The Top Strategic Business Priorities Being Measured by BOTH CEOs and CFOs.
Updated: Nov 21
Know Thy Buyer (and their business)!!!
The #LucrumPartners team continues to hear how often B2B sellers are encountering CFOs as key decision making influencers. We are also hearing how most of these sellers are struggling to engage CFOs.
Why are B2B buying firm's CFO's playing a more active role in your firm's proposal submissions? Here's part of the answer.....today's CFOs have a more holistic understanding of what actually drives the business! How can today's B2B sellers successfully engage with the modern CFO? By developing financial acumen!
High performing B2B sellers have the knowledge and understanding of basic financial and accounting principles in order that align with CFO's need for sound judgment when making business decisions. The modern CFO can quickly assess if sellers "belong in the room" by the level of financial acumen.
The modern CFO is wired differently. Why? According the the recent EY 2023 DNA of the CFO report, 45% of finance leaders surveyed see their long-term career ambition as achieving a CEO position, either at their current organization or another. And the role of a business savvy CFO is the new path to the CEO position. Gone are the days of the CFO being just a "bean counter", the person who says "no!" to any request to spend money. Today's modern CFOs are indeed different. They are invested in the growth successes of their firm and are now challenged by three paradoxes:
1) How can CFOs create long-term value when they are under pressure to cut priority investments to deliver results today?
2) How can prudent, risk-aware CFOs capture the value that results from a bolder and more innovative change agenda for finance?
3) How can you succeed as a “strategic” CFO and achieve your career ambitions when traditional finance skill sets do not equip you with all the attributes you might require?
B2B sellers must recognize and understand the new alignment of the CEO and CFO priorities. The top three overlapping CEO and CFO key priorities can be seen in the 2023 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey.
#1 Growth, #2 Technology, #3 Talent
GROWTH: While cost management focus has increased for both the CEO and CFO, it still remains outside of the top 5 priorities. When B2B sellers engage with senior buying team members, they need to present their value through a story arc of the senior leaders strategic priorities.
Ensure their is a path paved to growth: Each B2B sellers' communication with decision makers must reinforce growth while positioning their solution to reflect the urgency to 'ruthlessly prioritize projects that align with strategic business priorities. These communications should include a business case for the execs to quickly shift capital away from low value to their proposed high value solution. Financial Acumen!
TECHNOLOGY: CEOs and CFOs agree that AI will most significantly affect their business over the next three years. Gartner identifies the five forces driving these leaders to unlock AI, specifically generative AI. B2B sellers need to understand how generative AI can and will impact their offerings, and show how investing in their solution PLUS AI will deliver new revenue by creating 'new markets and/or new lines of business for organizations to expand service offerings and increase revenue'. Financial Acumen!
TALENT: Both CEOs and CFOs recognize that talent shortages in key areas are damaging to business. B2B sellers must understanding that future growth and profitability are at risk if the client or prospect cannot improve retention, attraction and talent development. Therefore, a successful B2B seller would position their offerings and solutions to reduce the burden on talent deficiencies and shortages. Financial Acumen!
Does your B2B sales team "belong in the room" with the modern CFOs? If not, we can help.
Our team at Lucrum Partners excel at modernizing the B2B Sales Playbook. We deliver benchmark assessments for each of the revenue generating cylinders of the revenue engine from talent strategies to sales, account management, and front line sales management processes. We can help.