By: Ray Makela on January 25th, 2023
Strategic Questions to Ask Senior Leaders to Increase Sales
In these challenging economic times, sales professionals must meet with senior executives and C-Suite leaders who are empowered to make decisions and allocate budgets. When you consider that CXOs are participating in buying decisions 86% more often than they did just 3 years ago, not targeting them is simply not an option. Yet getting access has become exceptionally difficult as more and more stakeholders are now involved in B2B sales.
Demonstrate Your Tangible Value in Their Business Terms
It's key that your outreach targets a specific problem and highlights the impact your solution can provide in a way that resonates with your prospect’s current business situation. It’s safe to assume that managing costs and “doing more with less” is top of mind for most executives.
To increase your chances of booking a meeting with a member of the C-suite, your messaging needs to speak to their business challenges today.
Here are high impact sales questions you can focus on along with the specific buyer personas, industry, business, and specific role within the company. Addressing these questions helps persuade them that you understand their problems and can provide a tangible ROI for their organization.
For the CFO: How will your solution drive cost out of the business?
It’s important to think like a CFO when considering the prospect’s operations and cost structure. If your solution can help them take cost out—perhaps by reducing expenses in infrastructure, IT, labor, or operations; or by allowing them to scale without adding additional overhead—this will get the CFO’s attention.
For the CIO or CTO: How can you help consolidate products and reduce spending?
Many fast-growing organizations have products and subscriptions they have invested in, which are now underutilized or even “sitting on the shelf.” Perhaps your product can enable them to accomplish many of these tasks with one solution, thereby allowing them to eliminate other vendors and reduce spending. Consider how you can make other products or services redundant and show how you can fund your solution with these savings.
For the COO: How can you help increase efficiency and improve their operations?
Oftentimes business processes have grown organically in the organization without careful planning or attention to how these processes affect one another. This can lead to duplication, redundancy, and inefficiency in how the business operates. If your solution can provide a single integration point that will help rationalize all of these processes, you’ve got a great message to make a busy COO stop and take notice.
For the CEO/COO: How will you help boost the productivity of front-line workers?
As the organization looks to scale, a key message for this year will be how to grow without adding headcount or personnel costs. Does your solution provide productivity improvements that would allow the organization to accomplish more with the existing staff? Providing solutions that help people work smarter and more efficiently will always get the attention of the CEO and COO.
For the CRO/VP of Sales: How can you drive more revenue with less cost?
Significant investments have been made in sales enablement and customer relationship management systems over the past decade, unfortunately with mixed results. The promise is to make sales teams more productive, improve sales performance and grow annual bookings at a faster rate than the growth of the sales team. If you have a solution that impacts this area, you need to be able to showcase studies and ROI examples supported by real data and research. Adding sales staff is expensive but having a solution that increases revenue with the existing headcount is very attractive to sales leaders today
Addressing key executives' top concerns helps differentiate your solution from competitors
The key to getting the attention of business executives in any of these areas is to show a strong business case for any additional investment and illustrate that there’s an accelerated path to achieving the benefits. There is less appetite now for long-term investments that will take years to recoup. The most compelling business case will be one that begins generating value or reducing cost in the shortest timeframe possible.
Do you want your sales team to effectively reach C-Suite and sell higher? Look no further!
The Sales Readiness Group is here to help. Our expert facilitators collaborate closely with your sellers to teach them how to speak the same language with senior executives on strategic issues and shift their mindset from vendor to trusted advisor. Imagine what your team could achieve with the right guidance and skills. Don't wait; let SRG help your team reach its goals. Schedule a complimentary consultation today.
About Ray Makela
Ray Makela is CEO and Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group (SRG). He oversees all client engagements as well as serves as a senior facilitator on sales management, coaching, negotiation and sales training workshops. Ray has over 20 years of management, consulting, and sales experience and writes frequently on best practices for coaching and developing sales teams.