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Why Marc Benioff thinks you should engage CXOs

September 11, 2011
We are big fans of Marc Benioff, the visionary behind Salesforce.com, the leader in the red-hot cloud computing space.

Benioff shares our opinion on how enterprise sales needs to be approached--by understanding the customer's business and by uncovering points of connection and relevance with the CEO or other C-level executives.

Convincing a CEO of the value of your proposition, says Benioff, gives you instant credibility and access with his/her lieutenants--people it might otherwise take you months or years to engage. It can cut months or even years off the sales cycle.

We wrote in an earlier post about the importance of understanding your customer's CXO agenda, whether you sell into the C-suite or not. It is something Benioff understands and has leveraged to his success. Here is an excerpt from his 2010 book, Behind the Cloud:
“Don’t dial for dollars...always call with a plan. Learn about the company and use your network to find the right individual(s) to approach...When we were trying to win lender CIT as a customer, we realized that Gary Butler, the CEO of ADP, a customer of ours, was on the board of CIT. I reached out to Gary, who recommended us to CIT. The first meeting we had at CIT was with its CEO and chairman, Jeffrey Peek. By connecting the dots, we won the unlikely opportunity to get to the “C” level on an initial sales call. This ultimately resulted in a multithousand-user deal and an extremely short sales cycle.”
This what Boardroom Insiders is all about--uncovering valuable points of connection and relevance that you can leverage to get a senior decision maker's attention. Want to learn more? Let's Talk.
 
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Lee Demby

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Lee Demby