2. Understand how they buy
Understand how they buy
Aria Systems, a San Francisco tech company, lost an early deal because its sales team didn't know that three departments of the target firm had to sign off. Founder Edward Sullivan (right) says that once his company created separate marketing materials for each group of "influencers" in prospective firms, it won deals from Disney and Ingersoll-Rand. Sullivan is using this approach at his latest startup, G2Link, which monitors customer creditworthiness.

By Verne Harnish, contributor @FortuneMagazine - Last updated April 27 2012: 12:44 PM ET
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