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Understanding Consumer Behaviour

5 Decision Making Unit for B2B Markets

There are often many people involved in making a decision to buy a product in an organisation. And a group of people who make a decision together to buy a product or service is called a decision-making unit:

“A group of people who together influence a purchase decision at any stage in the process.”

There are usually six people in the decision-making unit…

Gatekeeper: Controls the flow of information into an organisation. For example, it might be a receptionist who passes on a brochure to a manager.

Influencer: Stimulates, informs or persuades the rest of the group their way. For example, this might be the manager who recommends looking at a particular printer.

Decider: Makes the decision that the product should be bought. In an organisation this is likely to be the manager or purchasing manager.

Buyer: Orders or buys the product. Again this might be the purchasing manager, purchasing clerk.

Financier: Sets the budget and authorises the funds for the purchase. Likely to be the finance manager.

User: The person or group that benefits from or uses the product. This could be a whole department who benefits from a new printer. All these people need to be communicated with as they all affect the purchasing decision. Sales reps need to communicate persuasively to the gatekeeper to obtain appointments or to pass information onto other decision makers. Companies need to make sure that the way they communicate is effective and that they have good, persuasive information and after-sales material for the purchaser or influencer to digest.