Issue link: https://www.mheducation.com/highered/ideas/i/1308940

Contents of this Issue


Page 34 of 86

Step 6 Evaluation of proposals and selection of a supplier Step 5 Acquisition and analysis of proposals Step 2 Definition of the product type needed Step 1 Recognition of a need Step 8 Evaluation of product performance Step 7 Order placement and receipt Step 3 Development of detailed specifications Step 4 Search for qualified suppliers Exhibit 3.1 Steps in the Organizational Buying Process Defining the Type of Product Needed (Step 2) After identifying a problem, organization members develop a general approach to solving it. For example, a production manager who concludes that the factory is not running efficiently recognizes a problem, but this insight may not lead to a purchase decision. The manager may think the inefficiency is caused by poor supervision or unskilled workers. However, a production equipment salesperson might work with the manager to analyze the situation and show how effi- ciency could be improved by purchasing some automated assembly equipment. Thus, the problem solution is defined in terms of purchasing a product or service—the automated assembly equipment needed—and the buying process moves to step 3. If the decision to continue requires senior management participation, these executives may approve the man- ager's request to consider the purchase, then leave it up to the manager to cover the next few steps before stepping back in when a final decision is made. Developing Product Specifications (Step 3) In step 3 the specifications for the product needed to solve the problem are prepared. Potential suppliers will use these specifications to develop proposals. The buyers will use them to objectively evaluate the proposals. Steps 2 and 3 offer great opportunities for salespeople to influence the outcome of the buying process. Using their knowledge of their firm's products and the customer's needs, salespeople can help develop specifications that favor their particular product. For example, Tim Simmons, a director of strategic business solutions at Teradata, was selling to a major retailer who was using another company's product. What the customer asked Tim to demonstrate was an add-on, but he asked a number of questions about specific problems they might be having. Knowing the competitor, Tim was pretty sure the customer had those problems, and they were. He then asked if it were more important to keep the competitor's equipment or solve the problems. By redefining the purchase on the basis of solving business problems rather than buying an add-on, he was able to get the product specifications changed to suit his product and to win a $4 million sale. CHAPTER 3: Buying Behavior and the Buying Process 65

Articles in this issue

view archives of 2020_BEC_FlipBooks - F20_Castleberry_Selling11eFlipbook_11-6-20