Sunday 27 November 2011

1: Selling to the C-Suite

1. Selling to the C-Suite

Selling to the C-Suite is the inaugural book of B2B Books which has set the tone of the club quite nicely. The book, as its title clearly conveys, is all about selling to the highest levels of an organisation which is exactly where the majority of members are working. Even those who are not are aiming their efforts at the CEOs, CFOs, or CIOs, of the business world will, I believe, will greatly benefit from reading this book.

Overall the the book had a positive impact on all members who took part. Discussion of the book brought about realisations of a general and more specific manner. The general realisations revolved around how the book impacted there work life on a day-to-day basis whereas messages within each chapter reinforced or illuminated selling techniques of personal value.

In general, each member noticed that the book influenced conversations with colleagues, clients and potential clients. This conversation served as a catalyst to pull in several colleagues who shared their experiences and knowledge on a given topic. Something I found interesting here is when I experienced this occurring I never once used Selling to the C-Suite to initiate a conversation. It was everyday work conversation that took direction naturally and a point from the book became relevant which I added it. It was especially illuminating to see how this addition drove the conversation in a mutually beneficial direction.

Some of the specific messages that surfaced during the discussion of the book was the 4 different methods of prospecting, direct, trade shows, internal reference and external reference and the extended impact of each in the long run. Direct prospecting is a method that each member used quite extensively if not exclusively. However, this was statistically stated to have the worst call back ratio of all. The respective life-span of each person in their perspective industry seems to account for this. Still this realisation served to push the conversation in a particular direction - the spider web.

 While each of us understood that a reference is golden we began to explore how we could shape our current activities toward the facilitation of internal and external references. A common theme of occupation was found in a few members who seek to create efficiencies in organisations which result in the reduction of operational costs alongside productivity increases. With a lot of products clients may be reluctant to refer sales professionals to their competition. However, their supply chain may be a different story as reduced operational costs and productivity increase within a supply chain could have a dramatically positive impact. From this we began to view each company as the centre of their own spider web linked to a multitude of companies whom facilitate their business model. The spider web idea was to serve a business so well in order to gain a reference for a company intrinsically link to their business through supply chain.

In the end, there was a lot of great discussion on a solid book which contributed to more that just sales knowledge and understanding, but also added value to our daily business lives through enriching discussions in the workplace.

For those interested in the book here are two links. The first is to the books website and the second is to Amazon where you can purchase the book.