How to maximize your chances at an exec-level sales meeting when the stakes are really high? (i.e., in the enterprise environment)
Conduct research with actionable intel on *every* participant of the upcoming convo.
Here's the checklist:
- History in the company and overall career trajectory.
- Big projects (career milestones) that can be used as a reference point in the dialogue.
- Hints of possible alliances/feuds inside the DMU (better to validate with the champion)
- POVs on the topics related to your category (comments on LinkedIn or interviews can be a good start down the rabbit hole)
- If your counterparts are heavy Linkedin writers, you can analyze their profiles by Crystal Knows or a similar DISC profiling tool (sometimes they provide surprisingly deep insights).
- History with the competitors (public testimonials, certifications, etc.)
- "After-work activities" (hobbies, volunteering, etc.) that can be a good ice-breaker.
If AE's schedule allows, he or she can validate questionable data points with the champion (of course, if there's a good rapport).
The research results are shared with the negotiating team beforehand. I prefer the good-old doc format (it's easier to read from the phone or split-screen during a zoom call).
1) Enterprise selling is teamwork, and a good analyst is a crucial yet unnoticeable part of this team.
2) Additional research ALWAYS pays off when working on a big deal with a qualified account.