You just spent last weekend collecting leads at an industry event, an hour putting in some research and reaching out to one who you felt would be an especially good fit for your business, and have followed up with them every few days for the past week. 

And after all of that work you come to find that they aren’t the decision-maker you need to convince to win their business.

Is there anything more disappointing? 

This scenario goes to show how critical it is to identify and connect with the right decision-makers to increase and accelerate your chances of closing a sale.

We’ll show you how to do just that in the guide to:

  • All the types of business decision-makers you need to know
  • Where to find business decision-makers (and their contact info)
  • Tactics to help close the deal with decision-makers

Why Connecting with Business Decision-Makers Matters

Barreling into a potential customer’s company blind to the right decision-maker means you’re probably going to waste a lot of their time, and yours, pitching the wrong people. 

And when you don’t know exactly to whom you’re speaking, you’re a lot less likely to have the case studies, social proof, and other messaging you need to create a personalized and convincing sales experience.

As you can see, connecting with people who don’t have any influence over the decision-making process isn’t only a waste of resources — it’s a great way to create a poor impression of not only your sales team but your company as a whole.

Understanding All the Levels of Business Decision-Making

It’s only natural to focus on the single individual, or small group of individuals, who you perceive as having the most decision-making power when it comes time to make your pitch. 

However, it can also be valuable to take into account those who have the option of saying “no” and stopping your march toward top decision-makers. 


Influencers are people who either directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process, due to their connection with a decision-maker or their status as a stakeholder in a department.

These folks may not make final purchasing decisions, but they’re an impactful voice in what gets vetoed and what gets approved when it comes to new business products or services.

There are three main buckets most business influencers fall into:

  • Users: People who will use the solution you’re selling day to day, or at least lead the teams who will use it
  • Implementers: Technical people who will be in charge of launching your solution within the company, they will likely be looking at your tech and compliance specs and thinking about your competitors
  • Advisors: These people mentor the decision-makers to whom you’re selling, their goal is usually to help decision-makers succeed


Many decision-makers have “guardians” who oversee their calendars and therefore access to them, such as assistants. 

Instead of trying to bypass this person, it’s a better idea to get on their good side. Assistants and other gatekeepers often know what decision-makers want, and can be influencers in their own way. When you make a healthy connection with these people, you have an “in” that may help you close the sale. 


Of course, decision-makers are the people — or often the committee of people, in B2B sales — who have ultimate say and purchasing power.

It’s important to remember that your target decision-maker doesn’t always have to be the CEO, or even in the C-suite. You may have better luck getting through to someone who is closer to where your solution will be implemented, and who maybe isn’t as busy.

Consider these other decision-making roles, from vice presidents to regional managers, depending on the size of the company you’re selling into:

Decision-making titles based on company size

5 Places to Find Decision-Makers (And Their Contact Info!)

Once you’ve identified the type of business leader who you want to connect with inside a target company, it’s time to get to know them more personally — and how to best contact them.

1. LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is probably the first, and often the best, place for sales personnel to source 

B2B contact information. 

If you already know who within a company you want to contact and only need to locate their email address, heading straight to LinkedIn is a great choice as many professionals include their contact information on their profiles. 

But, what if they don’t?

That’s what Datanyze is for. 

With our Google Chrome Extension, sales pros can quickly dig up tons of data — email addresses, phone numbers, company details, past experience, location, and more — on leads inside LinkedIn and other websites without ever even leaving their browser.

We can provide that kind of information because we have ethically-sourced and highly-accurate data on over 120 million people, including 84 million email addresses and 63 million direct dial numbers.

And what if you don’t already know exactly who you’re looking for? No problem, here’s how to use Datanyze to find anyone’s contact info on LinkedIn

  1. Install the Datanyze Chrome extension.
  2. Navigate to the search function in LinkedIn and enter your query. For example, the name of a target company.
  3. Find the People page associated with that company. This is where you’ll start to get a feel for founders, who leads which departments, etc.
  4. Open the Datanyze widget on the side of your screen to reveal contact info for people at that company. Each lead has a detailed profile attached that you can open to find previous jobs, location, etc. From here, you can also add people to a lead list.
  5. Just like that, you’re building a robust lead list or digging up the details you need to create a great first impression with a specific decision-maker, without ever leaving the browser to hop into another sales platform.
With Datanyze, you can find accurate LinkedIn contact information in minutes

2. Company Website 

Duh, right?

Maybe not.

Oftentimes we get so caught up in cool sales tricks that we overlook one simple resource that’s right in front of us — company websites.

Navigate to the website of the company where you want to connect with decision-makers and start poking around to try to find if they have any kind of organizational chart. Look for about, team, careers, and contact pages. 

This should give you some names, but maybe not the email addresses you’re looking for. However, you’re likely to find some kind of email address. From this, you can deduce how the business structures its email addresses. And you just may be able to guess decision-maker email addresses from there. 

Some typical formats include: 


To check the legitimacy of your guesses and prevent sending off a bunch of messages that are going to bounce or go to the wrong people, quickly run them through an email verification tool. 

3. Advanced Google Search 

You can also take your sleuthing skills over to Google to find email addresses for decision-makers you already have in mind.

Google’s search operators and commands are formulas that help you make your searches much more targeted. 

Instead of Googling a phrase like “email for NostromoCorp VP of marketing” and getting thousands of tangential results, these formulas tell Google exactly what you’re looking for — so it’s more likely to surface results you can actually use. 

Here are some formulas you can put into Google to try to uncover an email address:

  • “First name + Last name + company name”
  • “First name + Last name + email”
  • “First name + Last name + email address”
  • “First name + Last name + contact”
  • “First name + Last name + gmail”

This is a powerful way to find things like one-off press releases that feature executive contact info, which can be really difficult to track down on your own. 

Even if you don’t find the business email address you’re looking for this way, you may still learn about your target contact — maybe even tracking down their personal website. This could help you make your messaging more personalized. And, if it features a contact form, you might have just found a way to cut through the clutter and contact them.

Taking a step back, if you don’t know whose email you’re looking for exactly, here are some formulas to put into Google before you do the above searches: 

  • “VP of marketing + company name”
  • “org chart + company name”

4. Online Directories 

If you’re trying to get your foot in the door in companies or industries that are especially tight-lipped, public online directories like Crunchbase can almost always provide names for founders and leadership teams.

The downside is that if you want to dig deeper and get actual contact information from these directories, you’ll have to pay the price. This may be worth it if the deal you’re expecting to land is especially high-dollar.

5. Employee Connections

When you know the decision-maker to whom you want to connect, you may have success getting their info via an employee at their company. 

There are more employees than decision-makers, which means your chances of figuring out an employee email address is higher. And, employees may be less likely to conceal their emails than decision-makers. 

Unless you already know the employee you’re connecting with, this is going to require some cold-calling (or cold-emailing) techniques. Illustrate the value proposition for them to connect you with a higher-up at their company, and be very clear in your ask to get your target decision-maker’s email address.

This is a slightly more roundabout way to connect with a decision-maker, but that work should pay off in the form of multi-thread business relationships built along the way.

Tactics for Hearing Back From Decision-Makers

Let’s end this discussion with a few tactics you can use on your newly-sourced decision-makers to drum up a response. 

Personalize Your Outreach

Most B2B sales pros know that first impressions are everything when reaching out to decision-makers at target companies.

Of course, most importantly you need to craft your solution’s value proposition to speak to their unique pain points. A B2B buyer persona where you’ve already fleshed out your ideal customer’s demographic, motivators, and more will help guide you in that.

In addition, a personal touch can go a long way toward creating connections — and sales.

Datanyze’s icebreaker feature (coming soon!) compiles information about a lead’s life using social media, local news, and other sources. With this information, it curates highly-personal icebreakers you can use to initiate meaningful discussions.

How to build user persona

Stay Organized 

Another way Datanyze can help you close deals is by making it easy to keep all your outreach efforts organized.

Datanyze isn’t only a resource for collecting high-quality leads, it can also be used to build robust contacts lists, segment them using tagging, and export them in one click to your team, your CRM, or any other business platform.

Sales teams can use these well-organized contact lists as a single source of truth from which to track all conversations with potential customers.

Which is important because, as we’ll explore next, you will likely need to have multiple interactions with decision-makers before you get a response or a final answer.

Be Persistent

In our opinion, as long as you’re always providing value, there’s little danger in following up if you haven’t received a response from a decision-maker. 

Just a single follow-up email has been found to convert 22% more prospects. Yet, a massive 70% of unanswered sales emails are never followed up on. 

Persistence is a key tool that few talk about when it comes to closing business deals with busy decision-makers. Not sure how to pull it off? Check out our guide to sales follow-up tips

Find, Contact, and Win Over Decision-Makers with Datanyze

Don’t waste your time or anyone else’s with sales tools that can’t give you the depth of information you need to identify, connect with, and make a lasting impression on business decision-makers.

Sign up for Datanyze (free trial included) to get access to all the B2B decision-maker data you need to create targeted, personalized messages that build relationships and close deals.