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KEY: CB&E Model Product OBJ: 07-7 TOP: AACSB MSC: BLOOMS Synthesis 14. What is a buying center? What are some implications of buying centers for the marketing
A buying center includes all those persons in an organization who become involved in the
purchase decision. Membership and influence vary from company to company.
Marketers must identify who is in the decision-making unit, each member’s relative influence in the buying decision, and each member’s evaluative criteria. Successful selling strategies often
focus on determining the most important buying influences and tailoring sales presentations to the
evaluative criteria most important to these buying-center members.
KEY: CB&E Model Customer OBJ: 07-8 TOP: AACSB MSC: BLOOMS Synthesis 15. Assume that you are the VP of marketing in a medium-sized company that includes the following
departments: sales, marketing, finance, purchasing, data processing, and production. The sales
force manager has mentioned to you that one of the salespersons thought a Web-based sales force
automation service would help the sales force become more efficient. The sales force manager
requests that this service be purchased. Illustrate the six buying decision roles that would take
place for the purchase of this service.
The INITIATOR of the buying decision could be identified as the salesperson who identified the
need but more likely would be the sales force manager who suggested the purchase be made.
INFLUENCERS/EVALUATORS might include the finance office (which would control the
amount of dollars available for spending), members of the sales force (who might provide
information about the services competitors are using), and the data-processing department (which
would have a good knowledge of alternative services).
GATEKEEPERS could include the data processing department (which would approve of only
certain services that are compatible with existing systems) and the purchasing department (which
would recommend matches with likely service providers).
The DECIDER might be the president of the company, the VP of marketing, or the sales force
manager; the decider is the person with the power to approve the service provider.
The PURCHASER could be the purchasing agent in the purchasing department, who will
negotiate the terms of the sale.
USERS would include all sales force members who will use the service.
KEY: CB&E Model Customer OBJ: 07-8 TOP: AACSB MSC: BLOOMS Synthesis 16. Business buyers use a variety of criteria to evaluate alternative products and suppliers. Name and
define specific aspects of the three most important criteria.
The three criteria, in order of importance, are quality, service, and price.
QUALITY. Quality refers to technical suitability. Evaluation of quality also applies to the
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- Fall '13