Enterprise buyer types

14 Jan 2020

Know your 5 types of enterprise buyers

Enterprise selling or B2B buying is complex and requires different tools and nuances than direct selling to consumers.

One of the common challenges in enterprise selling is identifying the types of buyers one comes across.

Most novice salespeople or even experienced ones do not approach multiple buyers in enterprise selling as differently.

This is one of the primary reason why closing ratios in enterprise sales is often very low and like Pareto law, 80% of sales are generated by the top 20% of salespeople only. These top 20% have various tools to ensure they get the sales.

One of the simple but most effective tools in enterprise sales is to identify different buyer types and sell them according to their persona.

The simple way to classify the buyer type is by using the acronym SETUP. What this SETUP means is the Strategic-Economic-Technical-User-Project Owner (Coach).

Creating the buyer personas in terms of their goals, aspirations, needs, and pains are the must thing to be done before presenting solutions. Creating the personas also helps understand the different types of buyer’s power centers, decision-making process,es and what are their motivations.

This helps in creating the right content, sales scripts as well as marketing content to get the buyer’s attention. Let us understand the different types of buyers in detail,

5 types of B2B (Enterprise) buyers

Strategic Buyer

The strategic buyer is mostly concerned with how the solution is going to help the long term. Does it really help the business vision, goals, and objectives? Mostly the strategic buyers hold positions like MD or the head of the organization. The key consideration for these buyers will have the solution has long-term potential, does it address the core pain area and help the company achieve strategic competitive advantage?

Economic Buyer

An Economic buyer is someone who is keenly interested in the ROI as well as the cost of the solution. He can be CFO in big companies and can be MD himself in small organizations. His key concern is always to meet the budget. They will consider how the solutions have helped other organizations, what alternative exists, and do the investment really is needed at this hour.

This is the buyer who might end up signing the contract and will be part of the sales process from the beginning but gets involved heavily during the end of the sales cycle. This is the type of buyer who expects a detailed breakdown of costs and testimonials etc.

Technical Buyer

Most technical buyers want to get to the specifics. These are the buyers who are more interested in the features your products have. Longevity and any other technical details.

The concern for them will be, technically the product must meet their specifications. If they haven’t defined already specifications they may even expect you to help them do that.

These buyers are quite a resistant to change and are always cautious to accept new things that are away from specs. They want quantifiable data and proofs of tests or anything which assures the product meets the technical qualification.

To move them from the sales funnel, give them the test reports, past client results, and also any other verifiable data.

User Buyer

These are the buyers who are going to be end-users of your product. For these buyers, technical is important but many times, they are more interested in benefits and value. Don’t too much emphasize features, instead focus on ease of use. How his life will be different compared to what they have been doing.

You must capture the emotional aspects of these buyers. Hence the interactive demos and free trials are very much in this buyer’s purchase-consideration funnel.

Project (Coach) Buyer

These buyers if they exist in the buying cycle as separate individuals or can be the same as the technical buyer or user buyer itself.

The key consideration will be overall solution complexity, ease of implementation, timelines, milestones, services, etc.

You must build a good rapport and personal relationship with this buyer and provide him with enough materials, information which helps him ease the implementation. Also, this buyer may have to influence internal stakeholders. So it becomes important for you to assist him which helps him in the role.

You can coach this buyer on what your solution can do and help him experience the same.


When you are developing a sales presentation or marketing strategy considering different buyer types and their goals, and needs are very critical.

It is good to ensure that each buyer you treat individually and understand better. This will finally help you to present the value of your solution which instantly connects to them.