Selling To The C-Suite

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Overview of the groundbreaking new book - Selling to the C-Suite - published by McGraw-Hill with a Foreword by Neil Rackham.

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  • As we mentioned on the last slide, we often have to identify what we call “the relevant executive for the sales opportunity”.
    We define the relevant executive as the executive who stands to gain the most or lose the most as a result of the outcome of the project or application associated with the buying decision.
    Identifying that executive can be very challenging; however, if you can identify that executive and then align with him or her, you will significantly increase your odds of winning a sales campaign.
  • Selling To The C-Suite

    1. 1. Selling to the C-Suite The Groundbreaking New Book for Professional Salespeople Stephen J. Bistritz, Ed.D. steveb@sellxl.com www.sellxl.com Linked to © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    2. 2. Selling to the C-Suite “The new salespeople are highly skilled value creators, who live by ingeniously solving customer problems. The measure of these new salespeople is the value they create, and to create maximum value, they must understand the issues and concerns of their C-Suite customers. This book is timely and essential reading for them!” Neil Rackham Author of Spin Selling © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    3. 3. Presentation Outcomes At the end of this presentation, you will be able to…  Describe when executives get involved in the decision process for major purchases  Discover the best approaches to use for that initial call on the relevant executive for the sales opportunity  Determine how to become perceived as a trusted advisor to the executive, thereby securing return access  Select the appropriate time to communicate value to executives © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    4. 4. Presentation Outcomes Those outcomes may sound like common sense… however, in many cases, they are not common practice! © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    5. 5. Challenges Salespeople Have in Calling on Executives Identify some of the challenges salespeople encounter when calling on senior executives… http://www.wcremembered.co.uk/63_p12.html “If not you, perhaps a friend of yours.” © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    6. 6. Challenges • Identifying the right executive to call on • Getting past the gatekeeper • Understanding the executive’s key business issues • Intimidated by the questions that could arise • Lack of understanding of the politics of the client organization • Jeopardizing lower level relationships © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    7. 7. Research on Selling at the Executive Level Hewlett-Packard | Kenan Flagler Business School, UNC Georgia State University | Target Marketing Systems  When and why did executives get involved in the decision process for major purchases?  What has to happen in meetings with salespeople for the executive to feel it was effective?  How do salespeople establish trust and credibility at the executive level, thereby securing return access?  What are executives looking for in “strategic relationships” with suppliers? Selling to the C-Suite. By Nicholas A.C. Read and Stephen J. Bistritz, Ed.D. McGraw Hill. © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    8. 8. Executive Involvement in the Buying Cycle Q When and why do senior executives get involved in the decision process for major purchases? A Early Middle Late Executive Involvement Understand Current Issues Establish Objectives Set Strategy Explore Options Set Vendor Criteria Examine Alternatives Plan Implementation Measure Results Steps in the Buying Cycle © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    9. 9. Executive Involvement in the Buying Cycle Q When and why do senior executives get involved in the decision process for major purchases? Executive Involvement Understand Current Issues Establish Objectives Set Strategy Explore Options Set Vendor Criteria Examine Alternatives Plan Implementation Measure Results Steps in the Buying Cycle © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    10. 10. Selling to the C-Suite “I meet with professional salespeople because often they can offer me solutions that even people within my own organization can’t develop. They’ve seen these problems in other organizations and I want the benefit of their experience.” — CXO-Level Executive © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    11. 11. Defining the Relevant Executive The executive who initiated the project or application associated with the sales opportunity The executive who stands to gain the most or lose the most by the outcome of the project or application associated with the sales opportunity This is the relevant executive for the sales opportunity © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    12. 12. Calling on the Relevant Executive “The tasks our clients were asking us to take on were spreading beyond the domain of the CIO – places where IBM [salespeople] had not, in general, ventured and where we lacked strong client relationships.” - Lou Gerstner © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    13. 13. RTC Technologies Executive Team Cultivating Client Relationships  Who has the formal power for an IT-based customer service solution?  Who has the informal power for that same decision?  Who is the relevant executive for this opportunity? © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    14. 14. RTC Technologies Executive Team Cultivating Client Relationships  Who has the formal power for an IT-based customer service solution? Formal Power © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    15. 15. RTC Technologies Executive Team Cultivating Client Relationships  Who has the formal power for an IT-based customer service solution?  Who has the informal power for that same decision? Informal Power © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    16. 16. RTC Technologies Executive Team Cultivating Client Relationships  Who has the formal power for an IT-based customer service solution?  Who has the informal power for that same decision?  Who is the relevant executive for this opportunity? Relevant Executive Informal Power © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    17. 17. Four Approaches to Gaining Access Overt Sponsor Referral Implement an Use a credible Use a referral Treat the overt approach sponsor within (someone outside gatekeeper via the the client’s the client’s (AA, secretary or telephone or organization to organization), the like) as a using a phone help secure such as a resource and use call, preceded by access consultant, them to help business secure access a letter Gatekeeper associate or friend © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    18. 18. Research on Selling to Executives Q Assuming your company was considering a major purchase, how likely would you be to schedule a meeting with a salesperson if the request came from… A Always Usually Occasionally Never 16% 68% 16% 0% A referral from outside the company 8 36 44 12 A letter from a salesperson followed by a direct call 4 20 40 36 A direct telephone call from a salesperson 0 20 36 44 A recommendation from someone inside your company © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    19. 19. Gaining Access 84% of the time executives said they would grant the salesperson a meeting… provided the recommendation came from someone inside the company! © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    20. 20. Preparing Your Approach Outline for the Initial Telephone Call on the Executive Brief introduction to why you’re contacting the executive Introduction Purpose Explain your connection to the person who referred you to the executive, if appropriate Be clear and specific as you explain the purpose of the call Explain the homework you’ve done on their organization and Credibility communicate how you’ve helped other companies address similar challenges Commitment and Action Propose a clear and specific action for the executive © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    21. 21. Components of Credibility Integrity Capability Adapted from: Clients for Life. Jagdish Sheth and Andrew Sobel. Simon and Schuster. © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    22. 22. Components of Credibility  Reliable  Trustworthy  Consistent  Trusted Advisor  Collaborative Relationship Client Value Zone Integrity  Extra Pair of Hands  Expert for Hire Capability Adapted from: Clients for Life. Jagdish Sheth and Andrew Sobel. Simon and Schuster. © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    23. 23. Interactions with Executives Each interaction with an executive either dilutes or enhances your credibility! © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    24. 24. Different Perspectives Executive Management Operations © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    25. 25. Different Perspectives Other Uses of Funds Company Wide View Executive Management Operations Solution Fit Department/Function View Price/ Discounts Project View © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    26. 26. Research on Selling to Executives Q What has to happen in meetings with salespeople for the executive to feel it was effective? A 1. Demonstrated responsibility 2. Understood my business goals 3. Listened before proposing a solution 4. Displayed knowledge of my industry Selling to the C-Suite. By Nicholas A.C. Read and Stephen J. Bistritz, Ed.D. McGraw Hill. © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    27. 27. Research on Selling to Executives Q A How does a salesperson establish credibility and trust with a high-level executive? 1. Ability to marshal resources 2. Understands my business goals/objectives 3. Responsive to my requests 4. Willing to be held accountable 5. Knows company’s products Selling to the C-Suite. By Nicholas A.C. Read and Stephen J. Bistritz, Ed.D. McGraw Hill. © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    28. 28. Making the Initial Face-to-Face Call on the Executive Introduction  Refer to your initial telephone call with the executive  Cite your past experience Issues and Implications  Ask questions that confirm your level of preparation  Discuss the issues and implications using the client’s metrics  Confirm the importance of their key business initiative(s) Solution Options  Explore potential solutions  Develop a vision of the optimal solution  Confirm the value of the solution Moving Forward  Re-connect with the executive to secure return access  Have an action plan that involves the executive © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    29. 29. Four Major Objectives of an Initial Face-to-Face Call  Establish rapport quickly  Confirm your understanding of the executive’s key business issues  Demonstrate some level of capability  Create next steps that involve the executive Adapted from All for One: 10 Strategies for Building Trusted Client Partnerships by Andrew Sobel © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    30. 30. Creating a Value Proposition You, Your Company and Your Solution Your Specific Business Value Client’s Key Business Initiative © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    31. 31. Creating a Value Proposition Key Elements of a Value Proposition Addresses the client’s issue(s) and focuses on payback or consequences as it relates to the client’s business initiative What’s important to them? Describes how we can help, in both a qualitative and quantitative form How does our solution create value for them? Might include an example of how we addressed a similar problem at another company How can we demonstrate our capability? © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    32. 32. Format of a Value Proposition You should be capable of ______________ by _________ describe the impact monetary units or % through the ability to ___________________________ . describe the new situation This will require an investment of _________________ , state the cost of the solution which will be returned within _____________________. estimate the time frame for return © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    33. 33. Value Proposition Example Specific Client Example You should be capable of reducing annual travel expenses, resulting in annual savings of $5.9M, by implementing our Telepresence System. This will require an investment of $5.3M, which will be returned in 11 months. We implemented a similar solution at Acme Transfer Company, who began achieving an annual savings of $7.5M during the first year of installation. © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    34. 34. Summarizing Our Findings  Executives get involved early in the decision process for major purchases to set the project’s strategy – but also get involved late to monitor the implementation and measure the results  Identifying the relevant executive and aligning with that executive should be key elements of your sales process  The best approach to use for the initial call on the executive is to work with a credible sponsor inside the client organization to help you gain access  Demonstrating both capability and integrity over the long term helps you become perceived as a trusted advisor  Consistently communicating your value to executives should be an integral part of your relationship strategy © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    35. 35. Summary and Close When calling at the executive level, make certain that you…  Have done your homework and understand the industry as well as the client  Can conduct the conversation using the client’s metrics  Are specific, but concise  Are prepared to discuss the specific business value you can deliver to their company, and to them personally  Don’t ask the executive a question whose answer could have been obtained from another source  Leave with the perception of owning the relationship (from your company’s perspective) © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    36. 36. Selling to the C-Suite “There is a refreshing realism about the author’s advice. No gimmicks, no tricks, no smoke and mirrors. Selling to the C-Suite is hard, thoughtful and strategic – the book offers none of the usual unrealistic silver bullets. The ideas are based on research, not on anecdotes. “ Neil Rackham Author of Spin Selling © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
    37. 37. Selling to the C-Suite The Groundbreaking New Book for Professional Salespeople Stephen J. Bistritz, Ed.D. steveb@sellxl.com www.sellxl.com © 2013 - 2014, Learning Solutions International. All rights reserved.
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