How CEOs Can Quarterback Your Sales Effort



I’ve had fantastic conversations with a number of senior sales executives and the topic of CEOs playing a key role in sales was a big part of the discussion. I mean, what better person to sell your organization than the top boss?
Here are some key thoughts on the process:
#1 Your entire sales team is expected to be on task in this effort because the CEO cannot be involved from “A to Z” of the sales game – they have an organization to run. So, staffers will first establish face-to-face meeting time with the prospect. In fact, I’d recommend identifying 5 to 10 prospects with whom the Association CEO is fundamentally unique to deliver some great value to the sales process.
#2 Develop a comprehensive briefing about the prospect for the CEO to prep for the pitch. In fact, email me at, and I will send you a copy of our key account matrix, which can help you plot unique sales opportunities for some of the more complex companies you seek to recruit.
#3 Execute the sales meeting for the CEO – ideally, with a staff member on board as part of the process for next steps. It’s important to follow a fairly general agenda, which should include: a discussion of who the prospect is and what they need, the mission of the association and how it can solve their problems, opportunities to collaborate, next steps and/or no thanks. Make sure “no thanks” is part of the agenda because you don’t want to waste your CEO’s time unless the deal is somewhat feasible.
#4 Follow-up: the team takes over the effort. Sales staff will need to gather additional information, develop collateral materials, and fulfill next-step items, which will move the prospect through the pipeline.
#5 And, finally, re-engage your CEO for the close. Good luck – this could prove to be a winning sales strategy for your association.
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