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The Realities of CXO Research

Sharon Gillenwater
by Sharon Gillenwater on Mar 12, 2017 6:10:06 PM

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CXO research must be done.  Are you up to doing it yourself?

Read any sales and marketing publication and you’re bound to be lectured on the importance of knowing your customer. Knowing your customer can mean different things, but when it comes to big-ticket enterprise sales, we believe it boils down to understanding who they are as individuals, what they do, their business strategy and goals, and the obstacles that stand in the way of their success.

Thoughts to Consider 

When you consider the number of decision makers and the number of companies you need to track, collecting and updating this information on a regular basis can be overwhelming. If you are in a sales or marketing leadership role, you’re probably asking yourself:

  • Can we gather and distill this information in-house?
  • Who is responsible for doing the research—individual salespeople, interns, someone else?
  • How much time is it practical to devote to it?
  • Should we hire an offshore research firm to do it?
  • Is there some kind of technology that can handle it?
  • And what type of information are we looking for—and where can we find it?

Based on our years of specializing in CXO engagement and insight we know that it is not necessarily finding information that is so difficult; it’s knowing what is relevant, timely and actionable for the people who need and use it.

The Cost of Using Inexperienced Resources 

Many companies turn research over to interns or offshore resources, to keep research costs low. The problem with this is that these resources seldom have the level of business acumen required to effectively curate and package information related to an executive’s business strategy and initiatives. If you have ever tried to pull together this type of information in advance of a meeting, you are probably nodding your head right about now. And if you have ever read through a quarterly earnings call transcript, you are probably not excited about the idea of doing this on a regular basis for all of the companies you follow.

The Boardroom Insiders Approach to CXO Research

At Boardroom Insiders, this type of research is core to what we do and we believe that using highly experienced people with proven business acumen is essential to producing a top-quality product.

Our U.S.-based team includes former business journalists, industry analysts, and management consultants, each of whom has a minimum of 10 years of experience. Their expertise in business, research and analysis means that they can quickly sift through all available information and pull out the critical and actionable nuggets of relevant news and data about individual executives, their companies and competition, as well as pinpoint what’s going on in their industries.

In other words, they know what’s relevant and what’s not. They are real pros at digesting dense quarterly earnings call transcripts quickly and highlighting the right forward-facing statements that give you critical insight into what’s top-of-mind for your customer.

Because we want the quality of our profiles to be consistent, we also conduct a rigorous editorial training program and employ a proprietary research methodology. And even after profiles are published—following an initial six to eight hours of research—they are regularly updated so our clients always have the most current information at hand.

Are you up to researching on your own?

So, sure, you could go to LinkedIn and hope that the person you’re looking up has an up-to-date and richly filled page (a rarity that still won’t give you the complete picture you need). You could do a Google search and hope that what pops up will lead you to what you want. But ask yourself: does your team have the time and the expertise to put into this kind of research? Or is their time better spent elsewhere?

Our Advice

Let your team stick to what they do best and let our pros do the heavy lifting and provide them with the business-critical information they need.

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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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