532: 3 Key Insights You Need to Understand About Your Buyer w/ Katie Bullard

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Katie Bullard, Chief Growth Officer at DiscoverOrg.

A relationship with the right referral partner could be a game changer for any be to be company. So what if you could reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast, invite potential referral partners to be guests on your show and grow your referral network faster than ever? Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the be tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BE TOB growth show. We are here today with Katie Bullard. This is the second time that we've had Katie on the show. She is the chief growth officer at discover or. Katie, how you doing today? I'm doing great. Thanks for having me, James. I am really excited to chat with you today. Katie. We're going to be talking about three...

...key findings from the recent buyer persona report that you and your team put out. But before we get into that, Katie in case someone didn't listen to the episode that you did with US earlier, I think it was several months ago now, tell us a little bit about discover Org and what you and your team are up to over there. Absolutely. So, just well, we're up to a lot these days, quite quite a bit since the last time we talked. Discover organ is actually the leading sales and marketing intelligence provider for Bab sales and marketing teams. What that means is that we provide our buyers with all of the data and intelligence that they need in order to identify their target accounts, identify the right contacts of those target accounts, figure out when they're most likely to buy at any given point in time and then directly engaged with them with verified direct dials, email addresses, org charts center. And just in the past couple of weeks we've actually made a big acquisition in...

...this space. So we now serve four thousand sales and marketing teams across the globe. That's incredible. That's incredible. Okay, I know that we've got a lot to cover here with these three insights from this buire person or report. So I want to just I want to dive right in. Tell us a little bit at a high level. What what was this report that you guys put together? Why did you want to put it together? And then we'll dig into those three key finding. So our mission as a company is to accelerate the growth of our customers and we certainly know we can help do that by the data and intelligence that we deliver, but we also think there's a lot of other ways that we can help our customers grow and we're always, we've always been interested in, you know, what makes sales and marketing teams successful and, in particular, what makes certain salespeople successful over other salespeople. And and so as we were sort of diving into this question and thinking about, hey, how do we train our customers to be better salespeople, we connected with Steve W Martin, who's a noted author in this space.

He wrote a book called the IT heavy hitter strategy and he's also really interested in the psychology of sales, and so we partnered with him to develop this report that was really focused on how do different groups of buyers vary in their preferences of how they like to be sold to? And then, based on that, what are the applications for the salespeople. So that was sort of the background. We know, we did a survey of two hundred and thirty be to be buyers across all different departments and across all different industries, and I think we weren't sure what we were going to find, but they the result actually we're quite illuminating and so happy to share some of the the key findings. So, Katie, this this first finding that we're going to talk about has to do with a buyers propensity to take risk. Can you elaborate on that for us? Yeah, absolutely. So one of the things that we were interested in is sort of what, what advantage did being kind of the the the primary vendor or the longstanding vendor have within of a buying cycle,...

...and what we found was that it varied dramatically based on the department that we that you are selling to, you as a salesperson, so to be. To get a little bit more specific, if you have a product and you sell to the IT department, it's more important for you to be kind of a more established vendor selling into the it department then it is for you to be a more established vender selling into the sales or marketing departments. But we found was that sales and marketing departments tend to be more likely to taste take a risk on the startup, right on sort of the emerging on the emerging provider, versus departments like it and accounting or engineering, which are much more likely to stay with kind of the established vender. So if you're thinking about you know, you've got a start up and you're trying to enter space and disruptive space, that actually can have some pretty there's some pretty significant dynamics...

...at play depending on who you're selling to, and that makes that makes sense as you think about like the types of personalities that are that are found on sales and marketing teams versus it accounting. It's not it's not surprising that that is how your report ended up shaking out. It makes sense, but it's I don't think I would ever would have thought about it until you just said that. So the second thing, Katie, that we're going to talk about is something you call the roll of the bully with the juice. Can you explain what that means? Yeah, I'll give Steve Credit for that term. That's that's all him. So you know, there have been a ton of statistics out there that say that, you know, is in complex, the be to be sales cycles. There's anywhere between, you know, five and eight different influencers that you have to get on board as part of the selling process, which is true. There are typically five to eight influencers, but what we found was that eighty nine percent of the time there was one person...

...who basically made the final decision and if, as a salesperson, you could get that one person on your side, then, quite frankly, the the influence of the rest of the committee wasn't all that important. And so the first thing you had to do is figure out right who is that quote bully with the juice, and and I don't mean that in a bad way, I mean the person that you've know, you've got to you've got to get on your side. Who is that person? And then how do they write? What is important to them and how do you sort of connect with them? And I think that it. You know, I think we all, if we've been in a sale cycle, we sort of know that intuitively. And yet at the same time, when we're when we're mapping out our account plan or opportunity plan, we're thinking about okay, how do I connect equally with all five or six or seven of these people? The point here is to be really effective, figure that one person is and figure out how to connect with them and everything else will sort of follow. was there where there any any insights related to kind of how do you go about finding who that...

...person is or determining who that person is, or there certain indicators that you can look for? We didn't ask questions about how to we didn't ask questions in the Surt right about how to look for it, but I think, I think, if you know, if you think through a typical sales process, there's typically the person who's asking the most questions in that initial in that initial meeting, there's typically that person who, if you're engaging with anyone else, they say, Oh, I'm going to run this up through you know so and so, or I'm going to get them to weigh in on this and so. Usually pretty early on in a buying cycle you can figure out who that person is and then the trick is, like I said, and really it's how do I connect with with that person in particular? And oftentimes that person is the most difficult one to connect with right they're the one that sort of stays at arm's length from the salesperson? Is it typically the person with the most senior job title, or does that have you found that to...

...not necessarily be the best indicator? It's not necessarily directly coore that. Certainly sometimes it is, but in some situations it's the person who, quite frankly, whose job is on the line with this purchase decision. Right, there's there's somebody who is sort of staking taking their career on a particular technology that they're that they're buying, and so that person might not be the most senior person in the room, it might be the person who said, hey, trust me, I'm going to get this done and and and thus they are the ones who are going to be the the dominant influence in that committee. All Right, Kitty. This third inside that we're going to talk about is the buying or selling style preferences. Talk to us about this one. Yeah, so we asked a q. We asked a pretty simple multiple choice question of all of the the folk survey. The question was which statement do you agree with the most? Do you prefer a salesperson who won, listens, understands and then matches their solution to my problem? Do I prefer to sales...

...person who challenges my thoughts, perceptions and then prescribes a solution that I might not have even thought about? Or do I prefer a salesperson who earns my trust by making me feel comfortable that they will take care of my long term needs? So I'm curious, seems. What do you think? The most common response to that question was somebody who listens and matches the solution, who challenges me or who own earns my trust. I think my pres friends would be somebody that challenges me, but I don't know that that would necessarily be what the Lion Chair of folks would say, but that's that's what I'll say. The Middle One, and I think going into this that's what I thought too. Right, we're so sort of conditioned to think about the challenger, sale and actuality. The most common response was that we I prefer a salesperson who listens to me and then matches their solution to my problem, which is sort of, in many ways, what we were sort of trained not to do. Right, don't, don't. Don't just listen to them and then immediately match. Certainly listen to them, but then propose alternative solutions. And...

...when you matched that up with whether the buyer is somebody who prefers to avoid conflict or not, then it became even starker, and I think that's one thing that we have to remember as salespeople is that typically right, the personality of a salesperson is one who enjoys conflict, who enjoys being challenged, but that's not who our buyer is all the time. And if we have a buyer WHO's trying to avoid conflict and doesn't like to be challenged, then the challenger methodology is probably not going to work on them. And so again it's really about getting in the mind of the fire and then adjusting the style to them. Kitty. This is this has been fantastic. Is there there anything else that you you'd like to add to these three key findings before we let you go today? You know, I think the one last thing that I would say is it one of the last key findings that we discovered was that there's there's price sensitivity that varies dramatically, again by department and if you sell...

...into departments that are cost centers versus Revenue Center, so cost centers right finance legal it. Typically they're going to be a lot more price sensitive than if you're selling into revenue centers like sales and marketing, and so that's again something to keep in mind as as you're going through your sales process. But overall, again it was great findings. Two hundred thirty people participated in this study. If you're interested in getting the full version of the study, you can download it on our website, which is www dot discover orgcom. Katie, thank you so much for your time today. This has been fantastics. I really appreciate it. Thanks, James. If you're a BEDB marketer, we want to feature you on sites like Huffington Post, social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send out a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to fuel the content we write for really popular websites. So head over to sweet fish MEDIACOM backslash questions and sign...

...up today. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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