It’s no secret that identifying a “decision maker” is getting harder and harder these days. CEB stated, “on average, 5.4 people are involved in today’s B2B purchase decisions.” As the number of buyers involved in making a purchase decision increases, your chances of getting the sale decreases.

It is more important than ever that salespeople get visible, valuable, and connected to multiple people in the buying committee early.

You can no longer put all your revenue eggs into the basket of one or two individuals as you start to move through the sales process.

Here is a five-step process to help you identify, engage, and connect with the social buyers in the committee.

Step 1 – Identifying Decision Makers

If you understand the target accounts you are trying to attack, then this is an easy process to identify who the 5.4 people are you need to start getting visible, valuable, and connected to.

The decision makers are the individuals that in most cases approve the budget for a new technology and service. These are in some cases the ones who will cut you the check in smaller businesses.

In most cases, these are not the individuals that will get you to the finish line, but they are the ones who will get you across the finish line.

Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator

As you can see below, using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, I’ve identified that Rob Jeppsen is the key decision maker. Using lead recommendations, I’ve identified that David Forsberg is most likely the other key decision maker.

Step 2 – Identifying Influencers To Decision Makers

If we believe the CEB numbers to be true, then we need to get visible, valuable, and connected to a total of 5-6 individuals in an account.

Where most salespeople go wrong is not understanding who the influencers to the decision makers are in their accounts. These are usually the ones that will be the users of your products or services you are trying to sell.

Most of the time, decision makers will not be using your products or services. They are going to have their mid-level employees doing the work. They are buying your products or services to improve their employees experience and efficiency, which they know will help the bottom line. If you don’t convince the users… You are dead upon arrival.

Now, the other influencers that play a heavy role are the advisors to decision makers. These are very smart people they depend on to help them make decisions based on their expertise.  NEVER leave out advisors, especially on big ticket deals. Often, they will have the most influence on a buying decision when it comes down to pulling the trigger.

Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator

As you can see below, using LinkedIn Sales Navigator lead recommendations I’m able to identify the influencers to the decision makers. Gabe Villamizar looks to be the “marketing” advisor to Rob Jeppsen. Steve Jensen, looks to be the user who is going to be “in the weeds” with my product or services.

Step 3 – Qualifying In/Qualifying Out Social vs Traditional

We have now identified four individuals inside the target account that we need to get visible, valuable and connected with. Now, it is time to qualify in and out who we can use social with to start the engagement process leading with value vs ask.

I’ve gone over the tool in-depth in another post, but I’ll be showing you an example below of how we can quickly (within minutes) do the qualifying.

As you can see in example below, Rob has a heavy social presence. He has a Kred score over 500, which means that he qualifies in as a social buyer. He has a blog I can leverage to create value and engagement. He has a twitter account that I can leverage to get visible, valuable, and connected to him.

You would want to use the tool with all four individuals in the buying committee to identify who you can leverage social with or who needs to be sold the traditional way.

Step 4 – Save As A Lead/Add To A Private Twitter List

It is imperative now that you create segmented lists inside Twitter and LinkedIn so that you can effectively and efficiently start leveraging insights to get visible, valuable, and connected to everyone in a personalized way.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you will want to save the leads and accounts to segment all conversations and insights to make you as efficient as possible as you start step 5.

Using Private Twitter List

You can see I’ve identified Rob’s Twitter profile from and now I’m going to add him to a targeted Twitter list I’ve created. Use the free “list builder” Google Chrome plug-in to efficiently add individuals into lists. It will save you a ton of time!

Step 5 – Create Engagement Strategy Using Personalization, Commonality, and Value

This step is the hardest part for most salespeople when it relates to social selling. You must spend time using insights, patience, and engagement. This is the only effective way you can get visible, valuable, and connected to your buyers. You must always have a value vs ask mindset.

In Conclusion

Here are all the tools you need to understand how to identify decision makers and influencers inside of your accounts.

You have the tools you need to qualify in/qualify out the social vs traditional buyers.

You are now set up for efficiency through targeted segmentation inside each account on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Imagine if you took 10 minutes each day and leveraged your social buyers’ social data to get visible, valuable, and connected leading with value vs ask?

Last rule… Don’t forget at some point you have to move these conversations offline or it will be one big waste of time!