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    Go Beyond Google: How to do C-Level Executive Sales Homework Correctly

    September 13, 2021

    Googling someone before a meeting has become an unwritten rule of business, but to gain an edge in C-level sales and account-based marketing, you need to gather more information. 

    Learning about a customer is a fundamental part of sales, and in C-level sales – where the stakes are high – it pays to invest more time and effort in getting to know your prospects before you engage with them.

    Here are some reasons to consider incorporating executive research in your sales outreach.


    Every Second Counts: Getting Past GateKeepers and Cluttered InBoxes

    Back in the day, a sales rep could cold-call and eventually get through to someone. Today, executives and their assistants screen calls and emails heavily. If you manage to get the ear of someone or make a connection through networking, you want to make the most of your outreach, especially in the “new normal” where in-person meetings are in limited supply. 

    That means being as specific as you possibly can in your initial outreach. In-depth research allows you to personalize your pitch to C-level executives in a way that resonates with them. When you have a full appreciation for who the executive is and what they’re currently working on, you’re well on your way to getting their attention.

    The Company Drives the bus: How to Know Where They’re Headed

    A C-level executive is just one character in a much larger story of a company. Even if you have an airtight relationship with a C-level executive, it doesn’t do you any good when the rest of the boardroom is heading in another direction. Shifting business models and priorities may mean the company itself is a moving target. You need to at least try to see the bigger picture to resonate with the company.

    It’s hard to tell where a company is headed from a cursory glance at search engine results, but there are many resources that can lend guidance if you know where to look. For instance, publicly traded companies host regular earnings calls where they update shareholders on the state of the business. These calls are frequently a goldmine for sales professionals and marketers seeking to understand the bigger picture. When you have company-wide insights, you can tailor your offerings to specific priorities.

    Outsmarting the competition

    C-level sales is highly competitive, and executives frequently have more than one provider vying for their attention. That means they command white-glove service before they ever become your customer.

    You need to provide that level of polish — or your competitor will.  

    Research helps you differentiate from the pack because it proves you care. Anyone can glance at Google or LinkedIn; that takes minimal effort. To win a C-level executive’s business takes a thoughtful, nuanced approach.

    Your Time is Valuable: How Not to Duplicate Your Efforts

    Time is money. Sales professionals rarely have time to gather a full dossier on their prospects entirely on their own. And today, you don’t have to. 

    Boardroom Insiders is an executive intelligence solution built to equip sales teams with leading-edge insights on C-level executives and their priorities that shape their work. Our editorial team curates a database of more than 28,000 executive profiles using the latest information, interviews and reports. Together, this treasure trove of data can help connect the dots and help you level up your outreach to executive leadership. Try a sample profile today

    Or better yet, see BI in action. Schedule a quick, custom demo today.

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    Sharon Gillenwater

    About the Author

    Sharon Gillenwater

    Sharon Gillenwater is the founder and editor-in-chief of Boardroom Insiders, which maintains an extensive database of the most in-depth executive profiles on the market, from Fortune 500 companies to independent non-profits, to help sales and marketing professionals build deeper relationships and close more deals with clients. Gillenwater is a long-time marketing consultant with expertise in marketing strategy, account-based marketing, and CXO engagement programs.