Glossary: “C-Suite” — Defined on the funnelholic as any C-level executive but implies more than one. My buddy at SAP gave me this term and I have been using it ever since.
Assault refers to everyone’s continual quest to get into the C-Suite. It was brought up to me once again once I released my Optimize to Connect post…that alot of common techniques do not work when we are talking about C-level executives.
Let make one thing crystal clear: Getting into the C-Suite from mid-sized business and up is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.
- If you work at one of the tech giants (IBM, ORCL, SAP, MSFT, CISCO, etc), you SHOULD be dealing with the C-Suite and by virtue of who you work for, this is more realiistice
- C-level executives DO NOT DOWNLOAD whitepapers on the internet. They don’t.
- Per the above point, you may have to leverage a direct report to get to him and THAT IS OKAY
- This is especially true when you are at an emerging technology organization
- I know that the CFO signs off on technology, but he is not going to respond to a it infrastructure vendors “Save money, roi, etc” VITO letter
- Rolodex works here (too obvious) but if you can use it do it.
So, what to do? I don’t know how many times I have been asked to build a lead development organization to get meetings on the C-level or as an internet lead generation organization to develop C-level leads.
- Be-friend the admin. There is so much written about this, that I don’t need to do more. But this lady is tough as nails but is human and will help you somewhat.
- First of all, if you have a well-written email, ask her to print it and put it on her bosses’ chair
- Talk to her when things are not hectic, late in the day, and just be up-front on what you are trying to achieve
- Seriously, its ok, to talk to a direct report or the person in-charge of the area you are selling to (example: if you are selling supply chain, the person in charge of supply chain management is ok.
- Try calling before 9AM and after 5PM when the admin is gone and your contact is just sitting at their desk
- Using automation
- Tools like Eloqua, Genius.com, etc DO work here and they work great. The earlier point of getting c-level guys when their day of meetings is done can be executed using Connect Automation. Send them an email at 5:45 pm and when they open it and start cruising around — call them OR if you can’t reach them send them another email right then. This technique is one of the reasons for Connect Automation.
- One guy I spoke with sends 10 emails at 6PM and if he gets a hit. He calls first in hopes that he can reach the contact (gatekeeper gone). If that doesn’t work, he gets bold and sends an email.
- Using online Lead Generation services
- You won’t get C-level downloads from companies of any substantial size. That does not mean you should fire your online lead sources. Look it doesn’t take a dummy to know that if people from that company are researching what you are selling that you have a shot at getting to the top. Triangulate around your contact knowing what they are looking into and what their pains are and you can create targeted compelling messaging for your C-level target.