How to reach C-level decision makers


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Senior decision makers are better informed than ever before, and attracting their attention has become increasingly difficult thanks to well briefed gatekeepers and ongoing media overload.

So how do you get through to these busy decision-makers and persuade them to buy? The suspect-to-sales process is the same as it’s always been, what’s changed is the information, collateral, route and metrics. This presentation examines the process and offers advice on how to have more productive conversations with the C-level suite.

Published in: Marketing, Business, Education

How to reach C-level decision makers

  1. 1. How to reach C-level decision makers
  2. 2. “ How to reach C-level decision makers ” Research suggests buyers are engaging later in the journey and there are more members in the team. 4/5 * sales have teams with at least 4 people 1/10 sales have teams with 10+ people * 57% ** of buyer journey completed before contact This means buyers are better informed and able to make quicker decisions after engaging with potential suppliers. * Miller Heiman’s Best Practice Study ** CEB Report
  3. 3. “ How to reach C-level decision makers ” The suspect to sales process is the same as it’s always been, as shown below. The blue boxes show the Seller’s view of the process, the red boxes show the Buyer’s view. The quotes are the questions/thoughts of the Buyer at each stage. What’s changed is the Information, Collateral, Route and Metrics. These four areas are examined in this presentation.
  4. 4. “ Information ” Before you contact C-level you need to build a ‘Single Prospect Profile’ using LinkedIn (information on the individual), Search Engines (information on the company) and your own telemarketing activity (all the unpublished information). You cannot afford to have uninformed conversations at C-level.
  5. 5. “ Collateral ” It’s important to deliver collateral (white papers, webinars, company brochures or even free samples) at the right stage in the process. A product sheet at Prospect stage is perhaps too early, a white paper at Opportunity stage may be too late. It’s easy for C-level to Google your company or competitors. They are better informed than ever before. So make sure you tell them something they don’t already know. Original research about their market sector can really open doors.
  6. 6. “ ” Route Buying teams are divided into Junior, Intermediate and Higher Executives (C-level). The stage at which they become involved in the process depends on their seniority. This can help your sales team. Talking with Junior or Intermediate execs means they can gather sales intelligence as well as fine tune their elevator pitch.
  7. 7. “ ” Route It can take 3-6 months to have a conversation at C-level, so it’s frustrating to find the purchasing decision is further down the chain of command. Working from Ground-Level:Up can be more effective than Top-Level:Down.
  8. 8. “ 5 point plan 1 Find the floor you need ”
  9. 9. “ 5 point plan ” 2 The journey should be ground-floor:up
  10. 10. “ 5 point plan 3 Practice your elevator pitch ”
  11. 11. “ 5 point plan ” 4 Educate people as you travel up
  12. 12. “ 5 point plan ” 5 Ensure you exit at the right level
  13. 13. “ 5 point plan ” This 5 point plan is available as an infographic. Check 5 Ensure you exit at the right level
  14. 14. “ “ Metrics ” The Web, including 2.0, has changed everything; 57% of the buyers’ journey has been completed before they contact a new supplier ” The internet and digital communication play a significant part in the modern buying process. Yet human interaction (HI) remains important.
  15. 15. “ Metrics 68% ” of B2B sales involve human interaction (HI)* £68,032 £1,018 is the average order value with HI* is the average order value without HI*
  16. 16. “ Metrics ” Source: SCi Sales Group, 2011 n = 29,277 calls Across a sample of over 29,000 calls, we found that it takes 80 calls on average to get an opportunity with a C-level executive.
  17. 17. “ Metrics ” Source: SCi Sales Group, 2013 n = 200 76% of Junior Executives rejected all of their last 3 sales calls, yet only 47% of Higher Executives rejected all 3. Get past the gatekeeper and you stand a good chance of having a conversation at C-level.
  18. 18. “ Conclusion ” Information Use LinkedIn, search engines and your own telemarketing activity to build a ‘single prospect profile’ of the C-suite. Collateral Deliver content and information at the right stage in the Suspect to Sale process. Route First, find the floor you need. The journey should be Ground-Floor:Up. Practice your elevator pitch, making sure you educate people as you travel. Finally, exit at the right level... C-level is not the only stop. Metrics Although the internet means buyers are better informed, 68% of B2B sales involve some form of human interaction – either a phone call or a meeting.
  19. 19. Established in 2002, SCi Sales Group began life as a B2B telemarketing agency and has grown to become a leading sales acceleration specialist within EMEA. We have added other offline/online marketing tools to our portfolio, and can act as an outsourced extension of your sales force or a supplier of insourced sales talent. For further information, please visit our website or signup to our newsletter –