How to influence C-level decision makers in B2B marketing?
A thorough guide to influential B2B marketing using multi-dimensional tactics and an improved marketing strategy aimed for C-level decision makers.
Being in the B2B marketing world, are you still wondering how to influence the C-level decision makers? If you’ve landed this page searching ways and tips to influence the C-level executives, you’re in the right place.
C-level executives are deemed as the most important and influential group of individuals in a company. It generally includes Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Information Officer (CIO) among other positions having a prefix Chief.
In B2B marketing and sales, you may sometimes have to deal directly with these influential groups of individuals in the company.
While dealing with them, you certainly will not follow the typical approach that you have been following while dealing with mid-level executives or managers.
Your approach to C-level executives must be specific with more targeted strategy so as to influence them and make them interested in your product.
Now the question is what makes your approach and strategy more targeted and influential. Stop worrying and start reading to get an insight of it.
Ways to influence C-level decision makers in B2B marketing
A multi-dimensional B2B marketing plan
Pitching to another business, especially the C-level decision makers as a marketing firm is more than just finding ways to influence them through your marketing strategy. You will be influencing the decision-makers through your conduct.
A multidimensional plan would involve your efforts in finding ways to create a strong bond with the decision-makers on one hand while impressing them with your thorough research and marketing plans on the other.
You have more of a chance of being embedded in their minds by making a strong impression on both fronts. So, when the time comes for them to make a decision, you would certainly be a strong contender.
Conduct a thorough research
There is no better way to impress or influence decision-makers of companies than to be thorough in your research. Needless to say, the entire marketing plan you pitch to said executives will be based on what you unearth through your research.
The right understanding of both the industry and the brand can help you convey the whats, the whys, and the hows of your strategy, and the outcome of going ahead with the plan you pitch.
Develop a positioning statement
Your positioning statement is the way you perceive a particular matter, in this case, the company. With the research you conduct, you are in a better position to develop a positioning statement for the company you are planning to pitch to.
Starting off your pitch with this statement will give the C-level decision-makers the confidence that you have taken the time to study the industry and their company, and delivered your view-point as precisely as possible.
A great way to set up meetings and make your mark on C-level decision makers is by getting referrals from people you already know. An increased network of people can help you get in touch with the right connections to pitch your marketing strategies.
Most marketing firms have loyal clients who have been brought on-board by connections they already had. Use this to your advantage.
However, referrals do not mean you slack off in your research or marketing plans. Dedicate as much time you would on an unknown client.
Improve your B2B marketing strategy
If you haven’t been able to impress every C-level decision-maker you have pitched to in the past, your strategy needs improvement. It is not only what you pitch that makes a difference, but also how you pitch.
With strategies based on research and data, you are more likely to miss out due to factors other than your marketing pitch. One way to make sure you are at the top of your game is to improve your overall strategy.
To help you out, we’ve listed down a few tips that can help you begin.
A guide to improve your marketing strategy
Improving the marketing strategy involves more than what you’ve collated in your presentation. It encompasses how you approach the decision-makers and how you present the data you have.
Here’s a guide to help you improve your marketing strategy significantly.
Approach through multi-channels
Many businesses tend to send out emails to another business in the hopes that their email would one day be read and acknowledged. By doing this, you could be wasting precious time.
A different approach using multiple channels can help you catch their attention quicker. Rather than just sending them an email, make sure you try to reach out through other channels, such as through LinkedIn, and follow it up by using your email.
Be a marketing storyteller
Once you’ve caught the attention of C-level executives in a marketing pitch, you have more of a chance making the deal. The crucial part is getting their attention piqued.
One way is using an interesting story as a marketing tactic. Remember that every other business vying for their attention is bound to use the same old tactic of telling them why they’re the best. Being different in your approach can help you be a business that makes a mark in their sights.
You can use your positioning statement as a base to narrate your story. Rather than treating the C-level executives as potential sales, make sure you consider them as people while you converse with them, and be as conversational as you can.
Offer unique information
Businesses are often too shrewd in accepting marketing plans at face value. If you’ve noticed what your competitors are up to, you would see a constant string or repetitive information that offers no new information or insight.
You can fill in the gap by offering information that is not readily available or shared by other marketers, with data and other valuable information backing up your claims.
Make a valuable offer
More often than not, C-level decision makers do not respond to your offer if they find the offer to be an unworthy one. As marketers, giving them something additional along with your usual marketing strategy can help win them over and let them know that you are looking for ways to help them reach a higher potential.
Establish a relationship
A B2B marketing plan is more than pitching for a chance to manage a company’s marketing plans. It is also a chance to establish a relationship with the C-level decision-makers and letting them see how determined you are in helping them increase their potential day by day.
So, while you’re pitching to influence them in order to choose your marketing firm, remember to use the time to form a strong bond that compels them to choose you. The better the rapport you create in that short span of time, the stronger your impact is on their minds.
Position yourselves as thought leaders
Before you sell your marketing plan, you need to prove your worth as leaders. Any business or C-level decision maker you approach will have their first impression of your company through you.
Coming across as someone with adequate knowledge and a deep understanding of their industry and the market will give them the push to consider what you offer.
Common B2B marketing mistakes you need to avoid
You may do everything right but you should also know what you could be doing wrong. While balance is good, here’s where you may stay behind because of the potential mistakes you could be making.
We’ve listed down common mistakes that you need to avoid as a marketer while you pitch to a C-level decision maker.
Pitching generic marketing strategies
If you’re pitching the same thing you pitch to every other client, you are in for a big NO!
C-level decision makers prefer it when you analyse their market industry and alter the strategy by personalizing it for them. When pitching to such executives, your greatest asset would be how well you adapt your plans to their requirements and point out all of the places that you can improve in the shortest time.
So, when you are being compared to the other marketing companies pitching to them, you will have proven to be a better asset to them.
Lack of data
Every idea you present should be based on valid data acquired after a thorough research. Numbers help make most decisions when it comes to businesses. It indicates that you have analysed the market enough to know where the company you are pitching to stands and what their potential could be.
In the case of C-level decision makers, numbers can help sway their decision quicker than most strategies you’ve pitched.
Highlighting your features more than the output
Businesses do not care what your USP is. Every marketing company is bound to offer the same thing. However, what they are more focused on is results.
A result-oriented strategy is more likely to impress them than a presentation that talks about what makes you better than your competitors. While a competition analysis will help you in some way, find out ways in which you can help increase their sales to present to them.
As marketers, it is vital that you take into account every possible scenario. From the way you perceive the decision makers to the way you project your company to be, every aspect can help you influence them in your favor.
This article is written by Harikrishna Kundariya and originally published here