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The Steps in the Business Buying-Decision Process

First process is problem recognition in which someone in the company recognizes a problem or need that can be met by acquiring a good or service.It can result from internal (a machine break down and need new parts) and external stimuli (buyer receive a call from a salesperson who offers a better machine or a lower price).Next stage is general need description in which a buyer describes the general characteristics and quantity of a needed item.

An example, for complex items, the buyer needs to work with others-engineers, users, consultants to define the item.

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Third step is product specification. The buying organization decides on and specifies the best technical product characteristics for a needed item by using product value analysis. Supplier search is another step in which the buyer tries to find the best vendors. They can compile a small list of qualified suppliers by reviewing trade directories, doing computer searches, or phoning other companies for recommendations.

Another stage is proposal solicitation. In this stage the buyer invites qualified suppliers to submit proposals. Business marketers must be skilled in researching, writing, and presenting proposals in response to buyer proposal solicitation. Next step is supplier selection in which the buyer reviews proposals and selects a supplier or suppliers. The buying center often will draw up a list of the desired supplier attributes (product and service quality, reputation) and their relative importance.

Order-routine specification is the next step of business buying-decision process. the buyer writes the final order with the chosen supplier(s), listing the technical specifications, quantity needed, expected time of delivery, return policies, and warranties. Final stage is performance review in which the buyer assesses the performance of the supplier and decides to continue, modify, or drop the arrangement. The seller’s job is to monitor the same factors used by the buyer to make sure that the seller is giving the expected satisfaction.

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