Salespeople are now faced with selling to the C-suite. C-Suite executives are becoming more involved in your sales deals. They are 2.2 times more likely to join a sales cycle meeting now than pre-pandemic times (Chorus.ai, 2021). They are more engaged in online channels in 2020 than in 2019, at 88% vs. 54% (ITSMA, 2020). They are also looking at your messaging and pitches, your solutions, your differentiation, your deals — and everything in-between — with greater scrutiny and tighter budgets.
While a “researcher” may still serve as a buffer on the buying committee, your sales teams now must prepare to sell directly to the key decision makers. The stakes may be raised, but there are steps you can take to equally uplift your selling tools and skills — and come away winning an unfair share™ of the market.
C-Suite Selling Distinctions
There is no room for subpar selling when a member of the C-Suite is directly involved. The bar is raised on all accounts. High-level executives have less time, have far less patience for ambiguity and irrelevance, and hold a more wary ear toward your sales conversations and pitches. And rightly so: globally, organizations have suffered financially from the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions. As businesses rebound, executives are looking to selling organizations like yours to prove your solutions are worth their cost and can yield real results.
It is up to your salespeople and marketing teams to optimize your selling content and conversations across the entire buying journey.
Every piece of your sales pitch, sales conversation and solution communication must speak directly to your prospect.
- Research your prospect like a diligent scientist.
- Hand-select the most relevant use cases.
- Actively listen for opportunities to serve.
Chorus.ai research also discovered an 81% drop in C-Suite executives’ attendance from the first to second sales call (2021). Therefore, you must be concise, comprehensive and value-packed with every minute of your first interaction.
- Show the prospect you understand their business challenges and opportunities — this is where the conversation MUST start.
- Deliver innovative insights and ideas.
- Address uncomfortable status quos and difficult topics — and the gains that could result if they were conquered.
- Speak to your solution’s value and differentiation.
- Offer to support the executive through a more extensive engagement with the executive’s team and a joint readout with the team on observations and recommendations.
Powerful Value Selling
A conversation in and of itself will not serve a buyer. Your conversations with your buyer need to focus on an exchange of value often triggered by the insights and knowledge you provide. And B2B executives want sellers and account managers to create more value by being more consultative.
- Develop differentiated value messaging in relation to your buyer’s challenges.
- Help your prospect build his or her business case.
- Provide ongoing advice to guide your buyer toward their objectives, while avoiding pitfalls.
The pressure does not start and end with salespeople. Since executives are engaging more online than ever before, marketing and prospecting campaigns also need to be packaged and tailored to resonate with executive teams.
- Speak to the executive’s greatest challenges.
- Detail their relevant personal, professional and organizational gains.
- Align differentiated value messaging across channels and teams.
Button-Up Your Sales Strategy
Selling excellence cannot be left to trial and error improvements — nor can your selling strategy be entrusted to anyone but the experts. Your chance to resonate with C-Suite prospects is narrower than ever before — and those executives’ need for powerful solutions is even greater. It is vital you adjust your selling for this C-suite audience.
Mereo experts have built powerful selling frameworks, sales enablement tools and sales training we can rapidly customize to impact your selling organization. With the addition of the Mereo Decision Maker Network™, a group of 300+ high-level executives from across industries, we can directly test your pitches, messaging and campaigns for external validation.
Level-up your selling now. Prepare to pitch to the bosses.