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Bridging the gap between where your sales are today and where they could be tomorrow

Salespeople and C-level Communication

CEO, leadership and corporate hierarchy concept - recruiter complete team represented by puzzle in pyramid scheme by one leader person (CEO).

Are your salespeople able to talk to C-level decision makers?

Most salespeople don’t know how to communicate with C-level buyers. Senior buyers like as CEOs and MDs want salespeople to demonstrate business and financial competence.  They’re not interested in the features or even the benefits of a product or service.  They want to know what impact a provider will have on their profits as well as their customers.

C-level buyers are mainly concerned with generating profitable income in order to pay investors, suppliers and employees, among other outgoings. Whatever it is you’re trying to sell them, you have to show how you can save them money, reduce their risk and make them money.  Financial results are in; feature dumps are out.

According to IDC, the global providers of market intelligence, senior decision makers such as CEOs and MDs will be involved in 80% of buying decisions. SiriusDecisions research found that top decision makers prefer discussions about business trends, issues and insights four times more than traditional sales conversations.  Forrester Research supports this by stating that salespeople only talk about business issues 24% of the time.

When you do contact the CEO or MD you need to speak their language. These people have very limited time, so you have to get the point quickly.  When on the telephone it helps to have a prompt sheet consisting of a few key questions.  This is not the same as a script, which might sound canned.  After stating your name and company, say in one sentence what you’re calling about.  Then ask an open question directly related to the most likely issue you believe them to have.

When it comes to a face to face meeting with a CEO or MD, you can base the whole discussion around these five open questions: –

  1. Tell me about your main aims?
  2. What’s your timetable for reaching these aims?
  3. What’s your action plan to achieve them?
  4. What issues might prevent you from reaching them?
  5. What return would you enjoy if these issues were resolved and your aims reached in a timely manner?

TrainingIndustry found that high performing companies spend much more effort developing business expertise and financial acumen among their salespeople than most companies. Is your company one of them?

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