As a sales leader or business owner, you celebrate when your team lands a big whale—a customer worth at least five times your average customer or deal size. However, those customers can lead to even bigger whales if you nurture the C-Suite relationship beyond the sale.
The trick is to stay connected to the C-Suite by spotting the windows of opportunity to approach. My friend Lisa Magnuson is an expert on finding these windows. In fact, she even wrote the book about it. Lisa is the Founder & CEO of Top Line Sales and author of new book “The TOP Seller Advantage: Powerful Strategies to Build Long-Term Executive Relationships.”
I asked her to share her top tips for staying in front of the C-Suite. Here’s what she said:
Lisa: Once you win a top line account (a customer worth at least five times your average customer or deal size), begin to focus on expansion. There’s a window of opportunity right after the contract signature and implementation when a lot can get accomplished. Many people miss this brief but critical opening.
Executives are interested in the very beginning stages of a project when they decide if the project will move their company agenda forward. They also focus on the end stages when they assess their return on investment. If you haven’t accessed the executive on the front end, don’t miss the window of opportunity on the back end of the sales process.
For example, C-Suite executives want to ensure an ROI on any significant investment and will be very receptive to meeting you. This allows them a chance to learn about the planned impact of your product or service, and how they can receive timely reports on progress. Accessing a key executive is a critical component of setting yourself up for future business. Seizing this window of receptivity post-contract is a smart move.
Another example of a critical item in the post-sales cycle is taking the time to do a retrospective meeting with your primary contact before implementation. It’s often too late after everyone gets busy with implementation and any small bump in the road can derail your ability to learn from the sales process.
Once your team successfully schedules a meeting with an executive on either a current or proposed project, now they need to prepare for a fruitful and productive session. Coach them on how to do this with a simple checklist that Lisa created. This list helps your team get ready for a call with the C-suite by outlining some very clear steps. Download this TOP Line Account Executive Meeting Checklist and share this useful tool with your team.
Don’t forget to check out Lisa’s Book, “The TOP Seller Advantage: Powerful Strategies to Build Long-Term Executive Relationships.” The C-suite executive perspectives at the end of each chapter reveal exactly how senior leaders view sales encounters and what would cause them to keep the door open for follow-up meetings. Check it out here.