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CXO Priorities for Sales Pros: Are you handcuffed, or an enabler?

May 02, 2014

If you're in sales at any level, you know the feeling of being "handcuffed" with a customer. It's when you know a purchase decision will be made by a CXO above the person you are currently talking to, and you can't have a call or an in-person meeting with the decision makers. 

This handcuffed feeling is strongest when you have to rely on "the influencer" to communicate to the C-suite decision-maker how your solution will solve their biggest business priorities...what they care about the most.

How to use CXO Priorities

When top performers realize the CXO is unlikely to meet with them, they refuse to feel like they are being held hostage or handcuffed by anyone.  Instead, they research and use CXO priorities to drive the sales process and enable their influencer to become their voice in the C-suite.  Here's why this is so important in enterprise sales.

  • Trust: It's always important in making a sale, but never more important
    than when you are relying on someone to make the sale for you.  The quickest route to building trust, and ultimately a strong recommendation, is to convince the influencer you have a firm grip on their boss' priorities. As someone once told me in one of my own sales calls..."Lee, I'm sold on your service.  But I'm fascinated by what my boss likes, and we won't have a deal until he's sold on it."
  • Time:  Enterprise sales cycles can be long, yet your company expects you to deliver on your sales targets this year.  If you spend all your energy tyring to get in front of a hard-to-reach CXO, you may be putting your commission (or worse, your job) in jeopardy. 
  • CXO Engagement:  By consistently enabling the influencer to communicate how your offer addresses their CXO's priorities, you increase your profile as a trusted adviser and will eventually earn the right to meet directly with the CXO.  Being a product jockey ensures that you will never meet with the CXO directly.

If you're like me, you're always looking to engage the senior decision-maker.  But when you can't meet with the CXO, turn your influencer into a decision maker...by treating them like one.  You may find that you'll close a bigger deal than you anticipated, and much faster.  You may even earn the right to meet with CXO.

Want to learn more?  Click here to get our free eBook:  C-Suite Selling Best Practices

Best,

Lee Demby

President of Boardroom Insiders 

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Lee Demby