When trying to gain an understanding of how a particular contact fits into the operations of a company, organization, or buying unit, the title of the individual can only tell you so much. Some titles that have multiple meanings include the following: COO; CAO; Director of IS/IT; HRO Director; CBO Director; Director of Accounting; Controller; Director of Purchasing; Director of Materials Management; Director of Sourcing, etc. One has a better chance of understanding how they fit into the organization using a Ouija board vs. guessing by their title.
Additionally, there is no common standard that business use to delineate what a title might stand for – and commercial business typically uses different Titles than government agencies, non-profits, NGO’s, etc. To that end, one most consider the individuals’ functional area of responsibility to shed some light about where buying decisions are coming from.
There is no short-cut to finding out an executive’s or contacts functional area of responsibility within their particular enterprise: primary and secondary research. When considering how your sales team will use contact lists, one must look at capturing this information. A firm with access to secondary research tools, and with the knowledge and expertise to understand how to call and have these questions answered accurately, is your source of help in developing your business leads.