How To Connect With C-Level Executives: An SDR's Guide

You just accessed The Complete SDR's Guide to connect with C-Level Executives for 2022!

This list will answer all of your questions regarding the following:

How to connect with C-Level Executives? (+guide)
Why do you need to meet the C-Suite?
What are the challenges of selling to C-Level Executives?
How to approach the C-Suit and the Buying Committee?
How to email Executives?

We’re also giving you a free copy of The Complete SDR's Guide to connect with C-Level Executives for 2022! 

🔓 Let’s unlock the C-crets!

Anton Gnizdov
Updated on:
Oct 28, 2022
SDR's Guide to Connecting with C-Level Executives | AI bees

Revealing the C-crets!

Ever wondered what it takes for a sales development representative (SDR) to connect with the C-Level Executives?

They must be skilled to master connecting and engaging with C-level executives... Don’t you think?

If you’re looking into expanding your knowledge and furthering your understanding of C-Level connections, you came to the right place.

We’ll help you determine the number of C-level roles in a company by various factors, including the organization's size, industry, and mission. 

Read on to learn more about the types and roles of C-suite executives, how to reach them, and best of all– access The Complete SDR's Guide to connect with C-Level Executives.

1
Why do you need to meet the C-Suite?
2
The Challenges of Selling to C-Level Executives
3
Understanding the C-Suite
4
The Chief Marketing and Sales Officer
5
The Chief Financial Officer
6
Strategy to Approach the C-Suit and the Buying Committee:
7
ABM Strategies can Successfully Engage, Approach and Connect with C-Level Executives
8
The Best Way to Email Executives
9
How do I prepare for a C-level meeting?
10
Final Note

Why do you need to meet the C-Suite?

the C-suite

What is a good reason for a C-level Executive meeting? 

A C-Suite-level interaction is a signal of the importance of your clients to everyone in the organization. This is where influence, budget, and decision-making power come in.

We need to examine the purchase cycle. 

The C-level gets typically involved at the first stage as the scope is determined and they decide on bringing the products on the market. After the supplier has been appointed and the agreement is completed, the job is done.

They delegate directly to their director to manage their own sales and supply relations. After all, they live busy lives. 

The Challenges of Selling To C-Level Executives

Selling directly to the top dogs, how hard could it be?

Selling to the C-Suite is actually a difficult task, owing to the fact that C-level decision makers are frequently high-ranking professionals who are always busy.

Furthermore, sales agents are continuously vying for their attention in order to entice them to buy their high-ticket item or service. 

So, basically, the dilemma is best described as follows: c-level executives are carefully guarded by gatekeepers who are deliberately instructed to keep you at arm’s length.

Gatekeepers of the c-suite 

This only exacerbates the situation when you’re trying to differentiate yourself from other salespeople who are also eager to engage with them. 

So, how can you overcome these obstacles in order to market to C-level executives? 

Let’s discuss!

Understanding The C-Suite

The "C" stands for "chief," and C-level management tasks are frequently strategic in nature.

Executive positions are given to highly skilled individuals at their specific departmental levels within the organization. 

C-suite executives are frequently required to:

  • Take care of strategic planning.
  • Work with other C-suite executives to achieve and advance company goals.
  • SDRs are responsible for outreach, prospecting, and lead qualification, so getting to know and understand the C-Suite is essential.

That should tell you that understanding the C-suite is important.

Let’s go over the key executives one by one!

The C-Level Executives

We've seen growth in "soft” C-suite job titles recently. Do they have any meaning, or are they just a wishful thinking exercise?

The C-suite ("chief" suite) is used to describe an organization's highest senior executives. These high-ranking employees are in charge of their department's big-picture thinking. 

For decades, striving for the C-suite meant working toward a set of professions that could be counted on one hand; nevertheless, new titles have emerged in recent years as tech businesses (along with other types of startups) have blossomed.

 C-level executives

CEO

The Chief Executive Officer is the one at the topmost of an organization's corporate hierarchy. The CEO oversees all company operations and decisions and the organization's overall performance—other members of the C-suite report to the CEO.

CCO

The Chief Operating Officer oversees the execution and alignment of the company's business goals and strategy. After the CEO, the COO is usually the second in command. The COO's responsibilities are designing and implementing company strategy, defining organizational policies, and managing each business unit's activities.

CFO

CFO

Until the early 2000s, most CFOs were bean managers focusing on reporting on number counts, measuring performance in the most accurate manner, and overseeing check and balance processes for a company. 

CFOs had a combination of accounting and financial expertise, but their responsibilities were very limited; they only had limited responsibilities. 

In fact, most CFOs were country-oriented, even within firms with international presence, often based on the assumption that regulation differences caused global financial issues to be too complicated.

Today, the Chief Financial Officer is in charge of the company's finances. The CFO's responsibilities are financial planning and analysis (FP&A), liquidity management, and evaluating investment opportunities.

CMO

chief marketing officer

While there are many difference between sales and marketing, historically, sales and marketing functions were limited in scope throughout the 20th century and functioned as centralized silos. 

These functions generally focus on various fields: sales in the business-to-business domain and on managing direct salespeople; marketing in the business-to-customer domain. 

Chief marketing officers were solely responsible for creating and managing creative and branding advertising programs; sales executives held customer relationships as a point of contact. 

CIO

The Chief Information Officer is in charge of the information technology department's strategic planning, identifying ways to improve business value and customer service through technology.

CTO

The CIO previously handled the Chief Technology officer's tasks, but technological improvements have warranted the creation of a particular job inside the technology department. The Chief technology officer is in charge of information systems and technological development.

CHRO

Chief Human Resources officer

The chief human resources officer manages the company's workforce, including recruiting, training, development, and retention. The human resources department employs the C-level executive as well.

CSO

The Chief Security officer works in the security department of the firm and develops and oversees the programs and policies that protect the financial and operational security of the company.

CDO

The Chief Development Officer is in charge of the organization's data collection, analysis, and usage, ensuring that data is treated as a valuable asset. This executive is frequently employed in the field of information technology.

CINO

An innovation chief is responsible for coming up with new concepts and identifying chances for innovation and change to help the firm grow. This job is usually found at the very top of the R&D department.

Numerous other C-level positions might exist within a company, and some of them may just include a handful of the duties listed above. In general, the larger the organization, the more people in the C-suite you'll discover.

The RPM Method to Meet the C-suite Needs

Now that you’re familiar with the executives that compose the C-suit, you’re geared up to go further! 

Research-Plan-Meet is a straightforward method for effectively implementing your networking plan to C-suit executives. 

RPM Method

Research

The crucial aspects in enterprise decisions are Knowledge and understanding of the industry.

Making sure you don’t walk in empty-handed can give you a higher chance of drawing attention and interest from your target personas. 

Researching the C-Level executive’s priorities and the company’s priorities can help you gain the attention and engagement of the C-suit. 

The goal is to get adequate knowledge about their priorities and goals!

Expect to Wait

Expect to wait when reaching the C-suite

Don’t get carried away by your enthusiasm. 

Your excitement is probably high, But remember they are a busy group whose agendas are full. You can schedule a meeting with plenty of notice - approximately six to eight weeks. 

Availability is important if it happens sooner. 

Keep in touch with LinkedIn content and send them occasional emails with helpful information. That way, if it gets canceled, it will still have a good chance of it getting rescheduled.

Plan

Plan for the meeting with the c-suite

What are the reasons for wanting to talk to C-suite staff members?

You can create a connection between a KPI and a solution: capture this and the related steps in the strategic planning process.

The relationship must be persuasive beyond just purely personal connections. Try asking yourselves these questions:

  • What's your goal?
  • How to attract the right people? 

Start off with important data and write a short paragraph for each. 

Don’t fret! This article comes with a very convenient attachment to help you along the way. Keep reading to access the How to connect with C-Level Executives: An SDR's Guide.

Meet

Almost 85% of senior managers are happy with a recommendation from a colleague

So chances of being noticed are much higher if someone in the company vouches for you. This recommendation could come from your primary contacts. 

An even better or optimal scenario would be receiving an endorsement from your Sponsors who helped your business get out to the Front Line. 

Meet the C-suite

What’s in it for them? 

They will benefit from the success of their opinion and recommendation. If the solution you offer appeals to the C-Suite and proves necessary, your principal contacts can be favored incredibly good for introducing you to the board.

Find the Right C-Suite

You won't ever randomly meet a senior leader. 

It is important to understand that even if you do, you still have to evaluate your decisions properly instead of rushing in just because you know someone.

This is a reality that is affected by how you solve your problems and how the buyers decide within your client organization. Finding the right C-Suite is parallel to how you can find the right C-level executive.

Want to know how? Let’s Continue.

How to find the right C-level executive?

According to Forbes, the Four Cs is an excellent guide to use for Identifying the Best C-Suite Candidates:

  1. Characteristics - who they are as a person?
  2. Context - do they fit the company’s culture and goals?
  3. Construct - do they understand how the position fits into the broader organization?
  4. Contenders - do you have current employees up for the same position?

In your context where you’re aiming to do business with the C-Suite, the same qualifications still apply and can be checked to find the perfect executive to reach. 

You may access more tips and ideas in the attached guide that is available for Free Download. 

Develop a Personalized Content Strategy for Each Decision Maker to Deliver the Value

Now that you’ve been introduced to the RPM method and have found your ideal C-Suit and C-Executive, What happens next?

You can use insights and create personalized campaigns focusing on relevant content to their role. These are, but are not limited to content that will establish trust and credibility and case studies.

According to ITSMA – “75% of executives will read unsolicited marketing materials that contain ideas that might be relevant to their business.” 

Personalized content strategy

Content is very important at every stage of the business deal, be it in the initial phase of getting connected or in the conclusive stages of the sales process. The content should be:

  • Relevant
  • Credible
  • Engaging
  • Tailored

Strategy to Approach the C-Suit and the Buying Committee:

How does one approach the C-Suit and the Buying Committee?

Approaching the C-suite

These people, as repeatedly mentioned, are busy. You want to ensure that you give them the right impression by assuring them that you are not wasting their time.

How can you do this?

  • Give examples of relevant stories for the right person and the right stage in the buying process.
  • Ask intellectual questions.
  • The questions should reflect that you know what you are saying and you understand their concerns.

ABM Strategies can Successfully Engage, Approach and Connect with C-Level Executives

You need more than planning to gear up! 

ABM is a B2B marketing strategy that focuses on targeting accounts that match your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and target the key decision makers in those accounts with personalized campaigns across the buyer’s journey.

Using the ABM, you make a strategy to make tailored human interactions across your target accounts that increases engagement and ultimately drive sales at the target accounts.

There are many firms that have successfully used the ABM strategy and seen great results.

The Best Way to Email Executives

According to Harvard Business Review, B2B purchases now involve an average of 6.8 persons. 

At least one member of this group will almost certainly end up in the C-suite. So why not contact them directly?

The statistics below explain why you ought to.

Email revenue and ROI

Like every other form of communication, your emails must resonate with your reader's priorities and interests. We looked at our campaign outcomes to show you what this means when writing to the top of the corporate ladder.

Let the statistics below guide you on your email campaign.

Email B2B marketing stats

Make sure to do your homework. People become more visible as they go up the corporate ladder. C-suite executives are usually industry thought leaders, so you should be able to locate interviews, publications, and keynote addresses from them.

LinkedIn is a smart place to start, but at this level, trade journals and even national media are more likely to convey their thoughts and beliefs more accurately. 

It's important to realize that most busy executives don't handle their mailboxes. This means that making a joke about a sports team you both like or a school you both attended isn't the ideal method to pique your interest right away.

Personalization should be focused on their professional lives rather than their personal lives. Understand their specific conditions by looking beyond the overall industry in which they operate. 

Here’s what you should do:

1. Know the Metrics that Matter

B2B Metrics 

The most significant distinction between a CMO and a marketing manager is which statistics they value. A marketing manager will examine every campaign and its level of success on a granular level.

A CMO is concerned with the larger picture. They care about the return on investment of marketing operations but not the outcomes of a single split test. It's essential to consider the entire cost of acquiring a new customer rather than a month's worth of advertising's average open rate.

It can be challenging to know which aspect of your business to focus on if you're just getting started reaching out to the C-suite. Consider that the C-suite is the place where departmental relationships are most visible. Marketing has the terrible reputation of being the department that spends the most money while providing little tangible benefit to the company's bottom line. 

The metrics that help debunk this notion will be the most valuable and fascinating to your CMO reader.

2. Be Human

Be human when emailing the c-suite

Often people who reside in C-rooms have a mystique when it comes to a luxurious title and private office.

However, this does not exclude the possibility of being humans. The idea of using emotional emotions to catch their interest remains feasible. 

When used appropriately, humor helps deliver messages. A funny subject line can enhance the content and inspire positive emotions. 

Make sure that you're also providing helpful information or material. Humor should be the hook and not the main reason for the email.

3. Be Articulate

Be articulate when reaching C-level executives 

Every day, the average C-level executive receives 100 emails. 

While this is lower than the national average for office workers, it is still a vast pool in which you must stand out. Direct subject lines are the most efficient method to do this.

At the very least, overtly "sales-y" language is counterproductive and won't fly with the C-suite. 

According to research conducted by the LinkedIn Talent team, CEOs' most common initial occupations were sales and business development, indicating that they know every trick in the book!

4. Lock-In on Their Pain Points

Lock-in the pain points of the C-suite

A pain point is an underlying issue that a prospect or customer is experiencing. 

Businesses exist to alleviate the pain points of their clients. However, many organizations and marketers do not truly understand their target clients' real pain issues. Instead, they mistake solutions for pain points.

Your goal is to let them know that you see their pain points and that you’re there to help them.

5. Complete The Picture

Complete the picture for the C-suite

Writing good emails to a C-suite member is no different from writing good emails to anyone else. It's only a matter of choosing the proper tone and important topics to get people's attention.

How do I prepare for a C-level meeting?

There are Five steps to help you prepare for a C-level meeting:

5 steps to prepare for C-Level meetings

Remember to check out the Free Guide we attached to this article! We’ll discuss these steps in detail to help you prepare!

Final Note

When you communicate in business, you are promoting a particular image. Your writing style and how you behave and act with a customer are reflections of your company.

The tips and guides we have provided above can provide you with a good head start. You can surely gain an audience and impress the executives in C-level positions when you follow our tips.

Always remember, when communicating, you must have excellent knowledge of your prospects' background to get into the proper mood, appropriate tone, and the right actions that can produce for you a highly qualified lead. AI bees is among The Manifest’s Awardee for 2021 for digital marketing. We can help you with your email outreach to executives in C-level positions. Please don't hesitate to contact us.

 

Related Articles:

Your B2B Account-Based Marketing Guide for 2022

The Sales Executive’s Guide to Creating the Best SDR Playbook

The Importance of Artificial Intelligence for the Future of C-Suite

Advantages and Disadvantages of Email Marketing

Anton Gnizdov

Anton is the Sales Director EMEA of AI bees. When he is not closing deals, Anton writes about sales and lead generation. When not doing either of this, he’s busy scouting for the best ski trails or the newest devices and gadgets.

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