The Key to the C-Suite

What you need to know to sell successfully to top executives

Michael J. Nick

Publisher: Amacom, 2011, 188 pages

ISBN: 978-0-8144-3894-7

Keywords: Sales

Last modified: May 14, 2021, 4:48 p.m.

With budgets more stringent than ever, important purchasing decisions have moved up the ladder to the C-suite. And when it comes to selling to those at the highest level, author Michael Nick has a revelation for you: ROI is no longer the key metric for making purchasing decisions.

In The Key to the C-Suite, he reveals the ten tangible metrics C-level executives do look for, and teaches readers to apply those metrics to build a case for their products and services that will unlock the door to greater sales.

You’ll learn how to:

  • uncover key financial information on a prospect;
  • determine a corporation’s financial stability;
  • clearly define the value of the product or service you are selling;
  • calculate the value impact of your offerings in financial metrics;
  • and showcase how your sales packages fit into metrics such as return on asset, return on equity, operating costs, net profit, and earnings.

These days, it is crucial for sales professionals to be able to communicate the positive effect their products or services will have on a company’s financial statements. The Key to the C-Suite explains how to showcase bottom-live value using individually trackable and measurable metrics that will win over companies’ top decision makers.

  1. The C-Suite Effect
    • Major C-Suite Metrics
    • The Value of Metrics in Selling to the C-Suite
    • Summary
  2. Building Your Value Inventory
    • The Uses of a Value Inventory
    • Creating a Value Inventory Matrix
    • C-Suite Impact
    • Summary
  3. Identifying Your Prospect's Threshold for Pain
    • Using Your Value Inventory to Create Discovery Questions
    • Creating Your Pain-Discovery Questions
    • Determining the Prospect's Threshold for Pain
    • Estimating Your Value to the Prospect
    • Summary
  4. Determining Your Value to the C-Suite
    • How Strategic Buying Decisions Are Made
    • Identifying Your Impact
    • Using Financial Reports
    • Financial Reports and the C-Suite
    • Researching Your Prospect's Financial Information
    • The Financial Manager's Responsibilities in an Organization
    • Summary
  5. Collecting Information During Your Sales Process
    • The Stages of the Sales Process
    1. Qualify
    2. Discovery
    3. Present Solution
    4. Due Diligence
    5. Close
    • Summary
  6. Creating a Financial Dashboard
    • Building a Comprehensive Financial Dashboard
    • Dashboard Components
    • Summary
  7. Presenting Your C-Suite Findings
    • Objectivity of Interpretation
    • Credibility of the Data Collected
    • Accuracy
    • Graphics
    • Educational Content
    • Both Value and Costs Presented
    • Creative Output
    • C-Suite Effect
    • Summary
  8. Building Your Business Case
    • Business Case Summary Results
    • C-Suite Effect
    • Expected Value Delivered Each Year (Impact)
    • Current Cost and Extrapolated Cost over a Three- to Seven-Year Period
    • Estimated ROI, NPV, IRR, and Payback Period
    • Cost of Decision Delay and Cost of No Decision
    • Cash Flow Analysis and Impact
    • Comparison of Financial Metrics to Industry Norms
    • Investment Breakdown
    • Summary
  9. What They Don't Teach You in Sales Training
    • Sales Professionals… Do We Really Need Them?
    • Get Buy-in from All the Key Players — Not Just the Executives
    • What Do I Do When I Am in a Sales Slump?
    • Nobody Cares About Your Product, Service, or Solution
    • It's Possible to Enter the Buyer's Journey Earlier
    • You Cannot Teach Rapport
    • Buyers Are Liars, But Then Again, Liars Are Buyers, Too
    • How Do You Get to the Meeting aat the Level That Counts?
    • Learn from the Best
    • Learn How to Think Like a Champion
    • Call Higher or Die Slowly
    • It's Not About You
    • Target Marketing Is a Necessity for Sales!
    • You Have Two Ears and One Mouth… Use Them in That Proportion
    • Summary
  10. Assembling the Pieces
    • Roadmap to the C-Suite