“The key to executive alignment is once you have somewhat of a narrative, a problem you solve back in the back of the business case, starting this early in the process.” – David Weiss in today’s Tip 1580
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from David Weiss and his Sales Tactician’s Playbook. Here he is:
David Weiss: Hello, everyone. This is David Weiss, Chief Revenue Officer of the Sales Collective and founder of DealDoc, your app for deal coaching. On today’s tip, we’re going to be talking about the executive alignment play. Now, one of the main challenges that I consistently see time and time again is salespeople’s ability to get to economic buyers, executive sponsors, ultimate decision makers, whatever you want to call them. They often rely on champions and coaches and other people to sell their deal for them to this level. And they really struggle to get an audience with these people.
And in today’s selling environment, honestly, in any selling environment, the person that can get to and influence the economic buyer and develop executive sponsors will almost always have a much higher likelihood of closing that deal, much higher win rates. Being able to communicate with executives is critically important.
So in this play, we’re going to be talking about one really common way to do this. But look, there is so many ways looking for strategic triggers. So reading an investor call, listening to what someone said, reading an annual report, looking at a news article, looking for things online that that person may be talking about, and reaching out directly with a quote from them.
Easy way to do it. Looking for shared investors. Easy way to get in the door. Trying to get a customer of yours that is a raving fan, getting their peer to reach out to this other individual with a good story around how you solve the problem. They’re like strategic gifting as it relates to finding where they went to college or a sponsor or hobby or something and then making it real for them. I mean, there is always a way to get to an executive. You just need to put in the work. But this is not that. This play is executive alignment.
So in this play, you are developing a narrative, a back of the neck in business case, going to a peer executive in your organization and ghost writing them a note that often sounds something like, Hey, my team is working with your team. It was brought to my attention. I love networking and building relationship potential clients, especially peers of mine. We’re seeing a pretty compelling business case here. I’d love to build a relationship for the future and see if there’s anything I can help with, as well as share some of the details that I’m hearing and understanding your priorities and things you’re working on. You get them to send essentially that note.
Now, here’s where people really screw this up. They do it at the end. They do it at the end of their sales process. The problem with that is the executive you’re reaching out to smells desperation. They smell blood in the water. They immediately go in for the kill. And your executive is trying to now close the deal, offering all sorts of discounts. And I’ve seen it time and again, and it actually causes more harm than good.
So the key to executive alignment is doing it early. The key to executive alignment is once you have somewhat of a narrative, a problem you solve back in the back of the business case, starting this early in the process. The goal is you’re trying to create alignment, you’re trying to create sponsorship, most importantly, you’re trying to build a relationship without any direct asks yet. And then the goal from that conversation is weekly, biweekly, monthly, depending on the priority of the deal and length of sales cycle, conversations between the two executives to keep each other up to speed on the project, and as well as continue to foster that relationship.
And then maybe also throughout that time, you’re inviting them to events, you’re inviting them to webinars. That executive is taking them to lunch or dinner or something along those lines. You’re truly doing this early to build a strategic relationship. So at the end, when the negotiation needs to happen, when this may need a push, when things stall, when something goes wrong, because something always goes wrong, you have executive-to-executive alignment that can seek to understand and navigate the challenges that just arose.
So again, you do this too late. It’s obvious it falls on deaf ears and can cause more harm than good. You do this early and then foster that relationship. It is amazing what can happen and how it can speed up deals, protect deals, give you room to navigate within sales cycles. So this is called the executive alignment play. If you like this play, you can find 78 other plays inside the sales tactician’s playbook, which exists inside of DealDoc in the app store. You could also find a link to it on my LinkedIn profile. Thanks for listening and if I can ever help with anything, feel free to reach out.
Scott Ingram: For links to connect with David and to his entire playbook, just click over to DailySales.Tips/1580. Once you’ve done that, be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!