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Want to Sell More Software? 3 Reasons to Start Targeting the CMO

Written by: Michelle Glennie, The Partner Marketing Group

Want to Sell More Software? 3 Reasons to Start Targeting the CMOWith the customer experience driving digital transformation, software partners must shift their sales and marketing approach if they want to sell more software. The CMO is the strategic force behind customer experience and, therefore, an important decision maker for software purchases.

So where should you start? When targeting prospects, you often aim high – the CEO, CFO, COO, etc. But according to a recent research study conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Accenture Interactive, the CMO “is the leader for both the desired perception of the organization (the brand) and the customer’s actual perception of the organization (the experience).”

What does that have to do with selling your product?

#1: CMOs Know Their Customers Best

No one, in any company, knows what their customers want better than the Chief Marketing Officer. Accenture Interactive reports in their research, “90% of experience decision makers agree that the CMO should be the internal advocate for their customers.”

If companies are relying on their CMO to advocate for the customers, it should stand to reason they should have input in decisions that will impact their customers, right? CMOs are becoming a key decision maker for technology purchases because of the shift in the buyer’s demand for customer experience, so use that to your advantage.

Your software should be a driving force in creating that customer experience for them, so since the CMO should want to improve their clients’ experience, they will also likely be your biggest advocate during the selling process.

#2: CMOs Aren’t Just Buying CRM Anymore

It’s easy to look directly at the CMO for CRM software, but what about your other solutions? Every product a company uses will, in some way, affect their customers’ experience. While it may not seem like it, directly or indirectly, technology plays a huge part in the customer’s decision to buy, or to go somewhere else.

As marketing becomes more involved in the entire technology picture, don’t overlook asking the CMO what they like or don’t like about their current systems.

  • Is their lead-to-sales process slow? If customers are waiting too long for a follow up by sales, chances are they’re already looking elsewhere.
  • Is their marketing automation system too complicated (or nonexistent)? Marketing can’t be manual and be effective.
  • Are prospects getting timely information and responses? Today’s buyers like modern, sleek, eye-catching and simple. If your website delivers a poor experience, the company seems behind-the-times and the customer might look right past you.
  • Is marketing getting the full customer picture? If your systems and data are isolated, so is marketing. They can’t cater to customer preferences without the big picture.

While these are just a few examples, the CMO has much to do with how their customers view their company, and the customer experience that comes with it. Technology is now the key to how they provide that customer experience, and that’s where you come in.

#3: Solutions Sell – So Sell Them to the CMO

Your solutions should make it easier, faster, etc. for marketing to execute the company’s strategy to deliver a superior customer experience and, ultimately, sell more products and services.

Who is at the center of customer feedback for your current experience? The CMO. So who should you target for solutions to deliver a superior customer experience? You guessed it – the CMO.

If you go directly to the CEO, they may not have the direct input from their customers like the CMO will and going directly to the source will give you a better route to provide specific, targeted benefits of your software to the other key decision makers. They want to sell their customer experience to their buyers, and it’s what could make the sale for you too.

Not sure how to market to the CMO?

We can help. Contact us any time to strategize creative ways to target the CMO and sell more software.

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