Challenges in Executive Selling and What to Do about Them


Recently I was asked the question: Can you give us some insights into what the Sales VP’s you work with hadn’t considered about executive engagement but is actually critically important? 


Lisa: I think the most shocking thing that my clients find when they start focusing on engaging the C-suite can be summed up in a couple of challenges; three in particular…


#1: Most of the Sales VP’s that I work with would agree that every truly large contract includes the need for executive sponsorship of some sort.

#2: Statistics and practical experience tell us that even the most tenured sellers find it difficult, if not impossible, to get to key executives.

#3: And then it gets even worse, if they get there, executives report that sellers don’t understand their issues or a path to help. (Said another way is that executives don’t believe that sellers can add value to them.)


All points lead to one conclusion: We’re literally in an executive engagement crisis right now.





Furthermore, it’s not just about engaging that executive, more importantly sellers need to understand how to build relationships with executives over time.  In other words, sellers need to know how to keep the C-suite door open.


There are 3 ways to help solve the problem:


#1:  Sellers struggle to approach the C-suite because of confidence.  They’re not clear on the value they can bring to the executive relationship.  Sellers can identify their unique ‘Why’ through effective research and a practical seller/executive alignment tool.


#2: The second problem that sellers face is the nuts and bolts of how to get a meeting and how to prepare for the meeting.  There are rock solid techniques to nail down an appointment with a senior leaders that sellers can adopt. 


#3: What I’ve learned over my 30+ years in sales, sales leadership and as a sales consultant is that sellers struggle to keep the relationship going with the C-suite.  The fact is that many sellers today meet with the executive one time and think it’s sufficient - one and done. But in reality, in order to create memorable interactions, it takes a series of high value communications over time.


The fact is that sellers need all three solutions working together to really be successful.


The Solution to the Executive Selling Crisis


Kick off 2017 by giving your sellers the book that is guaranteed to enhance their sales performance.  The TOP Seller Advantage: Powerful Strategies to Build Long-Term Executive Relationships includes proven strategies to ensure sellers develop long lasting executive access.  


The C-suite executive perspectives at the end of each chapter reveal exactly how senior leaders view sales encounters and what would cause them to keep the door open for follow up meetings.  Check it out at



About Lisa Magnuson:

Lisa Magnuson is an expert in corporate strategic sales and TOP Line Account™ revenue building. As a respected sales consultant and author, Lisa works with clients to build successful strategic sales programs that drive revenue from large new accounts and enable growth from existing high value customers. Learn more at 



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