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Roles in a complex selling process

by ANITHA KAVERI on Thursday 14 April 2011, 8:48 PM | Category: Marketing| View: 1311 views

If we ever walk in to a complex selling situation involving big bucks with just elementary knowlede of buyer roles in marketing, we are surely asking for trouble!

Remeber those roles we learnt in marketing classes about 

  • Initiator
  • Influencer
  • Decision maker
  • Buyer
  • User

Well, Complex sales has much more to it...


  • Recommender 
  •  Solution Approver
  • Project owner                                    
  • Technical Approver
  • Investment owner                              
  • Implementation plan approver
  • Political influencer                             
  • Financial Approver
  • Policy influencer   Consultant influencer                       
  •   Legal Approver
  • Corporate influencer  
  • Buyer
  • Old dog influencer                             
  •   Final Approver


As highlighted, there are 4 vital stages involved in a complex selling process. Although these stages may vary significantly between organizations, they are nevertheless a vital part of every firm.

Marketing stage -->Presales --->During Sales-->After Sales


In a complex sales process it is vital to have the best sales person up front in front of the buyer. Moreover, collective decision making must be employed as decisions span across various domains. It is also vital to have a cross functional team in place, as the buyer's expectations may not be a solution to fit one department or two.


A complex sales process differs from that of a complex one in many ways. The most important one being that in a simple sales call, there can be just two end sates resulting from a sales call,

1: Order (Which can be termed as a Win)

2: No Order (Which can be termed as a Loss)

Whereas for a complex sales process, there can be multiple outcomes,

The best and the most expected and coveted ORDER (Obtaining commitment).However in the span after demonstrating capabilities there can  be various other outcomes, like ADVANCE(Agreement on an action to move the sales forward), CONTINUATION(Discussion continues without any notable progress) and the most dreaded NO SALE (Loss)

 Business development is a lucrative career option now. With India bringing in customers across the world to the table laden with software solutions the demand for a better sales force in complex sales is quintessential!







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