How Your Sales Team Can Identify Their 4 Buyers On LinkedIn

Gallup recently published an article entitled, B2B Companies: Do You Know Who Your Customer Is? written by Marco Nink and John H. Fleming.

The article touches on three primary points.

1. The days of a single decision-maker are over

According to this study, even at smaller companies, there are multiple decision makers.


2. The buyer sees “feelings as facts” in the decision-making process

In a study, a majority of the respondents (54%) said that they would let a deal fall through if they had a “bad feeling” about it, despite favorable facts.

With big investments at stake, trust is still a component in the decision-making process. While demonstrable business value is at the core of a transaction, the customer most often requires that transaction to be done with a trusting partner.

3. There are 4 distinct buyers who each serve different purposes

These excerpts are taken directly from the Gallup article.

  • “Decision-makers are members of senior management, authorized signatories, or policymakers who jointly or exclusively commit funds, make choices, and sign off on products and services.
  • Influencers are employees who influence the decision-making process, set standards and have an advisory role but who are not decision-makers themselves. They serve as formal or informal advisers in the purchase process.
  • Buyers are employees, such as purchasing agents or procurement specialists, who seek and assess tenders and are involved in the procurement process itself. They are usually involved in decisions that define the terms of the contract.
  • End users are employees with whom account representatives interact most often or who coordinate activities with the supplier. They are also employees who ultimately use suppliers’ products or services.” 

How LinkedIn Helps Your Sales Team Find and Better Understand Their 4 Buyers

Step 1: Identify the titles of the 4 buyers

In cases where your team doesn’t yet have individual names, and are perhaps targeting an account, using data from past deals, they can establish the common title(s) of the people who fit these categories the best.

Decision-Maker Title: ___________________

Influencer Title: ___________________

Buyer Title: ___________________

End User Title: ___________________

Step 2: Use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search to identify buyers’ names

In cases where they don’t yet have individual names, they can use the Advanced Search to find decision-makers at their target companies.

  • Title: Include 2-word titles in quotes. Eg. “account executive.”
  • Current: Select current on the left column for the individual and current for the company as well.
  • Relationship: Select all connection types in your LinkedIn network – 1st, 2nd, Group, 3rd.
  • Location: Include a location when necessary.


Step 3: Read each buyer’s LinkedIn profile

This is where your sales reps can review the connections they may have in common with each decision maker and look for a referral or introduction opportunity.

They can also learn about the buyer’s background, how long they’ve been at their current company, what school they went to, interests, groups, awards, etc.

By having multiple decision-maker prospects, your sales reps’ referral / introduction opportunities multiplies. By using LinkedIn, they have the opportunity to find the optimal entry point using connectivity and relevancy. Their chance of getting an appointment with that company actually multiplies with each decision-maker.

Step 4: Connect with the decision makers on LinkedIn and read their updates

Once the timing is right to introduce themselves, (this varies) your rep can send a personalized connection request or request for an appointment via an InMail or email if they have access to it.

Once they are a LinkedIn 1st connection, they will have greater access to their prospect’s profile information as well as their connections.


Using LinkedIn can help your sales team turn what seems like a disadvantage (multiple decision-makers) into an opportunity!