C-Level Buyers disdain advances from sales people.  It’s understandable.  Your time is precious and demands growing business and quashing daily fires are overwhelming.  There are rarely enough resources of time, people, or capital to meet all opportunities and challenges.

But, be-AWARE, some of the best resources are those sales people courting your business.   Premier sales people eagerly work provocatively and creatively for your benefit.  Sure, they survive by selling, but are also your voice to their company’s capital and resources to inspire and earn your business.  A great sales person is the window from your business to theirs.  The best work tirelessly under great pressure to close business by driving to alignment where value is maximized.

C-level executives should be receptive and manage to their advantage.  This is the same behavior they expect from their own sales people to increase revenue and strengthen business partnerships.   Organizations trend to myopic.  A sales person can assist you achieve your business objectives by introducing fresh ideas that leverage their products and services to deliver results.

The best sales people are motivated and trained to help you achieve success – they may prove to be some of your best resources.

Before my fellow sales friends blast this declaration, selling is the most difficult job in the company!   Customers’ financial and procurement process stifles creativity and discount value and innovation.  That effectively and purposefully boxes vendors into commodity pricing comparatives.

Sales people must ignite business ideation discussions.  Sales management too often inflates value of CRM and product demo activity with hard work gaining qualified business level access and creative dialogue.    Work to discover ways for your clients’ to achieve growth and increase value.  Dare to imagine with your clients.  Bridge your products and services capability to clients’ business execution and strategy to achieve uncommon results.  Qualify decision-making.  If not part of a business discussion, prepare to be the lowest price to win, or disqualify and get out.

I disagree with John Warrillow’s too easy conclusion in his Inc. article imploring sales to do “the hard work of figuring out how to make your product solve the problem at hand.”   He reverts to misplaced and old caricatures of consultative selling.

Instead, Joanne Black of Women Sales Pros makes the point that clients need sales professionals’  “expertise and insights about what does and doesn’t work.”   Business impact for growth and sparking imagination is the elixir that clients seek from their sales professionals to innovate and execute results.

The “Red Zone” in football represents the final 20 yards to score.  Length of a football field is 100 yards. It’s that last 20 yards where competition is fiercest and defenses stiffen.

Researching teams most efficient scoring touchdowns in the “Red Zone” offer a sharp contrast between winners and losers.  In 2015, the best team scoring touchdowns from the Red Zone was the Carolina Panthers.  Carolina finished with a league best 15 wins and one loss and a 69.4% red zone touchdown scoring proficiency.  The team with the lowest proficiency (38.3%), the Cleveland Browns, finished with an NFL league worst record of 3 wins – 13 losses.

No doubt your business manages a rigorous sales pipeline.  And, that final closing section bears resemblance to football’s “Selling Red Zone.”  The final 20 yards in selling is no time to relax!  Nearest the goal line, obstacles are raised and competition toughest.   Fighting to gain turf positioning for success is great; but scoring is the only reward.

Several Closing techniques exist.   One area to consider is scheduling a face to face meeting to validate your position with the most senior decision-making levels.   Don’t assume success, fight till the very end.