Business Buying Decision Process

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Business Buying Decision Process

Awareness

The company needs to identify a need for the purchase. It could be to

  • replace an existing item,
  • replenish stocks
  • buy a new product

You can also stimulate a need that the company may not be aware of by advising them of issues and challenges that other companies in their industry face. The buying team next works with the requesting department to firm up on the requirement. Your sales team can provide advice and guidance at this stage by offering discussion papers or inviting decision makers to workshops or seminars on the topic.

Specification

Once the buying team has decided on the requirements, it list out the specifications for the purchase. These are:

  • quantities,
  • performance
  • technical requirements

The sales team can support this stage by advising the buying team on best practice or collaborating with the buying team to develop the specification. Buying teams then use the specification to search for potential suppliers. They may search the Internet to find products or companies that provide a match to their specification, so it is important that the website features keywords that match that customers’ product or service needs.

Proposals

When the purchasing team narrows down on the suppliers, it asks for detailed proposals from the suppliers. The team may issue a formal document known as a request for proposal, or it may outline requirements and invite potential suppliers to make a presentation or submit a quotation. If the product or service has a precise specification, the buying team may simply ask for price quotations. If the product is more complex, it may ask for proposals on how a supplier would meet the need.

Evaluation

The buying team goes through the suppliers’ proposals against criteria such as:

  • price,
  • performance
  • value for money
  • corporate reputation,
  • financial stability,
  • technical reputation and
  • reliability.

You can influence decisions at this stage by providing company information, case studies and independent reports that review your company and products.

Order

Before an order is placed with the chosen supplier, they negotiate price, discount, finance arrangements and payment terms, as well as confirming delivery dates and any other contractual matters. When the order is complete and delivered, the buying team may add a further stage by reviewing the performance of the product and the supplier. This stage may include imposition of penalty charges if the product fails to meet the agreed specification.

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