Every business organization has final decision makers in place within every team. A project given a green light from the purchasing committee will not see the light of day without the nod from the senior executives. These visionaries are tasked with making decisions that are congruent with their organization’s top-level business goals and guaranteeing the most value for their business.
The highest-ranking executive in a business organization is usually designated to the Chief Executive Officer or CEO. The CEO possesses an intrinsic view that needs to be taken into account when you are formulating sales strategies. Build your sales lead generation tactics around their specific concerns and you will surely win over the rest of the buying committee. But first, let’s define what a CEO is.
A CEO oversees every aspect of the organization most especially if it is a publicly held company. Here, CEOs are answerable to their stakeholders and board of directors.
CEOs are directors, managers, decision makers, and leaders. They are responsible for the whole organization’s profitability and day-to-day operation. Today’s CEOs are also taking to social media to post messages and videos that impart their valuable insights and best practices. In a recent study conducted by Chris Perry of Weber Shandwick, he suggested that CEOs now acknowledge the fact that “they must be a leading voice with those who follow their company pages”, regardless if they don’t have a large following on personal social networking sites.
In essence, CEOs are arguably the most influential catalysts of change within their organization. They are leaders heavily focused on finding business value in any new solution presented to them.
The CEO’s Priorities
It is the responsibility of the CEOs to observe their industry to ensure their company’s edge over other competitors. This includes keeping their ears on the ground for industry disruptions and creating solutions for these disruptions.
Develop interest in your CEO about your solutions by keeping these questions in mind.
What’s the value for the business?
CEOs analyze solutions that result in tangible and intangible benefits for the organization (e.g. ROI, costs, process efficiencies, technological breakthroughs)
What’s the impact of your solution to the bottom line.
Articulating how your solution will save or make money for the company is essential. Set a realistic timeframe in which results can be expected.
How does it impact the other departments.
Assess the possible effects of your solution on the other facets of the organization. Weigh all options and consider every possibility. CEOs are responsible for the whole organization and any major decisions that will affect it will go through their microscope.
You can tailor-fit solutions that will satisfy CEO expectations by understanding these major concerns.
Communicating with the CEO
CEOs expect that you have a decent understanding of their organization, including the functions of each department. Asking basic questions is a potential deal breaker as it sends a message that your knowledge about them is limited. Strike their interest by considering these tactics instead.
Explain the business value.
Jay Steinfeld, CEO of Blinds.com reminds us to make sure the CEOs understand they are in good hands and there is not a cloud of doubt their company stands to benefit from your solution. Focus on the specifics of how your solution will help the CEOs run their company well.
Let them talk.
CEOs are often willing to share their vision for their organization. This allows you to uncover needs you can directly address with an effective sales strategy.
Steli Efti, CEO of Close.io stresses the great importance of referrals, especially with small businesses. Efti states that referrals play a critical role in developing “a truly scalable sales process.” Studies show that 84% of C-level executives go to social media to finalize vendor decisions. Use LinkedIn Recommendations from past customers to strengthen your reputation.
CEOs act on immediate business needs while keeping the company’s future success in total perspective. Developing your solutions and sales strategies that addresses both increases your chances of gaining their confidence during the sales process.