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Boardroom Insiders Executive Profiles Blog

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Building Better CXO Relationships

Posted by Sharon Gillenwater on Jan 2, 2017 1:42:35 PM
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Are you ready for 2017?

Let’s talk about resolutions you can keep when it comes to upping your sales mojo.

If you sell to the C-Suite you already know that you can’t just make a call and secure a meeting with a corporate VIP to ply your wares. You need a strategy. We believe if you make—and commit to—these 10 sales resolutions, you’ll have the foundation for a strategy that will get you face time with target CXOs and help you develop relationships that will result not just in sales, but sales that will endure over years.

Do your homework on the decision maker and the company.

If you know the decision maker’s business goals and objectives, you can then make the connection between what they care about (the CIO has said she’s spending budget on personalization technology) and your solution (which enables personalization), making your pitch relevant and difficult to ignore. Look for a “hook” that you can use to get her attention—something she or her boss has said publicly is always best.

Read what the prospect’s executive team is saying.

Read the latest earnings call if the company is public. Make a list of management’s priorities, objectives and challenges, then ask yourself: how does this impact my contact and how can I help him/her? This is a skill that every salesperson needs to develop.

Be your customer’s problem solver and sounding board.

Instead of selling the CXO on your product, be so knowledgeable and engaged in the company’s issues and its success that you become a trusted advisor.

Give your customer the tools to make informed decisions.

Send them news and thought leadership you’ve gleaned from your reading, from podcasts you listen to, and events you attend. This also demonstrates your ability to be a trusted advisor.

Invite your customer to attend prestigious or business critical events.

Make introductions to colleagues or other people they should know to help their networking and enhance their industry knowledge.

Angry customers make noise you have to pay attention to.

Silent ones may be unhappy but never speak up. Avoid surprising defections by engaging regularly with customers after you’ve made the deal so that competitors don’t have an opportunity to sell over you.

Focus on the long game for strategic customers.

Be thoughtful and add value—whether it’s by pointing them to relevant thought leadership or introducing them to an industry peer. Build relationships that show you are truly committed to their success—and not just your next deal.

If you’re a sales leader, rethink the strategy you set for your team this year.

As technology has become more integral to the overall business, you want to aim for the top decision makers who set strategy and control more of the budget. But be realistic. Doing this requires training and incentivizing sales teams, establishing infrastructure, and bringing in your own C-suite as participants.

Speaking of your CXOs, ensure their participation as ambassadors to potential clients.

Executives like meeting with their counterparts so use their status as a hook to schedule more customer meetings with decision makers. Designate your executives as official “hosts” at events and build a VIP experience around them, including receptions, meals, invitation-only presentation sessions, meetings in a company hotel suite, VIP booth tours, prioritized seating at keynotes, etc.

If you are hosting events, have an account-specific strategy.

Make sure your top accounts are accorded special pre-event outreach and exclusive activities. Employ personalized communications and CXO-to-CXO outreach to make a special effort to get them to attend.

You can turn 2017 into a banner year—in fact, the first of many going forward—if you reinvent your sales strategy by becoming more informed, more empathetic, and more engaged.

Tools to connect deeper with your C-level prospects are right at your fingertips. We do the homework for you and provide the most in-depth executive profiles available that allow you to connect the dots between your prospect and your solution. Take a look at our free sample profiles to see what we mean.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, CXO Insight, CEO, CXO Priorities, C-Suite, Sales Leadership

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