lead prospecting the C-suite

The Ultimate Guide to Lead Prospecting the C-suite

Lead prospecting C-suite executives require a unique strategy. There are specific tactics you need to lock in that will connect you with quality C-suite leads and nurture them through the sales funnel. If you haven’t had success selling to C-suite executives yet, you will now.

Here’s the ultimate guide to prospecting and selling to C-suite leads. 

Understanding the C-suite personality

C-suite executives have different responsibilities and priorities than managers, for example. This means they generally have a distinct personality type to get the job done. C-suite executives fall under the analytical personality type.

Someone with an analytical personality type is normally reserved, logical, and prefers making decisions based on facts and evidence. When it comes to the operation of a company, decisions aren’t made through emotion, and they also aren’t made impulsively. 

When communicating with the analytical personality type, your focus should be on evidence, information, and results. You should outline how you can benefit them so they feel comfortable making an executive decision.

A trick to lead prospecting is to match your lead’s personality type, which often makes them feel more comfortable and understood. You’ll find your interactions with a C-suite executive will improve when you’re thorough, precise, and focused on the task.

How to successfully sell to the C-suite

3 ways to optimize lead generation marketing

What do you do before you even contact your lead? Research, understand, and attract.


Research the company and the lead. Find out as much about their professional background as you can. Find out who the team members are because you might end up being passed over to them and you’ll need to know their priorities and pain points.

Find out if your lead has been approached by competitors and how you differ. Your lead likely already knows about your competitors because they do research too. Make sure you have something to offer.

C-suite executives are busy. Don’t waste their time by neglecting to know something you should. Find out when the best time is to reach out and how often. Look into how much time you might have with them, how you can best benefit them, and what they already know about you. Predict what questions they might ask, and answer them before they do.

lead prospectingUnderstand

Understanding their personality type is one step to lead generation marketing. The better you understand the person you’ll be speaking with and the company you’re pitching to, the better your chances of impressing them. Know that C-suite executives can be assertive because they have other meetings to attend and decisions to make.

In many cases, you’ll be referred to someone else on the team that might have more time. As long as you’ve done your research, this shouldn’t be a problem. This can be avoided if you understand their requirements and time frame. If you’re redirected, ensure your pitch is clear and shareable so it’s more likely to find its way back to your intended lead.


After researching and understanding your lead, how do you attract them to your product before even meeting them? If you can get your product, service offering, or idea in front of the C-suite executive on their own time, that’s a bonus. In that case, they’re browsing on their own and actively looking for something to pique their interest.

Get in front of them through social media. Even if they aren’t immediately intrigued, when they do meet with you, they’ll be more likely to speak with you if they’ve already seen your product. Be where they are. If you’ve done your research, you’ll know whether they frequent LinkedIn over Twitter or email over phone calls.

C-suite executives love referrals. They’ll have peers they trust and have worked with for many years, so try venturing outwards and impressing leads that might later suggest you.

Tips for lead prospecting the C-suite

Be specific

C-suite executives already understand your product. Give them examples, result-driven data, and facts.

Leverage pain points

Prove you’re better than your competitors by addressing a pain point and providing a solution with your product.

Provide value

Due to their time constraints, you need to lead with the most important information and avoid wasting your limited time with something they already know or don’t care about.

Be flexible

C-suite executives are often busy with other conferences, meetings, and responsibilities so when it comes to setting a time to chat, be flexible. You might have to move something else if it means getting a chance to pitch your lead.

Be memorable

With all of the other pitches and products the C-suite hears about, it can be hard to differentiate between them all. Give them something unique and creative to stay at the front of their minds.

Focus on macro, not micro

Just like the C-suite does, focus on the big picture and how you benefit their overall company. They aren’t dealing with small issues so there’s no point in addressing them.

lead prospecting3 lead generation marketing challenges


C-suite executives can be difficult to reach because of their gatekeepers whose purpose is to deal with most issues before reaching higher. So, shoot straight for the top, and pitch something only the C-suite lead can address.

Cold connections

Cold calls or cold connections might work for some lead generation marketing, but 59 percent of buyers reject a cold connection outright. When it comes to the C-suite where context and rapport are paramount, it’s best to avoid cold connections and instead focus on providing value.

Bad timing

This is the simplest lead generation marketing challenge to avoid. If you reach out at the wrong time, 71 percent of buyers say they will deny the sale simply because it isn’t the right time to consider your product. Imagine that. You could have a valuable product to offer but ruin your chances by approaching your lead at the wrong time.

Engaging account-based marketing strategies to boost B2B leads

Lead prospecting is a challenge as it is, especially when prospecting the C-suite. One way to see a higher rate of lead generation success is to use Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategies. With ABM, you can gain insight into your target market and pinpoint which leads are qualified for you.

ABM offers the ability to build rapport and provide information about your product through personalized messaging and email marketing. These tools help nurture leads over time and keep them invested in your product.

Use ABM to find ideal C-suite candidates, or the right people to use as referrals to entice that C-suite group.

Contact us if you’re ready to put this guide into action and start selling to the C-suite.