It’s Not All About the C-Suite: Why SDRs Should Prospect Multiple Levels Within An Organization

Anyone working in client-based outsourced lead gen knows this conversation all too well:

Vendor: Can you give me an idea of what profile you are looking for in regards to contact data procurement?

Client: We ONLY want to talk to folks in the C-level suite, from companies with over 500 million in annual revenue.We do not want our reps taking calls with anyone with a lower title, especially since they are most likely not the decision maker.

There you go – you’ve just been “c-bombed.”  As a client success manager, there are few things more shortsighted than limiting a calling campaign to just one cluster of high level titles. I did some digging in the QuotaFactory platform, and discovered a valuable stat when it came to passing leads in the C-suite. Of all the leads our SDRs passed in 2014 that have gone to a next step in our client’s sales process, less than 10% had titles in the C-Suite.

I get it, clients want qualified opportunities with the person who controls the strings within an organization.  However, you are doing your lead gen teams a disservice by not allowing them to prospect multiple levels of an organization.  Here’s why;

For starters, C-Level executives in large organizations are simply not as acquainted with pains and needs as those actually managing the day to day operations. Much of what makes our client’s solutions valuable to a prospect is that it can specifically address actual challenges an organization is experiencing.  It is very difficult to extract this information from someone who can’t tell you firsthand what these challenges are.

Second, gatekeepers will screen your calls and emails, and may road block you.  All the charm in the world won’t get you passed a gatekeeper who’s got it out for cold callers!  Sure, there are strategies for getting around them, but at the end of the day you are more likely to get in front of a C-Level prospect by getting a referral from a lower level person at the company. How do you get that referral?  C-Level executive assistants are typically pretty adept at pointing you to the correct person in a lower level of the business.  Try reaching out to managers, directors, department heads, and VP’s, and persuade them to bring your solution to the attention of the C-level suite.

Finally, C-Level executives are incredibly busy people and are constantly traveling, or in and out of meeting, etc.  There needs to be a reasonable level of expectation on the client side regarding getting these executives to agree to give 30 minutes of their time for a demo/discovery call. A great strategy here is to set up a meeting with the lower level person, and then ask who they would like to include from the C-level suite.

This blog is not being written to discount calling into the C-suite as a whole, but rather to demonstrate that the most successful campaigns have the balance of the targets our SDRs are reaching out to. Our philosophy here at QuotaFactory is that getting 3 or 4 contacts of varying levels within one organization is much better than restricting ourselves to just C-level titles.

Try expanding your team’s calling efforts beyond the C-level suite, and see where these lower level contacts lead them!

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Kim Staib

Kim Staib

Kim is QuotaFactory's Director of Client Success, and is responsible for rolling out new project implementations. Also under Kim's direction are reporting and continuous contact list development and refinement, as well as ensuring the ongoing success of our customer engagements.

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