Getting connected with the decision makers and having a short sales cycle that yields profit is a goal that every salesperson strives to achieve. Bogged down by the lack of knowledge and tact, most sales teams fall short in achieving this goal. C-Level Officers (CxO) are high-ranking executives who are the final decision-makers and thus selling to these officials is an art every salesperson needs to learn and execute carefully to develop a successful sales pipeline.
Setting up a company and getting sales returns requires careful planning and execution. Most sales teams utilize all their time in contacting mid-level executives and building conversations with them. This process although a necessary part of the marketing and sales cycle, yet often there is a risk of the main message getting garbled by the time it reaches the main decision makers. Thus, the better approach would be to contact these decision makers directly and acquire a chance to close deals faster. But this is easier said than done. So let’s explore the possible ways in which you can improve how you sell to C-level executives:
1. Identify The Right C-Level Executive To Target
Being clear about which C-Level executive would possibly be interested in your product or service is the most basic step in the sales process. Initially, to be able to identify and target the right CxO, avail well segmented C-Level Executive Email Lists from the best email database providers and jump start prospecting. To be sure if you are targeting the right CxO, it’s also important to study influence patterns, rank, and organizational dynamics. With this study, it is easy to find the CxO that can draw maximum benefit from your products or services.
2. Choose The Best Form of Approach
Once you are sure which CxO you want to target, the next step is getting into the inner circle for better access. In this case, it refers to getting to know the gatekeepers and developing ways to bypass them. Here it is essential to remember that it would be more beneficial to befriend these gatekeepers, basically subordinate officers to the CxO, so as to build strong allies that may play an important role in building a good business relationship with the CxO. A good rapport with the subordinate officers will not only help you close the present deal faster but may also be helpful in future dealings.
3. Perform In-depth Research Before You Attend the First Meeting
Be prepared with adequate background information on the C-level executive. Once the identification is done, research is the next important step as it forms the basis of the business relationship you aim to build. As a salesperson, it’s important to have complete knowledge of the main firm issues that the particular C-Level executive deals with and wants to resolve. In addition, it would be helpful to be equipped with industry, company & executive intelligence regarding the various factors that drive the decision-making power of the C-Level executive such as financial drivers, operational drivers, competitor drivers, regulatory drivers, customer drivers, supplier drivers etc. Understand the company’s position in the global market and the trends that affect the CxO’s decisions. For this, you can make use of websites such as business.com, entrepreneur.com, ceo.com, chiefexecutive.net etc, or read up on business journals such as Forbes, Business Weekly, The Economist, and Harvard Business Review.
4. Make The First Impression The Best
Getting to the point maybe the best approach in most conversations, but with a CxO, holding his or her attention and building a conversation that promises value is a successful approach. Based on all the research you have done before the meeting, pose intelligent questions pertaining to the various issues that concern the particular C-level Officer. It is also essential to listen attentively to what the executive has to say before offering your products or services. Moreover, your product must serve as a viable solution to the executive’s concerns. Discuss innovative business perspectives and offer references that add depth to the conversation. Conclude your meeting by offering a plan of action that involves the CxO himself. You could also offer to bring along a solutions manager for the next meeting for expert guidance and to take the conversation to the next level.
5. Exhibit Credibility & Integrity
With Top level officials such as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) , Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Chief Operations Officer (COO) etc, your credibility and reliability can help build long-term, business relationships. These relationships not only help better your sales returns but also step up brand loyalty in your business network.
6. Develop a Content Strategy That Communicates Value
Be it in the initial stages for getting connected with relevant C-Level executives or in the conclusive stages for maintaining conversations that aid in conversion, content plays a crucial role. It is critical to provide content which is eye catching and gets noticed; provides prospect relevant information, and is credible enough to encourage further conversations. It is important to create engaging content in all forms such as emails, newsletters, white papers, eBooks etc. Delivering value by developing a successful content strategy is a key step in increasing the engagement of C-level Executives.
Conclusively, it can be said that when winning profitable deals is your priority, all the effort you put in to convince and engage C-level executives is truly worth it.