Want a quick list of Fortune 500 CXOs who care about Big Data? Virtualization? Cloud? BYOD? Want to know why it’s important to them?
Do what our power users do and use our Keyword Search to identify decision makers focused on your solutions — plus we’ll provide the context and insight you need to pick up the phone and have an informed conversation with that person.
FOR EXAMPLE: A keyword search of our database for “big data,” yields a list of 198 CXOs (narrowed down from 5000+ total records). Boardroom Insiders subscribers view individual executive profiles for insight like the following:
“As a large system with data available for research, we need to figure out usage of the data.” Source: Profile of Jayne Bassler, SVP and CIO, Florida Hospital, Adventist Health System
“Kaufman and his team are developing multi-dimensional data warehouses for more comprehensive views of revenue and profitability.” Source: Profile of David S. Kaufman, SVP and CIO, ARAMARK Corporation
“For the American Red Cross, data — along with the ability to collect, access, interpret and share it — can literally be the difference between life and death.” Source: Profile of John R. Crary, SVP and CIO, American Red Cross
If you sell big data solutions, you should be curious about what our other 195 search results say. It’s THAT simple.
Posted May 2nd, 2013 in
We love the quote at right. While it has been attributed to a basketball coach, it applies to every one of us.
Think of the most talented salesperson you know. Could you work a little harder — and smarter — to successfully compete?
Of course you could.
“Eating our own dog food,” Boardroom Insiders does not cut corners when researching, distilling, and publishing our Executive Profiles. It’s all hand-crafted. No internet scraping. Every day we deliver specific, critical insight on executive decision makers to our customers — insight that gives them a competitive edge and helps them win business.
So when we say “Amazing Takes Effort,” we know what we are talking about. Boardroom Insiders can’t make you work any harder. But we can make you a lot smarter and better prepared when it comes to going to battle on a big deal.
Let us help you be amazing. View a sample executive profile and contact us today.
Posted February 5th, 2013 in
In this digital age, face-to-face meetings are becoming a rarity.
This can be an obstacle to building loyalty and relationships with important customers.
Companies often use events–such as industry trade shows, sports sponsorships and user conferences–to get face-to-face with their biggest accounts. Given the cost of sponsorships and events, it is important to make the most of these opportunities.
A small investment in executive insight can go a long way in maximizing return on event investments. Knowing something about your customers before they arrive–and engaging them before they get to the event–speeds up the “ice breaking” and helps you get down to business faster.
With this in mind, we offer five tips for using executive insight to make your customer events more effective:
1. Get the right people to attend your event. You can avoid the last minute “get butts in seats” scramble by proactively making a wish list of the top companies–and individuals–you want at your event. Write them a personal email well in advance that directly connects your event with something they care about.
Example: “I recently read that you were looking to build a private cloud this year. We will have several customers there presenting their private cloud stories, a few of whom are from your industry…”
2. Use insight on desired attendees to drive content strategy and speaker selection Once you know who you want at the event (see Tip 1, above), research what they care about and who they know. Let this insight guide your topics and speaker selection.
Example: One customer learned that their target attendees (CIOs) were struggling with how to work effectively with CMOs. They used our profile database to find one executive who had held both CIO and CMO roles at Fortune 100 companies–the executive equivalent of a needle in a haystack! He was the perfect person to deliver their event keynote.
3. Tell customers what they have in common: One of the biggest reasons people go to events is to network with their peers. If you can tell them who else is in the room and what they have in common, you help support and facilitate networking, which attendees appreciate.
Example: During their opening keynote, one customer showed graphics and statistics about the audience in the room–where they come from, top colleges attended, top hobbies, top concerns and initiatives, etc. as well as key quotes and photos of select attendees. They collected the information from our profile database as well as from a pre-event survey.
4. Use insight for customer matchmaking: Use specific insight to help set up meetings between customers who share similar initiatives and challenges. This will help establish you as a credible, valuable partner who understands their business–and it will give them more incentive to attend your event.
Example: “I know you are in the midst of a major customer service initiative and I thought you might benefit from a meeting on-site with Customer X, who has some interesting experience in this area…”
5. Create a customized, VIP experience for key accounts: Huge industry trade shows put a lot of demands on an executive’s time. Avoid the temptation to push your customers to every single activity your company is doing; instead, learn about what they are focused on and design a thoughtful, relevant, customized experience.
Example: Once customer offers a VIP booth tour for key accounts at all of their most important industry tradeshows. Sometimes they even do it during off hours when no one else is in the booth so they can have customized digital signage, special presentations, demos, executive meetings and refreshments.
Posted January 22nd, 2013 in
Confident, optimistic and always on the go, typical sales pros have little time to ponder what they might be missing when it comes to knowing their customers.
We’ve actually heard a few salespeople claim that they know everything they need to know about their customers.
But our customers are learning that there is plenty that they don’t know about the executives influencing their sale. Sales pros will do their homework researching the company and industry dynamics, but they are guessing what decision makers want to talk about. Guessing at what their priorities are.
Boardroom Insiders can help you learn what you don’t know — uncovering what an executive decision maker wants to talk about. Her passions, personal interests, and business focus issues
Posted January 10th, 2013 in
According to Tom Searcy’s book, “How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett–Lessons from the World’s Greatest Dealmaker,” Buffett uses basic research and insight to “sell” his deals, often winning out over competitors offering better terms.
For Buffett, it all comes down to this:
Profile Your Buyers — We sell to people — and people are irrational for different reasons. It’s not enough to know the facts, have the best ROI or most effective solution. If you do not understand the individual motivators of all of the members of the buyer’s group, he says, you are flying without the right instruments.
Do your homework — When Warren takes a meeting, he doesn’t ask about industry, market, competitors or advantages. He already knows them. He believes asking these questions demonstrates a lack of preparation.
Buffett thinks about all the angles, including whom — not just what — he is selling. Can you say the same?
Click on our sample and see how enterprise sales and marketing pros can put Buffett’s wisdom to work.
Posted December 13th, 2012 in
Salespeople are always looking for a silver bullet — a resource that connects all the dots telling them who to call, what to say, and how to get them to buy. Business information providers of every stripe have positioned themselves as the silver bullet, but the truth is they deliver the same tired data — with very little insight.
The wisest know that the silver bullet doesn’t exist — and that waiting for perfection results in no improvement at all.
While we don’t claim perfection, we know that for enterprise sales pros, Boardroom Insiders is about as close to that silver bullet as you can get. In fact, we’ve been called a “secret weapon” more than once. (View a sample profile)
Bottom line: Don’t listen to those who brag about their “millions of records.” Quantity of data points doesn’t matter if the quality of insight isn’t there. What’s critical is your ability to get in the minds of decision makers when you need to.
Read how Citrix is using Boardroom Insiders to gain a competitive edge and contact us to learn more.
Posted December 11th, 2012 in
“Boardroom Insiders is driving opportunities in areas we have not thought of in the past. The executive profiles give us the confidence to go outside of IT and demonstrate to the customer that we know their business. We can talk about specific initiatives that we previously did not have visibility into. BI is now ‘baked in’ to all of our playbooks, roadshows, and training. It’s really embedded in what we do.”
— Rick Marcet, Senior Director, Sales Productivity, Citrix
Citrix is a leading provider of technologies for virtualization, networking, cloud and collaboration.
Transform account planning from a “check box” exercise to an easier and better process that drives more sales within targeted accounts.
- Build sales confidence outside Citrix’s comfort zone of the IT decision makers (e.g., CFO, CEO)
- Build C-level relationships within target accounts
- Uncover net new sales opportunities within the existing customer base
- Consistent view amongst sales teams that account planning is easier, and more effective — quantity and quality have significantly improved
- New sales opportunities uncovered
- Executive insight has helped Citrix secure more C-level meetings and close more deals
- Profiles are also being leveraged by regional marketing teams to drive marketing events and campaigns
The Strategic Fit
Boardroom Insiders executive profiles have enabled Citrix to “bake in” valuable executive insight into the account planning process. Knowing ahead of time what executives want to talk about has given the Citrix sales team — and Citrix executives—the confidence to up-level sales conversations from products and solutions to real business careabouts. Knowing the target executives’ full professional story (personal interests, focus issues, key challenges), has given Citrix a competitive edge and is building long-term relationships.
Boardroom Insiders has helped Citrix transform account planning from a “check box” exercise to a critical and successful element of Citrix’s sales strategy. According to Robert Brown, Senior Manager of Enterprise Sales Productivity, “We’ve had top-performing account managers tell us they’ve found fresh and accurate content from Boardroom Insiders that they could not find before.”
Boardroom Insiders executive profiles are also being leveraged beyond front line sellers. According to Brown, “regional marketing teams are starting to use the profiles to understand customer priorities, which helps them design and drive more effective marketing events and campaigns.”
When Citrix CEO Mark Templeton met with a new account, “we were able to give him great insight even though we had very little internal information on that customer.” The senior marketing manager accompanying Mr. Templeton said ‘You’d have to be crazy not to use this service.’”
Want to know more? View a sample or contact us at Lee@boardroominsiders.com or 704.756.0894.
Posted September 20th, 2012 in
You are likely familiar with the popular business strategy book Blue Ocean Strategy. The premise is that many companies are competing in bloody “red oceans”…overcrowded industries with a handful of bitter rivals driving each other’s profit into the ground. Delivering complicated and cumbersome solutions, with lots of marketing hype and little innovation.
The “Blue Ocean” part of the Blue Ocean Strategy is reserved for those brave companies who decide to create a new and uncontested marketplaces to fish in. Companies that make the competition irrelevant and create brand new demand. Think Cirque Du Soleil or iTunes.
We created Boardroom Insiders because we saw an unmet need for enterprise sales pros… a knowledge gap of deep executive insight uncovering a decision maker’s personal attributes, strategic focus, and key challenges. As a result, enterprise sales pros from companies like Avaya, Dell, CA, ConAgra and others are helping us develop a brand new marketplace. No other information resource provides a database of hand-crafted, fully analyzed Executive Profiles like we do.
Pardon the obvious pun, but Boardroom Insiders has bought into this strategy hook, line, and sinker! We’re leading enterprise sales pros in a whole new direction for sales call prep, C-suite engagement, and strategic account planning.
Call me, and let’s go fishing!
Posted June 6th, 2012 in
In our conversations with sales and marketing pros, we hear that the sales environment is more competitive than ever. They see customer insight as giving them a competitive edge–and this desire to know their customers better leads them to us.
Almost invariably, they see our CXO database as a way to get the customer insight they need without having to spend precious nights and weekends doing their own research.
But more times than we can count, the conversation eventually turns to: “Now how can I use this information?”
Because as valuable as CXO insight is, it’s what you do with it that drives results.
Most of our customers use our content to uncover new sales opportunities and understand an executive’s main focus so they can craft communications that cut through the clutter.
But a few customers are using our insight in more novel and creative ways. Here are the three that have caught our interest recently:
I. Executive Sponsor Matchmaking
Most enterprise companies have robust executive sponsorship programs for top customers. Instead of randomly assigning executives to top accounts, one company uses our insight to create the perfect match between executive sponsor and customer CXO. For example, one CIO they wanted to engage had spent 25 years in the Army before moving into the private sector. So they matched him up with one of their own executives who was also an Army vet. They figured that having this strong affinity in common increased the chance that the relationship between the two executives–and the two companies–would progress and thrive.
II. Creating The Right Hospitality Experience
From golf tournaments to sailing regattas, sales organizations spend untold sums every year entertaining top customers at exclusive-access events. Wouldn’t it help to know what kinds of activities interest them? One of our customers hosted a viewing party for a cricket match happening on the other side of the world. They used Boardroom Insiders to identify US-based executives who are crazy for cricket. Another customer decided to host an event at an aviation museum after they discovered that a significant percentage of their public sector executive customers were licensed pilots.
III. Recruiting Expert Speakers
Most enterprise companies host thought leadership events to get face time with customers and prospects. Creating the right agenda and content is critical to being able to attract the right people to these events. One of our customers mines our database for common careabouts across target execs and then creates their agenda accordingly. Once the topics have been identified, they take it a step further, using our profiles to find executive speakers who have something new or novel to say about a chosen topic. One year we helped them identify the perfect keynote speaker for their most important annual customer event.
These are just some of the ways that companies are using Boardroom Insiders to better engage executive decision makers.
Is CXO engagement a priority for your company? If so, contact Lee Demby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted April 30th, 2012 in
Where I’m from (the south), “storytelling” is a term often used for slick-talk’n hucksters. People who start their tales with an audience of one, and end up attracting an audience of many, usually to garner a laugh, preach a sermon, or setup a sales pitch (sometimes all three at once).
Because Boardroom Insiders is in the business of helping sales pros craft a more relevant story, I’ve become fascinated with the art of storytelling as it relates to enterprise sales. And it appears that I’m not alone. John Burke, Oracle’s Group VP , “has become a big believer in the power of storytelling when it comes to sales acceleration.”
More from John: “Probably the biggest change has been consciously interlacing some humility into my stories… Nobody is perfect and no company is perfect. It alienates customers when executives and salespeople try to pretend that they’re like Superman and will fix all their problems.”
“Before I was conscious about my storytelling, I would talk about facts and figures, this much faster, that much productivity improvement, etc. and after a typical speech I’d get one or two people who wanted to speak with me. Now that I’m telling real stories that exhibit real emotion and real humility, I have 20 or 30 people come up afterwards. People react positively to real stories about real people.”
To further explore using stories to drive sales, John Burke engaged famed selling consultant Michael Bosworth and the guru of sales listening, Ben Zoldan. In an interview, Bosworth explained, “At a basic level, the top reps were selling more intuitively. They had a better sense of the customer and were better able to connect with the customer’s emotions about purchasing. More specifically, it turns out that they were able to achieve this level of rapport largely through a skill that not only wasn’t taught in sales training, but which has been largely ignored in the business world: storytelling.”
The point is, productive storytelling doesn’t come naturally for most sales reps—including, as it turns out, John Burke–and he’s as successful as they come. He recognized this, and humbled himself to perfect his craft, developing a sincere method of telling stories that earn trust, and convert big prospects to loyal customers.
Heck, I’ve even tried this recently in our own blog (The “moment of truth” for enterprise sales pros).
The opportunity is there for all of us. And the cool part is that we can draw from our own authentic and personal stories, and not rely just on those of the companies we represent.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Posted April 18th, 2012 in