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The length of the buying process and the role of various participants depend on the customer's past experiences. When customers have had considerable experience in buying a product, the decision becomes routine—a straight rebuy. Few people are involved, and the process is short. However, when customers have little experience in buying a product—a new task—many people are involved, and the process can be lengthy. The people involved in the buying process are referred to as the buying center. The buying center is composed of people who are initiators, users, influencers, gatekeepers, and deciders. Salespeople need to understand the roles buying center members play to effectively influence their decisions. Individuals in the buying center are concerned about satisfying the economic, quality, and service needs of their orga- nization. In addition, these people have personal needs they want to satisfy. Organizations face an increasingly dynamic and competitive environment. Purchasing is becoming a strategic weapon with the development of supply chain management and supplier relationship management strategies. The Internet is playing a much more important role in business-to-business transactions than it plays in the widely publicized business-to-consumer e-businesses. Business-to-business applications of the Internet are designed to support salespeople's ability to build relationships with major customers. KEY TERMS always a share annual spend attitudinal loyalty automatic replenishment (AR) behavioral loyalty buying center capital equipment coach creeping commitment customer journey customer touchpoints decider derived demand economic influencer efficient consumer response (ECR) system electronic data interchange (EDI) emotional needs end user gatekeeper influencer initiator just-in-time (JIT) inventory control life-cycle costing lost for good manufacturer modified rebuy MRO supplies new task original equipment manufacturer (OEM) profit margin quick-response (QR) system rational needs reseller service-level agreement (SLA) services straight rebuy supplier relationship management (SRM) supply chain management (SCM) technical influencer turnover (TO) user value analysis vendor analysis vendor loyalty 86 CHAPTER 3: Buying Behavior and the Buying Process

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