Insight for Your Sales Conversations with the C-suite

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Insight for Your Sales Conversations with the C-suite

2014-11-06 / by:
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LIsa Vitale marketing GuruHow well do you really know your C-suite audience, and how prepared are you to engage the conversations they want to have? In search of a winning formula for engaging just this audience, the people at Corporate Visions (a leading B2B marketing and sales messaging company) have published a great eBook entitled, “’We’ve identified the decision makers…’ and other myths that keep your sales team from succeeding in the C-suite.” Below, we’ve provided a brief synopsis of their eBook, as well as insights into how surveys help with insight selling conversations.

The challenge of C-suite selling

Consider these recent statistics[i] illustrating the disconnect between vendors and buyers:

  • Executives value having business conversations 4x more than product conversations.

BUT…

  • Executives say that only 24% of sales people they encounter understand their business, while 88% are knowledgeable about their products.

While executive buyers are interesting in having conversations of value to them, most sales teams are ill-equipped to do this. So, what are the 5 myths the team at Corporate Visions cite as impeding such conversations and therefore, success in the C-suite?

5 myths to bust for success

  1. “No budget means no opportunity.” As the C-suite sets the budget, if they become convinced of a need, they can allocate funds accordingly. Just because they don’t initially see the imperative, doesn’t mean you can’t compellingly connect your solution with their business challenges – you just need to know what their most salient and pressing issues are to know how to frame your offering and find your way into the right conversation. A well-crafted industry survey can deliver just these insights.

 

  1. “We’ve identified the decision makers…” Most opportunities don’t involve an executive early on, in spite of the fact that they make the vast majority of buying decisions. Don’t waste time selling into the wrong level – be sure you know exactly who the high-level influencers are and who makes the final buying decisions. Lead Generation Prospect Surveys identify just these individuals with their highly-targeted approach.

 

  1. “We’re talking to our prospects about things they want to hear…” As the stats cited above note, while vendors largely believe they’re having the right conversation, their audience does not. Research to learn precisely what your audience’s business context is, as well as what their individual needs and challenges are. One of the best ways to do this? Go to the source – ask them! Aggregate survey results reveal trends and provide benchmarks useful to respondents, while individual responses provide keen insight and intelligence for sales teams.

 

  1. “We’re equipping our reps to have the right conversations with the right people…” Again, see above. Not only do you have to gather the proper intelligence through copious and diverse research, but you also need to help your team frame the issues properly. Seek points of differentiation where you meet your buyers’ needs in ways new and unimagined by them (read our brief: Using Prospect Surveys to Enable Insight Selling). Craft a message that is both valuable to your team and resonates uniquely with your audience.

 

  1. “Executive buyers want us to be experts and have all the answers…” While buyers do expect you to be experts on your offering, what they are looking for is a partner with whom they can add value to their organization. Engage them in ‘co-creation’ conversations about what their business needs are and how you can best meet their particular challenges. Prospect surveys are ideal at providing you pro-active intelligence and insight for shaping such desired and valuable conversations.

To learn more about the comprehensive value of deploying a prospect survey, read our brief, “Prospect Surveys: Solving 4 Marketing Challenges at Once

To gain more insight from Corporate Visions’s eBook, visit them at:

 

[i] All cited statistics as referenced by Corporate Vision.