Content copyright 2011. Selling at the C-Level. All rights reserved.
C-Level adj. corporate title used to describe high-ranking, decision making executives within an organization
Your financial sales skills and knowledge are within the top 5% of all U.S. sales executives. You are highly qualified to sell six-seven figure solutions to the C-Suite of any U.S. or global company. Considered a trusted advisor among your clients they frequently rely on you to solve financial business issues and problems.
Strongly consider utilizing common financial ratios in your selling portfolio such as: Liquidity, Efficiency (aka Activity), Leverage and Profitability to identify higher ticket opportunities or to validate your solution, product or service offering.
Score Results of the C-Level Sales Quiz
Your financial sales skills and knowledge are in the top tier of all U.S. sales executives. You are qualified to sell at high levels of many organizations and at the C-Suite of smaller firms. You are considered a leader in your sales organization. For your client base, you frequently use financial impact language to discuss your products and services.
Strongly consider evaluating and incorporating the three principal financial statements; Balance Sheet, Cash Statement and Income Statement of your prospect to identify sales opportunities or to position your solution, product or service offering. You have the skills to evaluate and incorporate key financial principals into your presentations and thus present business and financial case solutions to your prospect(s).
Your financial sales skills and knowledge are above average compared to other U.S. sales executives. You are qualified to sell at the high level of many organizations but may not possess the skill set to effectively penetrate beyond the VP level of many U.S. or global companies.
Strongly consider increasing your education in the financial principles of corporate business. Recognize that CXO executives will begin to consider you an advisor versus just another sales executive if you present your solution in their own financial language. Incorporating clear financial acumen into your proposals will reduce sales cycles and increase close rates.
Your financial sales skills qualify you to prospect to the mid-level of many organizations. You are able to present a portion of the financial case of your product or service to prospects but do not possess the skill set to justify your offer beyond simple ROI metrics. Frequently you struggle when requested to prove a business or financial case beyond your own company driven metrics.
Strongly consider increasing your education in the financial principles of corporate business. Understand that it is essential to incorporate advanced financial metrics and solutions beyond what is provided by your company. You are close to breaking into the C-Level of organizations. Aim to make yourself an advisor by learning the key financial metrics and drivers that all C-Level executives employ to evaluate and pick vendor partners!
Your financial sales skills and knowledge are representative of the majority of U.S. sales executives. While you are no doubt a successful sale professional, you rely on your above-average communication and people skills to close deals. Competition is fierce in your marketplace and frequently your offer is compared side-by-side with the competition. Many times you win deals by reducing price and thus margin. Other times your offer is selected based on the service quality of your organization, reputation or uniqueness of your product or service. It is not easy for you to have meaningful business or financial case sales conversations beyond mid-management or the VP level.
Selling at the C-Level of an organization takes financial education. In order to exceed and rise above the competition you must transition to higher levels and even the the C-Level where the budgets are created and large ticket decisions are made. By incorporating financial acumen into your sales arsenal you will have the golden arrow to dramatically decrease sales cycles, increase close rates and stop redundant price wars. Understand that every prospect wants you to solve their business and financial issues and they are extremely open to sales executives that can do so. The good news is the information to get to the next level is readily available and easy to incorporate into your next proposal. Learn it and use it!
When polled, very few issues matter to senior buyers beyond (a) optimizing financial metrics, (b) reducing costs through efficiency, and (c) maximizing the return from the firm’s assets. As a result, to earn face time with C-Level executives the most common need for senior buyers is for their vendors to have a strong understanding of “my financial problem”.
Frequently senior buyers are frustrated because sales executives are not trained to articulate or solve these types issues. In most cases, sales executives are only trained to present the features and benefits of their product/service or the strengths of their company. As a result, many sales executives cannot customize a solution for a CXO level executives or base a solution on the financial needs of the prospect.
Consequently, we created the following (10) questions based on a cross-section of the course material we teach at Selling at the C-Level. Lastly, several financial experts were consulted on the accuracy and relevancy of the questions and how they applied in the U.S. marketplace.
Background of U.S Sales Executive Survey Results