Are your deals getting stuck mid-way through your sales process? Here’s how selling to the CFO can help move along what was once a stalled mid-funnel deal. Slowing sales pipeline velocity has become one of the central issues sales leaders and enterprise sellers face today with so many of their clients grappling with strapped budgets and uncertain futures.
Many teams, including my own, have had to become creative in their business development efforts primarily in the way they execute their sales methodologies and leverage supporting technologies. Sellers employ new techniques to get into a cycle but see deals stall when they face new buyer scrutiny. That’s because there is an emerging influencer mid to late cycle that sellers must understand and nurture in order to get deals closed.
For the top of funnel blockers, LinkedIn has been able to connect sales communities and educate the industry through live Q&As, witty social posts, blogs, and webinars. The main takeaway that’s being drilled into our practices is that sales outreach strategies need to be more personalized, human, and account-based. Sellers across all sectors have adapted and been very successful in generating new pipeline.
That solves our top of funnel problems. But what about our mid-cycle deals that have been stalled over the past few months? It certainly seemed a bit harder to garner insights that would help our sales teams through this crucial piece of the pipeline.
That is, until Becc Holland, Head of Sales Development at Chrorus.ai, sat down with Josh Braun. In a video conversation the two posted on LinkedIn, Becc revealed the best piece of advice out there for any account executive who’s struggling to move along a stalled mid-funnel deal.
According to Becc, “anyone who has a deal mid-cycle needs to multi-thread and get the CFO involved.” Now.
With budgets being restructured and even frozen to some degree, most enterprises now need the CFO to sign off on any large investment. Where your CIO or CISO may have been your ICP and decision maker historically, at many corporations, they could now very well become your champion instead.
To better understand the mind frame of CFOs who are investing in technology in today’s economy, we spoke to Jim, former CIO of Microsoft for his take on selling to the CFO:
“I’ve talked to a couple of CFOs in the last few weeks about big investments, and there are some who say they’ve got to cut back on costs because of what’s happening in the economy, but I’ve talked to a couple—and these are the CFOs you’re looking for— who will give you the chance to help.
A good CFO will say, ‘It’s going to be bad anyway, but I can load up the bad times now, so that the future will be better.’ They’ll take advantage of the crisis, and that’s going to be the thing that will be looked at more positively as we go forward.”
The CFOs who are willing to sit down and learn about how your solution can help them to “never waste a crisis” and plan towards a profitable recovery will have unique wants and needs depending on their position within their market.
They’ll want to know how your solution is going to optimize business processes, cut costs, and address consumer-centric business initiatives, but first—it’s crucial that you have a solid understanding of what their specific priorities and pain points are.
To help you tactfully loop the CFO into your conversation by addressing the right ROI and delivering the right value proposition, we pulled together a short list of Emissary advisors who recently held CFO roles at Fortune 500 companies.
The below advisors are ready to help you piece together the right approach to selling to the CFO:
Emissary’s Financial Services, Insurance, and Healthcare CFO Advisors:
- Former CFO, Frannie Mae (9 years)
- Former CFO, Aetna (6 years)
- Former CFO, Citi (16 years)
- Former CFO, Kaiser (4 years)
- Former CFO, Avant (3 years)
- Former CFO, Amazon Pay (2 years)
- Former CFO, ING (5 years)
- Former CFO, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (12 years)
- Former CFO, Tenet Healthcare
Emissary’s CPG, Retail, and Food & Beverage CFO Advisors:
- Former CFO, Tyson Ventures of Tyson Foods (3 years)
- Former CFO, L’Oreal (10 years)
- Former CFO, Vineyard Vines (8 year tenure)
- Former CFO, IKEA (8 years)
- Former CFO, Ralph Lauren
- Former CFO, Starbucks (5 years)
- Former CFO, McDonalds (4 years)
- Former CFO, Diageo (5 years)
Emissary’s Automotive and Manufacturing CFO Advisors:
- Former CFO, Ford (15 years)
- Former CFO, US Air Force (30 years)
- Former CFO, Boeing (33 years)
- Former CFO, Siemens (8 years)
Emissary’s Entertainment & Media CFO Advisors:
- Former CFO, Disney (28 years)
- Former CFO, Omnicom (4 years)