‘Ship needs a captain. The crew is important, but the captain steers everything. You need to have a clear vision to lead’- Anonymous.
In today’s hard-fought business world, there is no scope for complacency. The opportunities are limited, few and far between. So in B2B marketing, the marketers need to keep themselves prepare for everything like taking a multi-dimensional approach to selling directly to the C-level decision-makers.
C-level executives, by far, are the most influential, powerful, and essential group of educated individuals who are vital to a company’s success or failure. Thus, the marketers cannot go by a set template that they tend to use while selling to mid-level buyers.
It becomes crucial for marketers to work diligently on their approach and develop innovative ideas; otherwise, they will soon lose the management people’s interest.
This article will discuss some of the most innovative marketing approaches that will help the marketers form a lasting impression on the C-level executives and influence their decision-making process.
Ways to Influence C-level decision-making process
In order to influence people who have ‘ decision-making designations’, the B2B marketers cannot go with just one plan in their head. They need to be street smart and quick on their feet.
Below are some of the most innovative methods that will keep the C-level executives hooked on your sales pitch.
Understand their pain points
The B2B marketers must know that the C-level executives live their life in a fishbowl. Each of their moves and decisions are closely analyzed as the future of the company depends on it. Thus, before pitching to them, the marketer needs to know everything that is bothering them.
If the C-level executives find that your product will help in eradicating their problem, that’s it, you have belled the cat, congratulations. Unlike the mid-level executives, the C-level executives look for longevity in the product, thus making sure that you have a clear vision of the product’s prospects.
Thus, if the marketer understands the top-level executives’ pain points, they can design their sales pitch accordingly and thus would have more time to stress on the salient features of the product rather than beating around the bush.
Timing is the ‘Key’
You have to time everything that you are presenting in your sales pitch, more so when you are dealing with people working in senior positions. The top officials understand the importance of their time, and that’s why there is a rising trend of the officials working on ‘Sunday nights’.
While the C-level executives get ready for their busy week ahead, the marketers can present them their sales pitch in brief via email, etc. to remain in ‘their sight’. The modern-day B2B marketing world is all about timing. If the marketers make the right move at the right time, they can seal the deal with less fuss.
If you plan to send a sales pitch on a Sunday evening, make sure to make the subject line fun. In the pitch, address all the essential points briefly and end the pitch with a crisp Call-to-Action (CTA). Moreover, the pitch content should be devoid of jargon and should entice the C-level executive to give you a call on the following morning.
Be a storyteller
Not all the top-level officials would have the same personality traits, but something can bind and hook the entire tribe, stories. The way you present the marketers present their product must reflect their understanding and love for the product, and having a nice story might be just a perfect ingredient.
The CEOs can be autocratic, humble, and open to suggestions or completely narcissist about their approach. But if you can engage them in a gripping story revolving around your product, you have struck ‘gold’ with your sales pitch. But make sure to keep the essence of the product intact while stitching a story because it is very easy to digress from the central theme and sway away from the real objective. Be thoughtful and research everything that you are going to present because the CEOs will not embrace anything less than perfect.
Establish a relationship
The marketer must design his B2B marketing plan with a view that it must provide his company more than just a business deal. Yes, here we are talking about striking the right chord with the senior-level executives and humanizing the brand stories to build a long-lasting relationship with them.
C-level executives are charismatic thinkers, and if as a marketer, you are putting a sales pitch, it would not interest them. You have to approach the high-end managers in how B2C marketers promote their product to the end-users. If the managers are becoming skeptical about your product, make them understand the significant perks in detail to get their attention back. Remember, to have plan B ready for your plan A and use it wisely.
Keep open communication
The marketer must ensure that their sales pitch does not become a monologue at any stage, especially when dealing with the top officials. Ensure that you interact with the officials regularly while giving the pitch and clear their doubts (if any) at that very instant.
To influence the C-level executives in the right proportion, it is essential to offer them free space and let them analyze the product from their perspective and experience. As they are people of high IQ, their analysis would play a deciding role in making a decision.
Do not haste
Like music, maintaining a ‘rhythm’ is very important while delivering a B2B sales pitch to a company’s top executives. The marketer should not haste to prove a point or demonstrate the salient features of the product.
It is vital to build a robust platform and bring the C-level executive on the same page before pitching the presentation’s core points. If the high point of your project doesn’t go well with the listeners, the presentation’s objective will not be achieved.
The art of influencing the C-level decision-making process depends entirely on the marketer’s approach and how well he or she knows about the product. In addition to it, if the marketer digresses itself from opting for a general approach, it could do wonders for their pitch. Since the stakes are this high, keep your research intact and be thorough with the numbers you are presenting. The C-level executives have a knack for finding if there is something not up to the mark easily.