Many Salespeople and their leaders claim to sell high and never drop below decision maker level. That is rarely the case. Selling at the ‘C’ level doesn’t mean undertaking the entire sales process there. In reality 20% represents a fair maximum, but holding these relationships gives licence to sell at operational and influencer levels. In sum, leveraging ‘C’ level contacts throughout the sales cycle will result in improved close ratios, bigger sales and a higher sales number being achieved.
To be a successful Sales VP, Sales Manager or Sales Exec you have to adapt your approach. When you start selling to CEO’s, CIO’s or CFO’s the rules change; no longer can you drone on about how great your product is, now you have to understand their industry, their company and their motivation.
Making a generic approach to a ‘C’ level executive simply focused on your product or service puts you in the same bracket as the thousands of other Sales Execs going through the motions of selling to the ‘C’ suite and ending up at middle management. Propagating real success through commencing the sales process at ‘C’ level takes time, patience and skill.
First, the time you take researching your prospective customers – and what makes them and their organizations tick – will be reflected in your success. Being unprepared will put you on the back foot and doesn’t reflect your need to make the sales at all costs (a situation most sales people find themselves in). Undertaking effective research enables you to put the ‘C’ level Executive first, the relationship with their organization second, the sale third and your own importance last.
To be successful in the C-suite, you must learn about its inhabitant’s world, their needs and how they think. Mentally prepare for the big game at the C-level:
Why is the CXO different?