Sales glossaryDecision Maker

What is a decision maker in sales?

Busy? Here's the short answer:

The decision maker is the individual with the authority to make final purchasing choices and decisions within an organization. Identifying and engaging with the decision maker is crucial, as they have the ability to approve or reject a purchase.

What is a Decision Maker?

In the context of sales, a decision maker is a crucial individual within an organization who holds the authority to make final purchasing choices and decisions. They have the power to give the green light to a purchase or reject it altogether. Identifying and engaging with the decision maker is of paramount importance in the sales process, as their approval is often the key to closing a deal successfully.

Decision makers come in various forms, depending on the size and structure of the organization. In smaller companies, the decision maker may be the founder or CEO, whereas in larger enterprises, it could be a department head, a purchasing manager, or a C-level executive.

Understanding the role and influence of the decision maker is essential for sales professionals, as it enables them to tailor their approach and messaging to resonate with the individual who holds the power to say "yes" to their product or service.

Key Takeaways:

  • The decision maker is the individual with the authority to make final purchasing choices and decisions within an organization.
  • Identifying and engaging with the decision maker is crucial for successful sales.
  • The role and influence of the decision maker vary depending on the organization's size and structure.

Importance of Engaging with the Decision Maker

Engaging with the decision maker is a fundamental aspect of the sales process. Here's why it matters:

1. Accelerating the Sales Cycle

By reaching out to the decision maker early in the sales process, sales professionals can streamline the cycle and avoid unnecessary delays. Getting direct access to the decision maker allows them to address any concerns or objections firsthand and move the deal forward more efficiently.

2. Understanding the Buying Criteria

Decision makers have a clear understanding of the organization's needs and objectives. By engaging with them directly, sales professionals can gain valuable insights into the buying criteria and tailor their pitch accordingly, increasing the chances of meeting the prospect's expectations.

3. Building Trust and Credibility

Building a rapport with the decision maker is crucial for establishing trust and credibility. When the decision maker perceives the sales professional as a reliable and knowledgeable partner, they are more likely to have confidence in the proposed solution.

Strategies to Identify the Decision Maker

Identifying the decision maker can sometimes be a challenging task, especially in larger organizations with complex hierarchies. Here are some strategies to help sales professionals pinpoint the right individual:

1. Researching the Company Structure

Conduct thorough research on the company's organizational structure to understand who holds decision-making authority. Online platforms like LinkedIn and company websites can provide valuable information about key personnel.

2. Asking the Right Questions

During the early stages of the sales process, ask probing questions to gather insights about the decision-making process. Inquire about who is involved in the purchasing decisions and what criteria they consider when evaluating solutions.

3. Leveraging Referrals and Connections

Utilize existing connections and referrals to get in touch with the decision maker. A warm introduction from a trusted source can significantly increase the chances of engaging with the right person.

Real-Life Examples of Engaging with Decision Makers

Let's explore a couple of real-life examples that illustrate the significance of engaging with decision makers:

Example 1: Software Sales

A software sales representative is targeting a medium-sized business that requires a comprehensive project management solution. After conducting research, the sales rep discovers that the CEO is the decision maker for software purchases. They reach out to the CEO directly through LinkedIn, sharing how their software can enhance productivity and streamline project workflows. The personalized approach catches the CEO's attention, leading to a productive discussion and eventual deal closure.

Example 2: B2B Service Provider

A B2B service provider is looking to offer their marketing services to a large corporation. However, navigating the complex organizational structure is proving to be a challenge. They leverage their network and identify a former colleague who now works in a leadership role within the corporation. The colleague provides a warm introduction to the decision maker, enabling the service provider to secure a meeting with the key executive and present their value proposition effectively.


Q: How can I ensure my message reaches the decision maker?

A: Tailor your messaging to resonate with the decision maker's priorities and objectives. Focus on how your product or service can address their specific pain points and contribute to their business goals.

Q: What if I cannot identify the decision maker?

A: If you encounter difficulties in identifying the decision maker, consider reaching out to other stakeholders who may have influence over the decision or can provide guidance on how to proceed.

Q: How can I handle objections from the decision maker?

A: Address objections with empathy and confidence. Be prepared to provide compelling answers that showcase the benefits and value of your offering. Understand their concerns and demonstrate how your solution can overcome challenges effectively.

In conclusion, engaging with the decision maker is a critical aspect of the sales process. It helps accelerate the sales cycle, gain valuable insights into the buying criteria, and establish trust and credibility. By utilizing research, strategic questioning, and leveraging connections, sales professionals can successfully identify and engage with the decision maker, ultimately increasing their chances of closing deals successfully.

Related terms...


An Account, in sales, refers to a specific customer or client that a business has a commercial relationship with.

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AE (Account Executive)

An Account Executive (or AE) the sales person responsible for managing and nurtinrg relationships with clients or key accounts. They are often the primary point of contact for existing accounts and responsible for closing new deals.

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Commission is the extra cash or bonus salespeople earn as a percentage or fixed amount of the sales revenue they generate. It is used as an incentive to keep sales people motivated.

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CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

CRM stands for "Customer Relationship Management." It's a software to manage interactions with customers, sales, and record customer data. Popular CRM's are Salesforce, Hubspot, and Pipedrive.

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In sales, a "Champion" is an internal advocate within the prospect's organization who passionately promotes the product or service to decision-makers, boosting the chances of closing the deal.

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All terms

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