3 Decision Makers to Target for Improved Sales Engagement

Your sales rep is killing it with his or her most recent prospect. The contact loves your product/service and can’t wait to get started. You sales engagement strategy is about to pay off. It’s as good as a done deal according to your rep… but then it falls apart.

What happened? Turns out the decision maker that was on your side wasn’t the only decision maker that needed convincing. They never are.

One of the most important aspects of sales engagement is reaching key decision makers who hold sway and can pull the trigger on a product or service.

Sales Engagement: A Matter of Who & How

Despite the common impression that there’s one, all-powerful decision maker at the very top of the totem pole – in actuality, the clinking of a few separate marbles is usually required to move the pendulum.

sales pendulum

In fact, Neil Rackham, author of Spin Selling reports “in today’s business world, even CEOs try to reach consensus with their direct referents before making any important decisions.”

To truly be effective in B2B sales, there are often a number of stakeholders who need convincing.

With every sale requiring the consensus of an average of 5.4 decision makers, it’s even more important to target each and every one for real sales engagement.

Here are the three types of decision makers that should be on your radar and who hold the key to more intelligent sales engagement.

1. C-Level Managers

Whenever possible, it’s ideal to first approach individuals with high-ranking executive titles. CCOs, CEOs, CIOs and CTOs are all shot callers and usually have enough power to make big decisions on their own.

When you’re able to build rapport with this type of person and clarify the benefits of your product/service, it can have major business implications – with your chances of making a sale being the direct beneficiary.

Even if a C-level manager doesn’t immediately make a decision and seeks additional feedback, getting through to them will often have a ripple effect across an organization.

2. Business Users

9-cpq-misconceptions-dispelledThese individuals are the ones who would actually use the product/service to perform operations on a daily basis. They’re the ones “in the trenches” and are likely to be most affected if a purchase is made.

While business users are lower on the totem pole and don’t have the same level of control as high-ranking executives, their input is nonetheless valuable – and they’re usually the ones to most passionately make recommendations to higher-ups.

Explaining how you can solve a significant problem and make people’s lives easier creates a chain reaction that inevitably reaches key decision makers.

Not only does this validate your offer, it’s an effective way to enhance sales engagement and get the actual users on your side.

3. Mobilizers

Also known as challenger customers, mobilizers are often the most difficult to break through to. These individuals have an inherent skepticism and aren’t swayed by the bells and whistles that a product/service comes with.

They’re also not likely to be persuaded by a sharp sales pitch and aren’t going to give into high-pressure sales tactics.

What they’re interested in is how a product/service can boost productivity, increase productivity and take their businesses to the next level. Simply put, they are invested in the greater good of their company and improving its bottom line.


Although mobilizers are often tough nuts to crack, your odds of making a sale increase dramatically if you’re able to break through to them. Because of their skeptical nature and disdain for BS showmanship, colleagues tend to take them seriously. In turn, you’ll have a lot of leverage once you secure them in your good graces.

With a CPQ solution that allows you to track proposals, you can view which decision makers have actually reviewed your proposal and which still need better sales engagement.

Following these sales engagement techniques and selling to the right decision makers increases your odds of winning a consensus and ultimately gaining the nod of approval. This means maximum results with less wasted effort and fewer dead ends.


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