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CXO Selling: Take That First Step

Sharon Gillenwater
by Sharon Gillenwater on Oct 22, 2014 2:30:00 PM

In our meetings with enterprise sales leaders, we notice a lot of heads nodding around the room when we talk about:

Despite good intentions, the reality is that few sales organizations "do" CXO selling effectively.

CXO engagement is a tough nut to crack for the following reasons:

  1. Lack of insight into the "who". According to IDC, only 10% of contacts contained within CRM systems are executive-level. And, even if a salesperson knows who the executive decision maker is, there is typically a lack of critical infomation about the executive's business strategy and initiatives--in other words, the stuff they want to talk about.
  2. Discomfort and fear. Because executive engagement--and the executives themselves--are unfamiliar territory for most sales reps, they can suffer from a lack of confidence and lack the knowledge and skills required to have real business conversations. "They don't know how to get the meeting and if they get the meeting, they don't know what talk to them about," one sales leader told us.
  3. Lack of tools--or too many tools. You are asking a lot of salespeople if you expect them to research each and every executive decisionmaker on their own. In the absence of research tools or support, top performers will put in the extra effort on Google but the rest just won't do it. On the other hand, we have also heard of sales organizations that roll out so many research tools that no one knows what to do with them. This "subscription fatigue" can be more paralyzing than empowering.
  4. Inability to scale. Organizations often have pockets of great success with CXO selling but how do you make sure this is happening across all top accounts? And to which accounts and sales teams do you apply this methodology? And how?

These are some significant challenges for sales leaders to tackle.

While Boardroom Insiders can't solve all of your problems, we do address these challenges.

Want to learn more? View our some of our full executive profiles and then imagine if all of your enterprise reps had access to this kind of insight. Then let's talk. 

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Sharon Gillenwater
Written by Sharon Gillenwater
Sharon Gillenwater is the founder and editor-in-chief of Boardroom Insiders, which maintains an extensive database of the most in-depth executive profiles on the market, from Fortune 500 companies to independent non-profits, to help sales and marketing professionals build deeper relationships and close more deals with clients. Gillenwater is a long-time marketing consultant with expertise in marketing strategy, account-based marketing, and CXO engagement programs.

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