In recent years CEOs have commonly handed off digital to CIOs or have hired Chief Digital Officers to own the digital realm. But as veteran CIO Larry Bonfante wrote in a recent piece for Heller Search Associates, they’ve got it all wrong. For every company trying to transform into a digital enterprise there likely is a misunderstanding of what digital is and the right strategic approach for embracing it.
Are you ready for 2017?
Let’s talk about resolutions you can keep when it comes to upping your sales mojo.
Is CXO engagement a priority at your company? If so, you are probably having discussions about how to scale.
Successful CXO engagement programs are like drip irrigation. The goal is to deliver small, but highly relevant doses of insight to targeted CXOs based on what you know about them and their business. Over time, you build credibility and trust and earn the right to a deeper conversation, and, if all goes well, trusted advisor relationship status.
Longing for the good old days? You know, the Mad Men school of closing sales over leisurely three martini lunches or a game of golf? Yeah, enterprise B2B selling is harder these days. There are so many more stakeholders who have a role in the buying decision—especially when it comes to major technology purchases. And, increasingly, it’s top-level management—those in the C-suite—who are making these critical decisions. It doesn’t help that global enterprise IT spending growth has been flat—at 1 percent in 2016—according to Gartner. And yet even that small percentage still lays a lot of budget on the table—around $2.7 trillion globally.
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.
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.
As you’re strategizing for new business in 2016, your staff is probably gathering data, pulling together sales materials, and practicing delivering their pitches to CIOs. But they—and you—may be missing out on the bigger picture. What CIOs want from vendors goes beyond the specifics of what you’re selling.
Come 2016, you’ll find new faces in many CEO offices. Organizations like Starwood Hotels, Owens-Illinois, LL Bean, and others have announced top leadership changes and their priorities for 2016.
You may think all CEOs have the same goals in mind—grow the company, grow profits, be leaner. Well, sure. But that’s just the broadest of strokes. Just as you may—mistakenly—assume that all CXO personas are alike, you’d also be wrong in thinking all CEO issues, drivers, and goals are identical. As you’re planning a conversation with someone new entering the C-suite, you need to know what exactly they’re up against and what their plans are to satisfy both customers and shareholders.
Topics: Sales Enablement, Executive Intelligence, CXO Insight, CEO, CEO Biographies, CEO Facts and Figures, C-Suite Selling, CXO Priorities, Business Conversation, Fortune 500 Executives, CEO Profiles, C-Suite
“'It’s great to meet customers. I can get their insights and understand what they’re looking for. What I don’t want to do is sit back and be in an ivory tower and say ‘this is what I think it’s going to be’ – it’s understanding what the customer is asking for and then delivering against that.” — Paul Walsh, Former Chief Information Officer, Dell, Inc.
What companies come to mind when you hear “customer-centric?”
Jeff Henley, Chairman of Oracle Corporation, recently told Forbes that many companies have elevated strategic digital transformation discussions to the executive suite.