Sell to the CEO & CFO Agenda
I read a recent LinkedIn article by a prominent influencer who said that the only buyers who matter now are the CEO and CFO given market conditions. The author's conclusion was that NOW that the market is difficult, sales teams should shift their focus to selling directly to CEOs and CFOs. The author concluded that these two individuals now control all the buying power and decision making. I read and re-read the article with my head tilted.
You may have tilted your head a little when you read the title of this post. If you are a sales professional, you may be saying to yourself that you agree with the title, but it's easier said than done. If you are a sales manager you are likely saying duh as you tilt your head back to normal position.
Duh indeed. I was taken aback by the LinkedIn article I read. Here is why I tilted my head and why some of you may be tilting your head as you read this post.
IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT THE CEO AND CFO.
That the author of the LinkedIn post I read didn't already know this surprised me. Regardless of market conditions, nothing - nothing - gets funded in business that doesn't align to an ROI that speaks directly to CEO and CFO mandated priorities. Nothing.
That doesn't mean that other executives - the people we may be calling our economic buyer in our CRM system - don't have SOME buying authority. But, that buying authority is only as good as the business case behind every project that executive is championing. If there isn't a solid business case with DIRECT linkage to a CEO/CFO priority, nobody's pen is going to put ink on our contract.
So, do we really need to walk into the CEO or CFO offices and give our pitch? Of course not. But we MUST live in their offices.
What do I mean by live in their offices? I mean we have to spend time in their world. We have to KNOW what their priorities are and why they are what they are. We have to validate the existence of a business case that aligns to their agenda for the things we are offering.
In future posts, I'll cover more on this business case idea, and the role we should aspire to play in actually building those business cases for our customers and clients - for those people we call the economic buyer.
But, to close, we should now, as always, sell to the CEO & CFO agenda.