Decision Makers: Types, How to Identify and Connect With Them



Decision-makers are a crucial part of any organization or group. In any organization, especially in the B2B space, there is always a specific group of people who are saddled with the responsibility of analyzing any important information presented, weighing its pros and cons, and ultimately making the final and important decisions that will impact the direction, growth and success of the organization. 

In other words, a decision-maker can also be referred to as the person or group of people in charge of making strategic choices depending on a variety of factors such as time restrictions, available resources, the quality and kind of information available, and the number of stakeholders involved. Decision-makers have the authority and resources to affect critical areas of an organization, such as budgeting, employing staff or contractors, procuring funds for equipment investments, etc.

In this article, we will take a look at everything you must know about decision-makers: the skills and qualities of a good decision-maker, the responsibilities and challenges that come with this important role, the types of decision-makers, how to identify a decision-maker, and how to approach them with your irresistible offers. Whether you are a decision-maker yourself or just interested in learning more about this role because you want to create a personalized and tailored offer for them, this topic has something for you. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of decision makers!

Skills and qualities of decision makers

  1. Analytical skill: A decision maker must be able to gather and analyze information accurately. This includes the ability to ask the right questions, seek out and compare multiple sources of information, and evaluate the relevance and reliability of that information. A good decision maker must also be able to synthesize this information and consider various perspectives before making a final decision.
  2. Critical-thinking skill: High-performing and effective decision makers have strong critical-thinking skills. They are able to consider all angles of a problem and weigh the pros and cons of different options before making a choice. They are also able to consider both the short-term and long-term consequences of their decisions and have the ability to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions.
  3. Communications skill: Communications is everything! The best decision makers have strong communications skill and are able to clearly and concisely pass across their reasoning and decision-making process to others, as well as listen to and consider the input of others.
  4. Stress resistance: Decision makers must be able to handle pressure and be comfortable with risks. They must make decisions quickly, even in uncertain or stressful situations, and be willing to take calculated risks to achieve their goals.

Responsibilities of decision-makers

Decision makers are responsible for making important decisions that shape the direction and success of an organization. This is a significant responsibility that requires strong leadership skills and the ability to make sound judgments. Some of the key responsibilities of decision makers include

  1. Setting goals and strategies: Decision-makers are responsible for setting the overall goals and strategies for the organization. This involves analyzing the current business environment, identifying opportunities and challenges, and determining the best course of action to achieve the organization’s objectives. 
  2. Allocating resources: Decision makers are responsible for making decisions about how to allocate resources, such as budget, personnel, and time, to support the organization’s goals and strategies. This requires careful planning and consideration of the potential costs and benefits of each option.
  3. Making tough decisions: Decision makers often face difficult and complex problems that require tough decisions to be made. This can involve weighing the pros and cons of different options, seeking input and feedback from others, and taking calculated risks. 
  4. Communicating and implementing decisions: Once a decision has been made, it is the responsibility of the decision maker to effectively communicate and implement the decision to ensure that it is understood and carried out by the rest of the organization. This can involve working with other leaders and teams to develop a plan of action and address any challenges or obstacles that may arise.
  5.     Leading and inspiring others: As a decision maker, you are also responsible for leading and inspiring others to work towards the organization’s goals. This involves setting a clear vision and direction, building trust and credibility, and fostering a positive and collaborative work environment.

Challenges of decision-makers

Decision Makers: Types, How to Identify and Connect With Them

The responsibilities of being a decision-maker comes with its challenges among which are:

  1.     Limited information: Decision makers often have to make decisions based on incomplete or uncertain information. This can make it difficult to fully understand the consequences of each option and make a well-informed decision.
  2.     Time constraints: Decision makers often have to make decisions quickly, without the luxury of taking their time to consider all options fully. This can lead to rushed or impulsive decision-making, which can have negative consequences.
  3.     Conflicting priorities: Decision makers often have to juggle multiple priorities and competing demands, making it challenging to determine the best course of action.
  4.     Resistance to change: When making decisions that involve significant changes to the organic decision-makers makers may face resistance from employees or other stakeholders who are hesitant to embrace the new direction.
  5.     Risk of failure: Making decisions carries the risk of failure, which can be stressful and demoralize decision-makers makers.

Types of decision-makers

There are various decision-makers you should be aware of when trying to grow your network. These aren’t necessarily distinct individuals. Depending on the size of the project team, one person might fill all of these duties in certain situations, but in others, you could have to deal with two, three, or even more people. They are

1. Champion

A person who fervently champions, protects, or battles for your good or service inside their company. Champions are extremely zealous and ready to battle to advance the sale. They’re part of owning the process and have a stake in the final decision, though they don’t have the authority to act by themselves.

When you’re working with a champion, you’ll get to a point when the sales process is less about making a sale to your champion and more about giving them the tools they need to make a sale happen.    

2. Influencer

A person who has sway over other purchasing committee members. An influencer may not be as passionate about the transaction as a champion, and they may not accept personal responsibility for facilitating it. They can, however, influence members of the purchasing team. 

If an influencer is your principal point of contact, they will need more convincing than champions to get on board. They will also need to be persuaded to include a decision-maker.    

3. End-user

The person who actually uses your product or service, whether they had a say in the buying process or not. End-users may be unnoticed as people since they don’t have a lot of decision-making power. A sales process, however, can be significantly impacted by a single end user’s ability to influence a large number of others.

End users are crucial for firms utilizing product-led development since they are the ones who will spread the use of your product.

4. Blockers

A person who can stop the sales process from moving forward. Depending on your product or service and who your personas are, blockers may have varying duties inside an organization. For example, if you’re attempting to sell software, the person in charge of a company’s tech stack may be a roadblock if they don’t believe your product will integrate well with the tools they already use.

Blockers may be difficult to deal with, and planning is essential for getting past them. You should try to identify whether or not you’ll be dealing with blockages as early as feasible in the sales process, and discover from your point of contact why they may object to the sale or be reluctant to the change your product or service delivers.

5. Executive sponsor

This is a non-decision maker in the executive group that acts like a champion or influencer (like a consultant or board member). Executive sponsors may be useful in starting a discussion, but they also may be a blocker.

Create a strategy to win over other decision-makers and champions at their organization if they are your entry point into the firm. Executive sponsorship alone does not ensure a sale will close or that your product or service will be embraced after the sale.

6. Legal and compliance

This is a person that is responsible for the terms and conditions of the contract. Legal and compliance doesn’t always act as a blocker, but they do slow down the sales process near the end. Legal and compliance systems vary from organization to firm, so it’s important to learn about them early in the sales process. A CFO may be required to analyze and approve the contract for smaller businesses. A bigger organization could have a formal scope of work proposals or master service agreements that must be authorized by the legal and procurement teams before being submitted to the CFO.

You can more accurately predict when a deal will complete if you understand how that legal clearance procedure works. A contract that has been orally agreed to may take another month to finalize if a firm has onerous legal procedures.

7. Budget holder

A person in charge of the service or product’s budget. Although it’s possible, it’s not usually the case that the decision-maker and budget holder are the same individual.

Some teams, for instance, have their own budgets but still require approval from finance. Others might not have predetermined spending caps, forcing them to bargain with their C-suite before making a purchase. You can better plan the last stages of your sales process if you are aware of the budget approval procedure.

Identifying decision-makers

Identifying decision-makers is an important part of understanding the dynamics of any group or organization. By looking for these signs, we can better understand who is responsible for making important decisions and how we can work together to achieve our goals.

How to approach decision-makers

Approaching decision-makers can be a daunting task, especially if you are trying to sell a product or service, pitch an idea, or advocate for a particular course of action. However, with the right approach and preparation, it is possible to effectively communicate with decision-makers and increase the chances of getting a positive outcome. Here are some tips for approaching decision-makers:

Becoming a decision-maker

Being a decision-maker is a significant responsibility that requires strong leadership skills and the ability to make sound judgments. If you aspire to become a decision-maker, here are some tips to help you on your journey:

  1.     Develop your leadership skills: Decision-makers are leaders who are able to inspire and guide others towards a common goal. To become a decision-maker, you need to develop your leadership skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and strategic thinking. Consider taking leadership courses or finding opportunities to lead projects or teams to gain experience.
  2.     Build your knowledge and expertise: Decision-makers need to have a deep understanding of their industry and the challenges and opportunities it presents. To become a decision-maker, you need to build your knowledge and expertise in your field by staying up to date with industry trends and best practices, and continually learning and growing.
  3.     Take initiative and be proactive: Decision-makers are proactive and take initiative to drive change and make things happen. To become a decision-maker, you need to show that you are capable of taking charge and making things happen. This can involve identifying problems and proposing solutions, or taking on additional responsibilities and projects to demonstrate your leadership potential.
  4.     Communicate effectively: Decision-makers need to be able to effectively communicate their ideas and decisions to others. To become a decision-maker, you need to develop your communication skills, including the ability to listen and articulate your thoughts clearly and concisely.
  5.     Network and build relationships: Decision-makers often have a strong network of connections and relationships that they can tap into to gather information, seek advice, and build support for their ideas. To become a decision-maker, you need to actively build your network and cultivate relationships with influential people in your industry.

Decision-makers play a vital role in every organization since they are accountable for making critical decisions that influence the direction and profitability of the company. Decision-makers have the authority to influence the future of the business, whether they are deciding on a new strategy, selecting a new product or service, or allocating resources. As a result, decision-makers must be well-informed, strategic, and analytical in their approach to decision-making. This entails analyzing a variety of possibilities, balancing the benefits and drawbacks, and soliciting advice and comments from others.

To be an effective decision-maker, it is also important to have strong leadership skills, a deep understanding of your industry, the ability to take initiative and be proactive, excellent communication skills, and a strong network of relationships. These attributes can help decision-makers inspire and guide others towards a common goal, gather the necessary information and resources to make informed decisions, and effectively communicate and implement their decisions.

It takes dedication and hard effort to become a decision-maker, but with the correct mentality and approach, it is possible to advance to this leadership post and have a great influence on your business. Whether you want to be a decision-maker or are already in a leadership position, it is critical to constantly improve your skills, knowledge, and relationships in order to be a successful and recognized leader.