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Focusing On The “Mobilizer” Is Not Enough!

by David Brock on April 15th, 2019

We know in complex B2B buying decisions, there are over 10 people involved in making the decision. There are many others who influence this group, and it only takes 1 person to veto a buying decision.

Ideally, we have at least one “Mobilizer,” some one within the buying group that is proactively advocating for our solution. But focusing our sales efforts on that Mobilizer is insufficient to drive success.

More typically, we focus all our sales efforts on the person we know–whether that person is a mobilizer, or just the person we know. We put all our “eggs” into this single basket, hoping that individual will get the sale done.

The reality is, in most cases, getting things done through our “person,” is insufficient for success. We know this, but we still focus our efforts on “that person.”

For example, I recently was reviewing an opportunity. It was a critical opportunity with a very important customer. The sales person had a “mobilizer,” and had identified the other people involved in the decision.

The deal had been stalled for about 4 months (why the sales person had let this happen, was beyond me). I asked, “What’s going on with this deal?”

The sales person responded, “The controller is standing in the way of this deal, she won’t buy, she wants a significant price reduction to even consider it!”

“What are you doing about it?” I asked.

“Well, I’ve asked my sponsor to handle it……..” the sales person responded.

“Why is it his job to do this?” I asked. I knew the sponsor was overwhelmed with work, and while this was an important project, the sponsor just had too much other stuff to get done.

“Well, he’s the driver behind this, he’s the one that gets the most from the solution, if he could, he’d be using the solution tomorrow!” replies the sales person.

“But, apparently he’s ‘wanted it tomorrow,’ for the past 4 months. Nothing has happened. Why is it his job to make this stuff happen? What are you doing with the controller?”

Too often, we count on our customers to do the “selling” for us. While sponsorship and mobilizing is important, it’s not their job to get this done. Even if they wanted to, too often, they don’t know what they should be doing with who–we know how buyers struggle in their buying journey.

The reality is:

  • We do need to develop sponsors and mobilizers for our opportunities.
  • But, even they struggle with buying, as much as they may want to buy, they don’t know how. They may not know how to align the buying group and to make progress. They need our help–after all, it’s our job to help them navigate their buying process.
  • And, everyone in the buying group has their “day jobs.” Their job isn’t to buy, they aren’t dedicating their time to this project, but are overwhelmed with just keeping up with everything else they have to do as part of their “day jobs.”

If the customer is going to buy, it’s incumbent on us to work with everyone in the buying group to help keep the opportunity moving forward. There are too many things that can derail even the most ardent mobilizer. If we want to be helpful to them, we have to help by working with the entire group in moving through their buying process.

Mobilizers and supporters are important, but it’s our responsibility to work with the entire buying team to help them move the deal forward. It’s too important to them and to us to not to act.

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