How to Sell Virtualizing Technology to the C-Suite

For years telecom agents have sold into one silo with one contact. Often it has been with a company’s IT director or voice manager, both relatively narrow focuses. As a result, when it comes to penetrating accounts wide and deep, many agents have had little success.

The way to overcome this is to position telecom services to your customer not just as a quick fix to a glaring problem or need at hand, but as a complete business solution. In order to do this you need to start from the top. That is, you need to target the C-suite. A 2015 survey from Gartner shows that CEOs and senior business executives already view technology-related changes as the primary tool for growth in 2016. You just need to present them with the right telecom solutions.

Talking to members of the C-suite can be stressful, but it can also be the difference between closing a single sale and creating a customer for life. So how do you do it? The first step is to master C-level speak and banish all tech buzzwords. Senior executives don’t want to hear jargon; they want to hear business benefits. So tell them what they want to know:

  1. Do the benefits outweigh the costs?
  2. Will this solution help build efficiencies?
  3. How can you fix broken processes?
  4. How much money will this save me?
  5. How will this solution aid company growth?

With much of office technology moving off-premises and into the cloud, the discussion you have with customers is changing. And so is your audience. Your greatest shot at success will come when you position yourself as someone who understands your customers’ business strategy and offer solutions that align technology services with their business goals. 

Selling to the C-Suite

The CEO

The CEO is the leader and visionary, eliciting public trust as the face of the company. Typically, in companies with less than $100 million in revenue, the CEO has great say in major technology decisions. Prove your credibility to him by offering proven, web-based technologies that will be good for his employees and good for the longevity of the company.

The COO

The COO helps assure the company's vision and milestone goals are implemented and met. Take the path of least resistance and appeal to his need to fix broken processes, transform agendas, and streamline tasks.

The CFO

CFOs don't want to hear about the specs of a new processor or how BYOD poses immense challenges to the organization's infrastructure and security. The CFO is all about numbers and what those numbers can do to save his company money. Discuss how you can get him on the right side of the Capex vs. Opex divide.

The CIO

Today's CIO has business smarts, a knowledge of analytics, and an understanding of how to align IT with business goals. Discuss the benefits of involving the IT department in business strategy and not just technical logistics.

The CMO

The CMO is looking to grow revenue and leverage digital channels in order to dominate marketing and sales strategy. Discuss how virtual platforms can allow her to send content farther through a centralized, off-site system. Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a great way for her to control the cost and performance of marketing campaigns across all platforms, both digital and traditional.

 

In short, it is important for you to talk about benefits in a way senior executives will relate to. View our Quick Reference Guide – Selling to the C-Suite for more information.

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About the Author
As Vice President at TBI, Ken Mercer oversees all sales and operations within the organization. Ken is also active in leveraging his extensive network services expertise to consult with TBI channel agents on large enterprise opportunities and serves on the advisory boards for many of TBI’s service providers. You can contact Ken at kmercer@tbicom.com or connect with him on LinkedIn.