Just because you’re the CRO doesn’t mean you get to stop prospecting. You’re now in the position to personally drive demand in entirely new ways. It’s critical to your – and your company’s – success that you embrace your role as Chief Prospecting Officer.

As a CRO, you’re supposed to be the perfect blend of sales leader, marketing genius, and metrics guru. If you’re doing it right, you’ve got your sales team closing, marketing group cranking out leads and you’re tracking your MCLs all the way down to Closed/Won with 3 digit precision. So now you can just sit back and relax between QBRs, right?




The top of that funnel never has enough, and you are in a unique position to personally stimulate new logo demand. Now that you’ve got your CRO machinery humming, it’s time embrace your other title: Chief Prospecting Officer. Time to get your hands dirty.



Download the SBI Social Selling Guide. Leverage this guide as a roadmap when using prospecting to identify where a buyer is in his/her buying process, and to choose Social Plays tied to the corresponding stage in the buying process.


I Thought my Prospecting Days were Done?


Not so. In fact, you’re in the position to generate demand more effectively than at any time in your career. You’ve got the title, the prestige, and therefore the potential attention of more people than ever before. Besides, aren’t you the one always preaching Dan Pink’s line “we’re all in sales”? That means you, too.


So is it just the Same Prospecting I’ve Trained my Team to do?


As a master team-builder and motivator, you’ve embraced the philosophy that you only ask your people to things you’d be willing to do. That applied to your prospect and demand generation efforts now, too – with a few key differences.


Get Planning – Aim before Firing


If you haven’t taken your personal demand generation responsibilities in your current role seriously enough yet, make sure to start with the right planning. Who exactly would you want to reach out to you, and why? Begin with that end in mind. While the people on your team might be targeting the particular buyers of your product or service, you should be focused a level up. If you have a C before your name, your target should too.


Who are the ultimate bosses of your product’s buyers? What are their concerns? How are they measured, and what means do they have at their disposal to achieve those measures? If you have any questions, walk down the hall to your pal, the CMO, and ask for all the upper-level persona research she has. You’ll be able to home in on your targets more precisely – and you just might make her day. You’re now an awesome weapon, so you make sure you aim accurately.



Get Social – and Get Respect


Just like you encourage everyone on your team to optimize their social media profiles, yours should be optimized also – an appropriately for your level. Armed with your newly-refreshed understanding of your targets, think through what you know, what you’ve done, and the things that interest you that would be of benefit to people with those persona’s needs and ambitions. Emphasize those things in your social media profile. For most of us in B2B business, the key social media profile that matters is LinkedIn, you should also review Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. If you’re on SnapChat, grow up.


It’s important to realize that the things you emphasized in your prior roles are not necessarily the things that you want to emphasize now. For example, many LinkedIn profiles began life as job hunting aids for a prior role. The fact that you made President’s Club 5 times may have impressed a recruiter 3 jobs ago, but is it still relevant? Your buyers’ bosses maybe be more interested in talking to you as someone who orchestrated the post-merger integration of both the sales and marketing organizations – twice. That might be a skill they will respect.


Now you’re ready to start social selling in earnest. Set aside some time each week – each day would be better – to scan your network for your target personas at your top prospects. Follow them, see what they follow, like and comment on their feeds, and post information you know is relevant to their fears and goals. If you need (or your team needs) a refresher on social selling, download the SBI Social Selling Guide.


Get Referrals – More Money in Less Time


You already know that referred leads close at 10.9x the rate of leads generated through other means. So how much are you doing today? You’re now in a special position to harvest more referral more easily than anyone else on your team. Not just because you have a title that makes people think doing you a favor is a good idea, but you have a mountain-top view of your company’s customers. You know which ones love your product and which ones don’t. In many cases, you might have been involved in closing some of those big deals. If those customers are happy, let them make you happy. Make your list of the happy ones (hopefully a very long list) and do a little research about likely connections of the people you met – social media connections, common industries, conference attendance. Reach out to them and ask for a specific referral to a specific person – and be ready to hand over an easy script for them to follow or modify. You might be surprised how eager people are to help. Just be sure to be ready to return the favor.


Of course, don’t forget to do all the social referral things you’re asking your team to do, too – scour your network, find old friend, connect to fellow alumni, and look for those 2nd connections that you’d really like to meet. With your optimized profile and impressive title, you’ll be surprised how easy it is.


Get Blogging – Your Brand Demands It


Not blogging? Shame on you. Blogging is fun. Everyone should do it – but especially you. Why? You’re at the stage of your career where you’ve acquired two things: a deep industry understanding, and battle scars. If you’re at the C-level, people understand that you’ve survived scrapes, knife fights, and the occasional thermonuclear detonation. That make you interesting. That makes people stop and consider – for a microsecond or two – that they might want to read your first sentence. That puts you ahead of 90% of your blogging competition. Make it a good first sentence, and you’re ahead of 99%. They might even read your second sentence. Then crazy things can happen: they might share it, might comment, might even read the whole dang thing. And you might fill up your funnel. You will definitely burnish your personal brand.


That’s an awesome power. Don’t waste it. You are not blogging for popularity, or likes, or your next book deal. You are blogging for the attention of those same personas you just studied up on. Write about what you know that interests them. The rarer your knowledge and the more specific their interest, the better. You may not get the most eyeballs in the blogosphere – you’ll just get the ones that matter.


Get Quoted – and Make a Journalist’s Day


The other difference between yourself today and yourself in your former roles, is that you are suddenly much more interesting to the media. A journalist who can add a quote from a C-leveler to his or her article appreciates the boost it provides. The truth is, journalists are hungry for content. If you give them some good stuff, they will quote you and they will appreciate. Develop a relationship. Make yourself available for quotes. Many will develop an interest in you, and may even feature you in an article.


Journalists not knocking at your door?


Here are three ways to find them – and soon they will be finding you:


  1. Follow the journalists who follow your industry. Find the ones who do a good job. Comment on their pieces. Engage with them. Once they have a good feeling about you, feed them a story idea. As long as the idea isn’t too self-serving, you might get a nice feature. Also, feed them. They are hungry for content and hungry for food.
  2. If your company has a good PR firm or department, let them know you’re available to help the cause. They should be able to put you in front of print and television journalists in the right venues on the right message.
  3. Make yourself available to the press through a whole host of emerging apps and website that help journalist find experts to comment on their stories. The tools exist to serve the journalism industry, and reflect the massive need for content. Help fulfill that need, and help fill the top of your funnel at the same time. Find an assortment of these tools here.


Get the C-Team on Board – Lead them to be Leaders


Now that you’ve got your personal prospecting and demand gen house in order, it’s time to bring in the others. Rally your C-Suite comrades to the cause of filling the funnel through personal demand gen and prospecting. Tell the it is a part of executive evangelism and show them this article from HBR. They all love HBR, right?


Everybody’s in sales. You can show them how.


Download the SBI Social Selling Guide. Leverage this guide as a roadmap when using prospecting to identify where a buyer is in his/her buying process, and to choose Social Plays tied to the corresponding stage in the buying process.



Additional Resources


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