Before I started Boardroom Insiders I worked as a consultant to some of the biggest tech companies in Silicon Valley, helping them improve their return on investment in industry events.
There’s no escaping the fact that we live and conduct business in a social world. Harnessing social technology is clearly now a mandate for sales. The consumer sales ecosystem has known this for years. But how are B2B, and in particular enterprise B2B sales teams succeeding with social selling? While companies like Oracle and IBM are implementing social selling programs with great success, social selling evangelist Jill Rowley, in an article in ZDNet, says that most companies are actually in the infant stages of social selling as a concept, with the majority of firms only leveraging social media in random bouts and not training their sales staff to effectively exploit the network.
Enterprise sales teams struggling with CXO selling should take a page out of the management consultant’s playbook. Because of the transformational nature of most management consulting engagements, management consultants have always been visible and relevant to the C-suite.
Recently I came across an article called "Back To The Future In Enterprise SaaS Selling.” The authors make the argument that as SaaS companies mature, it is important that they acquire more "old school skills" to continue to grow. Specifically, they are talking about the skills to sell larger, enterprise deals.
One of the fundamentals of customer retention is that it generally costs organizations more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. It’s not unusual to read about customer churn in areas like telecommunications and media, but for SaaS companies, minimizing your churn rate is critical, given the recurring revenue model and how much time, money, and energy it takes to acquire and onboard customers in the first place. The longer they stay, the more profitable your business is, which is why “Customer Success” (or making sure your customers have success as a direct result of using your product) is such a hot topic these days.
We preach a lot about the value of knowing as much as possible about your customer. Having deep insight into their goals and concerns is powerful. It helps you determine how your solutions can fit their business needs and how you can become their trusted partner. And, it doesn’t hurt if you can connect with the people themselves on a personal level.
That’s why we research and prepare executive profiles in such depth. It’s our goal to provide sales and marketing teams with as much solid, relevant information about each individual as is publicly available. Since we often get questions from our customers about how we do it, we thought it was time to show you how the sausage is made.
Day in and day out we conduct deep research on CXOs so you don’t have to. We look for insight that helps sales and marketing teams better understand their prospects and customers—what they’re thinking, their goals, challenges and what keeps them up at night. We also seek out nuggets that reveal something about their personality and key quotes that strike at the heart of what they and their organization are all about. When it comes to selling to CXOs, knowledge is power. The more you know, the better you can position yourself as being relevant, credible and a worthy potential business partner.
In a recent post we outlined how Salesforce is closing bigger deals faster by engaging CXO decision makers—all the way up to the CEO.
Many companies are trying to emulate this CXO engagement strategy, but few are successful.
Why is this the case?
We have consulted with hundreds of companies on CXO engagement and have observed that there are five critical success factors that come into play when it comes to CXO selling. They are:
As marketers and sales pros, we find irresistible the promise that technology tools will make our jobs easier and help us win more business faster. Which is why so many of us are turning to companies that are focused on predictive analytics tools that support account-based marketing, and scaling all of the different aspects of the ABM process.
LinkedIn is beyond amazing. Those who remember what it was like before LinkedIn know that it has transformed so many aspects of business, especially recruiting and sales. When people complain about the shortcomings of LinkedIn, it brings to mind this hilarious Louis CK clip about people complaining about the miracle of in-flight wifi.