Updated April 13, 2022
Ad agencies provide a valuable service to B2B clients. They help the companies they work with reach new audiences and earn new clients. However, even the most effective ad agency won’t sustain itself without maximizing its sales sources and continually refreshing its stream of clients. To do that, your agency needs to consistently reach decision-makers and sell them on its capabilities. But that can often be quite difficult to do. That’s why we’ve put together the following article. It includes helpful strategies that you can use to identify and appeal to B2B decision-makers more effectively. Keep reading to learn more.
Who Is The Decision-Maker?
A decision-maker is someone within an organization who’s entrusted to make high-level decisions. Ad agencies almost always need to get the approval of a decision-maker to enter into a contract with a new B2B company.
This means that to continue growing your agency, you need to be able to locate the decision-makers within an organization, speak to them directly, and sell them on what you can do.
It can be a real challenge to find and appeal to B2B decision-makers within an organization — especially if you’re attempting to sell your services to a large company. The next section covers some tips you can begin using to make this process easier on yourself.
Tips For Identifying B2B Decision-Makers
You don’t want to dedicate your time speaking with employees who can’t make the final buying decision. The sooner you can zero in on the real decision-maker, the better. Unfortunately, finding the decision-maker takes more than a quick visit to the company website. Here are a few tips for identifying B2B decision-makers.
Know your value before you begin
Before you begin looking for a B2B decision-maker, you need to know who you’re looking for. Make sure you are clear about the value your offering provides and who will benefit most from your business. Outline the benefits of your product and which types of companies or decision-makers you should contact. You might also draft some of the key qualities of the decision-maker you’re looking for, like job title or authority over budget or strategy.
Always start by doing your research
The first thing you should do is spend some time familiarizing yourself with the niche that the B2B company you’re targeting operates in. You want to be familiar with market trends and the competitive landscape before reaching out to the company.
- What are the typical job titles of the decision-makers in this industry?
- What length of tenure indicates the role of a decision-maker in this industry?
- What resources are this type of decision-maker most interested in?
This is imperative – by doing your research first, you’ll speak to whoever you connect with within the organization more intelligently. This can immediately set you apart from the competition.
Second, while performing your research, you’re likely to better understand who tends to make decisions in the organizations you’re targeting. It could be a technical executive, a CEO, or someone else entirely. Regardless, doing your research will tell you where to look, and that can make the process of finding B2B decision-makers much easier for you. Familiarize yourself with their organization charts to see how the company is structured, and peruse the internet to see if a decision-maker has been mentioned in the press.
Look for a referral
If you’ve done your research and you’re still struggling to connect and appeal to a B2B decision-maker in an organization, try looking for a referral.
You might be able to get someone else within the organization to vouch for you. This is another great way to set yourself apart from the competition and may help you get your proposal in front of a decision-maker faster.
Use the right tools
LinkedIn offers a Sales Navigator that can recommend decision-makers and contacts you might want to talk to. You can use the “Advanced Lead Search” function, which will help you narrow your search based on the decision-maker qualifications you are seeking.
Once you know who you want to talk to, it’s a matter of finding their contact information. Some services that can help you build your B2B contact list include eGrabber, ZoomInfo, and Clearbit Connect.
Looking for an organization’s decision-makers can be laborious work. Instead of doing it all on your own, enlist some technological help. There are numerous resources available that can help you accelerate the prospecting process so that you spend your limited time elsewhere.
LeadLander is great for this. Our platform will help you identify how the B2B organization you’ve targeted has interacted with your website. It will also provide you with valuable information about the company itself. Having on-demand access to this type of info can make it much easier for you to zero in on a company’s decision-makers.
Study your decision-maker
If the employee you’ve identified falls in line with the decision-maker persona in your target industry, it’s time to make a connection! However, it’s important to be prepared for different decision-making scenarios. Here are some qualifying questions to consider:
- Is there more than one person involved in the decision-making process?
- Who in the company will be using our product or service?
- What was the last product in this category the decision-maker purchased (if any)?
- What is the purchase approval process like?
- What are the priorities and concerns of the other stakeholders?
You might find the answers to these questions before approaching the decision-maker or simply ask the decision-maker themselves. Some sales representatives get closer to the decision-maker by asking their contact questions like “How can I help you expedite the purchase approval process?”
Appealing to the new generation of B2B decision-makers
Research shows that today, about 73% of those involved in B2B research and decision-making are millennials. So if you want to keep closing B2B deals, you’ll need to learn how to appeal to this particular audience.
Here’s what works.
Ditch the formal tone and be authentic
In general, millennials are a more laidback, open-minded generation. Many dislike being formal in business meetings and prefer to speak plainly with their B2B counterparts. But when it comes to tone, lead with intention and passion.
Embrace corporate activism
Millennials are also supportive of agencies and companies that use their economic strength to promote their core values in the world. Nearly 50% of this generation believe this is a must for businesses.
So if you want to appeal to a younger B2B demographic, lead with a social cause or stance your company takes – so long as you’re walking the walk, so to speak. You’ll earn the respect of millennial buyers, making them more interested in doing business with you in the future.
Get active on social media
Some B2B salespeople view social media marketing as a tool for B2C deals, but not for B2B. However, research shows that 57% of B2B buyers now use social media to research potential vendors.
That means most B2B buyers are looking at agencies like yours up on social media before engaging. So if you’re ignoring social media marketing for B2B deals, you could be missing out on potential opportunities.
Focus on website content and SEO
Did you know that 71% of B2B researchers start their buying journey with a generic online search?
SEO marketing has never been more critical for agencies. If you want to be one of the first options a potential customer looks at, you’ll need to prioritize your ranking on Google and be associated with the leading key terms in your industry.
One of the most effective places to start is to create compelling blog and video content on your website.
This will help you show up higher on Google search results if you use the right keywords in your content. But blog posts are also an excellent opportunity to position your company and its products as the ideal solution for a buyer.
An effective blog post for a prospect might look something like this:
- Built around core keywords that your buyers are likely to type into Google
- Answers questions and explains concepts that your buyers need to know before making a purchasing decision
- Highlights the unique benefits of your product or service in relation to the keywords the buyer typed into Google
- Ends with a compelling call to action that encourages the B2B buyer to enter your sales funnel
What To Do When A Gatekeeper Blocks You
As you attempt to connect with decision-makers in the companies you’re targeting, you’ll be met with gatekeepers. These are employees whose job is limiting the info that gets passed along to the decision-maker.
Ideally, you should go around the gatekeeper rather than through them. Try to get the direct phone number or email address of the decision-maker. But if a gatekeeper blocks you, you don’t have to accept defeat.
The gatekeeper’s job is to maximize the decision maker’s time and keep junk calls at bay… so the way to get through the gatekeeper is to convince them you will benefit the decision-maker. If you can prove that you’re not just another junk caller, you’ll have success with the gatekeeper.
There are several strategies you can try to break through gatekeepers and reach decision-makers within B2B organizations. Here are several that are worth an attempt:
- Treat the gatekeeper with respect, don’t act like they’re wasting your time
- Show that you’ve done your research and understand the company’s pain points
- Be friendly and complimentary without resorting to flattery
- Use the executive’s first name
- Ask to leave a voicemail
- Try calling before or after hours to catch the decision-maker when they have the most time
- Don’t lie
- Don’t try to sell to the gatekeeper
- Try to get the gatekeeper to share their knowledge with you
- Be confident, because you truly believe your product or service will benefit their company
- Don’t use scripts – speak naturally
- Control the conversation
- Be persistent but polite
Strategies To Appeal To B2B Decision-Makers
You can use the strategies covered above to work from your sales source to the decision-maker in a B2B organization. But what do you do when you get there? Make sure to use the following methods to appeal to the decision-maker you’ve worked so hard to reach.
Speak their language
This is why it’s important to do your research before reaching out to a B2B decision-maker. Once you get to speak with one, you need to know how to effectively communicate with the individual.
If you’re connecting with a technical employee, you’ll want to focus on the technical aspects of your offerings. These individuals tend to care most about data, so you would want to lead with that.
But if you’re speaking to someone who isn’t a technical person, then you may not want to lead with data. Instead, tell a story that will resonate with them, such as an example of what you’ve done for clients in the past.
It’s important to think about this before your conversation with the decision-maker begins. Consider taking a consultative selling approach to form a connection early in the business relationship. Doing so will ensure that you make the most out of your limited time together.
Understand what matters to them
This goes hand-in-hand with the last tip. To successfully sell a decision-maker on your ad agency, you need to understand what matters to them. What goals does the person have? How can your service help them reach those goals?
To do this, you need to spend some time researching your prospect and their industry. You should have a solid understanding of what they hope to achieve and what you can do to help them get there. The only way to develop this understanding is by taking the time to research the company, its competition, and the industry that it operates in (the tried and true SWOT analysis might be a helpful resource here).
You only have one chance to make a first impression, and the best way to make an impact is by talking about issues that are at the heart of what the individual wishes to overcome.
Get straight to the point
Regardless of their field, most decision-makers are motivated by speed, accessibility, and instant gratification. Before you contact the decision-maker, be sure you understand exactly what they lack. As soon as you start your conversation with the decision-maker, address the problem and suggest the solution.
Ditch the marketing lingo and embellished language. There shouldn’t be a lot of emotion behind selling to B2B – just facts and logic. If your product or service makes sense to them, you’re likely to land a sale.
Decision-makers in large B2B organizations (and even smaller ones) get bombarded with requests and offers that, in all honesty, will likely sound very similar to yours. If you want to stand out from all of these, you need to be different. And one of the best ways to do that is by just being yourself.
Many salespeople fail because they use the same rehashed slick lines and strategies that experienced decision-makers can smell from a mile away.
You can do better than that. And it’s not that hard to do. Just focus on being yourself. Be authentic while explaining the value that you can provide to the person’s company. Do that, and you’ll be well on your way to closing the deal.
Establish your company’s credibility early
If your ad agency isn’t well-known in the industry your B2B decision-maker operates in, you need to establish some credibility for yourself. The best way to do that is with facts and figures.
Kick-off your conversation by referencing the successes you’ve had in the past. You can even cite previous companies you’ve worked for in the industry so that your decision-maker at least knows that they can trust your agency to get the job done.
If you establish this credibility early in the conversation, then the decision-maker will be more likely to trust what you have to say moving forward.
Questions B2B decision-makers ask themselves before making a purchase
Suppose you want your agency to appeal to B2B decision-makers more effectively. Consider the questions that these professionals ask themselves before making a purchase. Here are four that are worth exploring.
How will this product benefit my company financially?
A decision-maker will only buy a product from you if they think the product will improve a financial position. Understanding this can help you think about the optimal way to phrase your pitches to a prospect.
How do I know I can trust you?
This is one question that many salespeople don’t answer in their pitches. But it’s important to keep in mind that B2B decision-makers don’t have the same level of insight. To them, you’re just another salesperson offering the world – they have no way of knowing if they can trust you to deliver on your promises.
That’s why it’s essential to lay out the case for your trustworthiness in your pitches. You can do that by providing references, highlighting examples of previous deals, and leading with honesty in your pitch.
How will this purchase impact my personal goals?
When a decision-maker considers buying from you, part of their reasoning naturally goes to how the purchase would impact their professional goals and the company as a whole.
Maybe the decision-maker is tasked with bringing down expenses in their department. In that case, it would be vital for you to highlight how your product helps instead of just talking about its features. So ask a decision-maker about their personal, professional goals in a meeting and ask about the goals for the company as a whole.
What will my employees think of this product?
Suppose your product is intended to be used by the employees of an organization. In that case, this is another question a B2B decision-maker will ask themselves during your pitch. That is, they’ll be thinking about whether or not their employees will both enjoy your product and get value out of using it.
Highlight some of the end-user-centric benefits your product offers, in addition to talking about how it will help the company, and the decision-maker, hit their goals.
If you put it all together, you should spend time explaining how your product helps the company, the decision-maker, and employees. If you can nail that and get the decision-maker to trust you, then you’re much likelier to close the deal.
Use LeadLander To Make The Most Of Your Sales Sources – And Appeal To B2B Decision-Makers
To successfully sell your ad agency to a B2B decision-maker, you need to have an in-depth understanding of who they are and what they care about. You could spend hours doing that research on your own. Or you could use a tool like LeadLander to make the job easier on yourself.
LeadLander will provide you with a wealth of information to help you identify new leads, validate your sales sources, and understand how your prospects interact with your website.
Give LeadLander a chance for yourself to experience the difference we provide. We’re currently offering a free 14-day trial so that you can try LeadLander without any risk. Check out our website to get started.