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C-Suite Engagement: Can It Scale?

Sharon Gillenwater

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Is C-Suite engagement a priority in your sales strategy at your company? If so, you are probably having discussions about how to scale.

Successful C-Level engagement programs are like drip irrigation. The goal is to deliver small, but highly relevant doses of insight to targeted executives 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.

The challenge is that this journey is typically a long one and most companies don’t have the patience to stick it out. There is just so much to know and do before you even get to the point where you have earned the right to a meeting with a C-Level decision maker. With sales and marketing teams so focused on automation and scalability—as well as proof of short-term ROI—C-Suite engagement efforts often fail or fizzle simply because they do not lend themselves to any of these things. While automated tools can help you scale account-based marketing programs, the type of one-to-one engagement required when selling or marketing to CXOs takes both time and a lot of heavy lifting—and can’t be automated.

So what can you do?

You can start small with a relatively short list of C-Level decision makers to target—less than 500 is a good number, based on our experience with our customers. And, you can come up with a more efficient and effective process for gathering and using critical C-Level insight that helps you break through the vendor noise and get your foot in the door in the first place. Knowing what an executive decision maker cares about and wants to talk about is the essential first step—without this knowledge you likely won’t get very far. That’s where the heavy lifting comes in. But it doesn’t mean you personally actually have to do it.

Customers who use Boardroom Insiders executive profiles consistently tell us three things:

  1. We help them get in the door: “I used information from your profile to write the CIO a personalized email about how we could help her with one of her business goals and she responded right away.”

  2. We help them feel more confident: “I felt very prepared for the meeting after reading her profile—I felt like I knew so much about her going into it.”

  3. We help them build credibility and trust: “Our meeting was scheduled for 15 minutes but she spoke with us for more than an hour.”

Not all good things can scale. Sometimes heavy lifting is required. But if you could accomplish the three things above with your C-Suite engagements, would it be worth it? If so, we’d love to help you. Interested? Let’s talk.

To understand better how we help salespeople close bigger deals faster, take a look at this short video.


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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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