We here that phrase often – must have experience selling to the (insert executive/C level/CEO here). But how many positions actually sell to this level? What do CEO’s actually purchase for their company?
Financial planners sell to the C level. High-end insurance salespeople sell to the C level. However, most positions do not sell at that level.
One value for a salesperson is the ability to enter at that level and then be sent down to the correct mid-level manager with a referral from the C level contact.
Yet even that “kicked down” ability is overstated. The real value is being able to discover the decision process within the company. For many products and services, this process is not found in the corner office. The flatter the organizational hierarchy, the more difficult it is to find the decision maker. Odds are it is more than one person.
The salesperson who can approach a prospective company, find all of the decision makers and then sell each of them on his or her solution…well, that is truly a skilled salesperson for today’s corporate world. This salesperson may not have experience selling to the executive level, but they have the ability to sell to the right level to close deals.
And you may miss out on them if you think your sale goes through one C-level person.