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CXO Research: Understanding What We Do

Sharon Gillenwater
by Sharon Gillenwater on May 25, 2017 8:00:00 AM

CXO Research ABM Sales Intelligence.png

Engaging the C-suite is key to closing big enterprise deals and driving large-account ABM programs.  An essential ingredient of any C-suite engagement effort is having deep insight into a CXO’s role and responsibilities, who they are as individuals, and their business goals and challenges. Armed with this information, your team can connect the dots to how your solutions meet their business needs—and how you can become a trusted partner.

Is It Easy?

But here’s the thing. Doing that CXO research isn’t as simple as looking at a LinkedIn profile for sales intelligence or Googling someone. Yes, there’s potentially a lot of information out there to sift through. But some of it may be dated or irrelevant. It may be repetitive. Or it may be buried in something you wouldn’t even think to examine.

Based on our years of specializing in CXO engagement and insight, we know it isn’t even finding the information that’s so difficult (although it often can be). It’s knowing what’s relevant, timely, and actionable for the people who need and use it. That would be you.

It’s knowing what’s relevant, timely, and actionable for the people who need and use it. That would be you. (1).png
Our Experience

That’s why we have an experienced U.S.-based editorial team doing our research. These men and women are former business journalists, industry analysts, and management consultants—each of whom has a minimum of 10 years experience. They have what we call “business acumen,” a critical tool for being able to quickly digest dense earnings call transcripts and identify important and valuable nuggets of insight buried in pages upon pages of financial or business jargon.

When they create our profiles, they spend several hours sifting through dozens of sources of information to identify the critical, actionable bits of relevant news and data about executives and their companies. And, if they hit a research brick wall, they have the skills and creativity to figure out how to work around it and find the best information available, if it exists.

How dogged are our researchers? Here’s just one example of how one of them faced down both a language barrier and seeming lack of information about an executive and company.

Finding the Impossible

We recently received an assignment to profile an executive with a German company. Even the company name appeared to be a mystery at first—until our researcher entered the German words into Google’s translator, and was then able to compare the results with other details that cleared it up. Then came researching the company and individual. Our usual approaches didn’t work but she persisted and discovered the company has a Twitter account. She scrolled through the account, and, using both Twitter and Chrome translator, was able to identify news in the feed. Sometimes there was a link she could click on. Other times, the translation gave her clues that she could use on Google to search. All of this digging led to a recent, informative interview with the executive—in German—that she also was able to translate. In the end, she consulted more news pieces via Twitter—using translation tools—and was able to piece together a fairly comprehensive view of the company’s current strategy and initiatives.

All this is to say that even when it looks impossible to find information on an individual or a company, our researchers often strike information gold by using their expertise and creativity to figure out workarounds that deliver the insights our customers seek. But it’s not easy or fast.

Not Ready to Do It On Your Own?

Is this something your team has the time and expertise to conquer? If you set your sales people loose on LinkedIn and Google, do you think that they’ll find the insights that will help the team really understand a potential client? Or are they better off doing what they’re trained to do and letting our experts do the heavy lifting?

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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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