If your product or service is targeted toward the executive level or your customers need executive approval before they make the purchase then you will need to adjust your selling strategy. People who are in executive roles are there for a reason.
Executives are required by the job to operate differently, think different and make decisions differently. Therefore, if you need to sell to them then you need to consider these five things.
Think like an executive
Executives are expected to deliver outcomes if they want to keep their job. Few positions are scrutinised as heavily as the executive level. They, therefore, have agendas that they want and need to deliver on. Find out what their agenda is and align your sales pitch and product to that agenda.
Align with them
Building on the first step, executives have three main priorities, financial, quality and competitive. How does your product help with those priorities? Research the company to understand their objectives and strategies. Company statements and quarterly reports are great sources of this information. If you go into a sales meeting with an executive without this background information you are setting yourself up for failure.
Sell on the incentives
Your products have benefits, benefits that deliver value. Focus on selling the value your product delivers. For executives, the way to do this is with a hypothesis of the problem the executive faces. Explain how the absence of your product causes this hypothesis to be true and therefore that your product is the solution.
Once you have at least basic buy-in on your product you need to establish credibility and confidence. Engage with a broader audience within the company and convince them of the benefits. Prepare specific delivery details and costings and then report back to the executive. You need the executive and the broader team to have the confidence to invest in your product.
Towards the end of implementation or shortly after you should close the loop with the executive and demonstrate the real-world value that has been achieved by your successful product deployment. This aids in creating a long-term partnership and makes future sales much easier.
TAKEAWAY: Executives are closer to the sales process than ever before. Every salesperson needs to therefore be familiar with how to engage with and sell to the executive level. Following the tips in this article is a great place to get started.