In our meetings with enterprise sales leaders, we notice a lot of heads nodding around the room when we talk about:
- the fact that purchasing decisions are moving up the executive chain
- the resulting need for insight into executive careabouts
- the need to coach sales on how to have a business conversation
- the need to hold sales accountable for CXO engagement
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.