How to Guide Buying Group Stakeholders to Recognize Value in a Purchase

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By Brett Merritt, Director of Content Marketing at Consensus, @brettcmerritt

A growing number of diverse stakeholders, now an average of 5.4 per buying group, are making today’s B2B purchasing decisions. This has resulted in purchase likelihood dropping by as much as 50% while increasing the number of low-margin and stalled deals driven by lowest-common-denominator thinking.

However, a post from CEB, authors of “The Challenger Customer” and “The Challenger Sale,” points out the dangers of appealing to each diverse stakeholder’s needs in a purchase:

“[Doing this] can inadvertently drive stakeholders apart instead of together—making it more difficult for the group to find commonality for evaluating a purchase beyond price. … The best sellers instead focus on mitigating group dysfunction by creating or facilitating something that we’ve defined as collective learning.” Read the full article here.

Collective Learning is the ability of a group of customer stakeholders to overcome their divergent points of view and learn together. When stakeholders engage in collective learning it’s a powerful driver of deal quality, because it dramatically drives down group buying dysfunction.

Collective Learning includes the following behaviors:

  • Thoroughly exploring concerns and uncertainties across the buying group
  • Honestly surfacing disconnects and competing ideas
  • Having a mutual willingness to explore problems and consider alternative views
  • Actively probing for potentially overlooked interdependencies
  • Establishing joint resolution

CEB research suggests that, by bringing diverse customer groups together to learn before they buy, you can boost customer willingness to pay a premium by over two thirds—nearly 70 percent.

To learn more about building consensus among diverse stakeholders, click the “Watch Demo” button below.

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