will add value. —Ruby Willmann, General Operations Manager
My priority is to make a human connection and that means I don’t want to deal with overly eager or aggressive salespeople. I want answers and data without any pressure. And I want to take the relationship at a comfortable pace. — Tosin Akinnagbe, IT Technician
A dream sales process is when a salesperson says they read about our dedicated launch site in Cape Canaveral, explains their company’s experience with launch sites or Cape Canaveral, and how they can help. That’s helpful, because while many of our employees have experience with dedicated launch sites, this is new for some of us and we appreciate any resources that help us learn more. —Ruby Willmann, General Operations Manager
A good sales relationship can echo around a business due to the nature of the trust built with influential people. We’ve built strong relationships with companies and sales reps that made bets on us as a very small company and chose to support and prioritize us despite our limited credit history and limited funds on hand. It is embedded within our company’s culture to use that vendor. And it’s a bidirectional relationship. While we benefit from discounts and early insight into the vendor’s new products, they get our feedback and a future return on their sales efforts.—Jordan Noone, CTO and Co-Founder
Early on, we needed to figure out how to 3D print large vessels and had to work closely with our vendors to make the process work. Having our vendors’ support after the sale has been critical to our success and to trusting them as our partners. —Alex Kwan, Head of Finance and Business Operations
For a deeper understanding of how to reach the buying committee (and how LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help), download “Get Closer to the Buying Committee” today.