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May 4, 2021

After COVID, the C-Suite Joins More Calls: Are You Prepared?

GUEST: Thiago Sá Freire, Chief Revenue Officer at Chorus.ai

 
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You have a call in 10 mins — and as much as you hate to admit it, this one could make or break your May. Don't sweat it. You're well-rehearsed on likely objections, know the competitive landscape inside and out, and have become an expert on this potential customer's most urgent business challenges. 

Then a curveball comes flying in: the CFO joins unexpectedly. 

Sound familiar?

These days, C-level executives are much more likely to hop on a sales call than ever before. In this episode, Thiago Sá Freire, Chief Revenue Officer at Chorus.ai, joins us to discuss his research into the phenomenon and details how to never be caught off-guard by C-suite cameos. 

 

The C-suite has entered the chat

Why you're seeing more C-level executives on calls

C-level participation in sales calls is up a whopping 108% from a year ago. As with anything that has changed in the past year, blaming the pandemic is a reasonable guess — and you'd be right.

In light of COVID, budgets are down, and Zoom meetings are up, making access to the C-suite a lot more likely than before. On the buying side, CFOs have joined 92% more meetings. On the selling side, CEOs are joining meetings 29% more.

Showing up uninvited

You might be wondering: What's the big deal? I want to sell to the C-suite. 

That's true — but you probably want to know ahead of time, and, it turns out, C-level execs are showing up uninvited around 10% of the time.

Get them talking

Many tend to think of a C-suite cameo as a watch-and-listen part, but that's a mistake. If you want to make the sale, you want them engaged in the conversation. You want them talking.

Thiago's research shows C-level executives talk about 8.5% more in deals that close.

Preparing for the call

Extreme ROI

When you're dealing with the C-level executives, you need to be laser-focused on communicating ROI because that's what they care about.

“If you can really speak to how your solution solves a critical business problem and delivers on the bottom line benefit the C-level is looking for, you have a much greater chance of closing a deal."

Thiago Sá Freire, Chief Revenue Officer at Chorus.ai

Thiago recommends that you build out your talk tracks and train your team to establish what he calls "Extreme ROI" — your team needs to always be prepared to express the value you can deliver in a way that aligns with the C-suite's thinking.

The value of values

Hopefully, it's common knowledge that you shouldn't talk about yourself in a sales call; you should talk about your customer's problems. However, just like the "i" before "e" except after "c" rule that your 5th-grade teacher taught you, there are exceptions (though thankfully not as many). 

“C-level executives care a lot more about how your company's vision, and the outcomes that you drive, align with their own value proposition."

Thiago Sá Freire, Chief Revenue Officer at Chorus.ai

Finding Purpose

We must find ways to be more human in business. As a leader, one of the best ways to do that is to learn what purpose means for each member of your team — even if you need to help them find it.

  • Why do they get up in the morning? 
  • What do they want the world to look like in 10 years? 
  • How does their work help them achieve that? 

If you get answers to these questions, then you will have a more human business, stronger teams, and, ultimately, more sales — whether it's the C-suite they're selling to or not. 

Don't be surprised

It's good to see the C-level showing up in more sales calls. Often, they are the people you most want to talk to. Still, if you aren't prepared, a surprise C-level cameo can go from a gift to a nightmare.

That's why you need to prepare for it to happen in each and every call. 

Now that you can confidently handle any surprise C-suite guests, are you ready to dive into how video delivers a more human CX or how to get the most out of your memory? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.