Selling to the C-Suite

According to the 2001 U.S. Census Bureau survey, there are over 10 million non-retail sales representatives in the United States. As there is no listing for C-Level Executive (hereafter, CLE) in the Census, let’s estimate the number of CLEs in the B2B selling world using the Global 2000 list of companies. If we estimate an average of five CLEs (CEO, CFO, COO, CIO, President) and seven additional “close to C-Level” executives” (i.e., EVP Sales, SVP marketing, SVP HR, Divisional President, etc.) then we arrive at a total of approximately 24,000.


That’s 417 sales professionals for each C-Level Executive! How can you possibly differentiate yourself in this crowded market?


And let’s face it, few in the C-Suite care to spend much—if any—time with salespeople. Nonetheless, you are told by your boss that in today’s selling environment it is imperative that you reach the C-Level.


Huthwaite’s research has revealed that getting into the C-Suite requires three very particular skills:


* The ability to identify when a CLE would be most receptive to your request for time

* The ability to navigate the most effective route to obtain an audience with a CLE

* The ability to properly execute a meeting with a CLE to increase your chances for success


Our research reveals that the optimal time to approach a CLE is at the beginning of the buying process. It is the time when senior managers are looking for diagnosis and are open to new insights about their business. After that, the C-Level will take little to no interest in the buying process until his buying team has evaluated various options and made a tentative decision.

To learn more about the ideal time to reach out to a C-Level Executive, the best method to secure a meeting with a CLE and how to execute a C-Level sales call, please download our latest free whitepaper: Selling to the C-Suite


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