How to target the C-Level

Rarely, if ever, are C-Levels involved with the day-to-day practical application of solving problems.

In other words, the problem your solution is meant to solve, they’re not the ones stuck in the grind of implementing and working out that problem – they’re not the ones who will be using your tool on a day-to-day basis. ( unless your tool is a c-suite tool of course )

C-Levels view your solution through a different lens.

They’re in meetings all day, every day.

They’re talking about the problems their company has in relation to growth objectives and company goals.

Day in, and day out, they’re conditioned to think in terms of problems and how their teams can overcome those problems.

On top of that, they’re busy.

Not one of them has the time to dive in and get into the nuance of what makes your solution better than the other guys. It’s not worth their time to do so.

In other words, they don’t care about your feature deck. It’s not what they’re looking at.

When a C-Level is engaged, their onsite behavior looks a lot like this.

  • They land on the home page.
  • The home page hero panel hits them first.
  • They take a quick scroll down.
  • A quick scroll up.
  • They click on pricing. ( if it’s available )
  • They visit the feature page most relevant to their immediate need.
  • They pass your site off to their team lead.



If you don’t hook them right away, you won’t get a second chance.

If you get 3 page views and 1-2 minute onsite time for that first c-level interaction, I’d consider that a win.

C-Level triggers

C-Levels are “hooked” by two primary triggers.

When I say “hooked” and “triggers” it’s a light way of saying – C-Levels have a job of their own they’re trying to do. “Triggers” are heuristic techniques that make it easier for C-Levels to “hook / engage” with stuff that matters to them.

Will it help my team?

Removing bottlenecks, increasing efficiency, generating a higher lead count, etc…

Is the solution legit or are they full of it?

Who have they worked with, and who trust/likes them?

What about stats/results?

C-Levels say stats matter to them, but in my experience, stats are commonly judged to be spurious and have very little to do with that initial hook.

Stats rarely motivate until trust is already established. Rarely, if ever, do stats inspire that trust.

When risk is involved, it’s just practical and safer to assume everyone is lying until proven otherwise.

Stats are more likely to cause doubt and demand proof that can rarely be satisfied on the personal level required to engender trust.

Caveat: Stats do come into play as a supporting piece of content. They can help support and bolster that initial trust, but they’re not your hooks. They’re not the entry point.

How to include the right triggers and what they look like

It’s really not that complicated. C-Levels need to know a few simple things right up front.

What do you do / who are you?

What value do you provide / how will I / my team be more awesome?

Are you for real?

But, what does that “actually” look like?

Make it CRYSTAL CLEAR what it is that you do.

Sounds too simple to mention.

Being so simple, the majority of SaaS companies forget it’s actually important, and fail to communicate what it is they actually do.

Nothing is clear. Nothing is helpful. The initial view is completely wasted and REQUIRES the user to dig deeper to get anything of value.

Can you figure out what problems any of these companies help solve?
(They’re all pretty big brands)

But to get it right, focus on the job the C-Level is trying to get done.

Their immediate problem.

Use their language – not their marketingese business language, but the language they’re using when talking in the office about why XYZ sucks.

For C-Levels, a quick trick is to use “team language.”

Yeah, I’m with you, it does sound a little too formulaic.


C-Levels eat “team” language up!

Simply because they spend their days talking about how they can get their teams to hit their numbers.

Use the “team” langauge when describing the value. As in, what their teams can do and the goals they can achieve with your solution.

Include as much validation as reasonable and relevant.

Showcase the most prestigious client logos you can muster that are relatable to your ideal demographic.

Also, include industry ratings, recognition badges, awards, and high profile reviews.

Here’s a few SaaS companies who are doing it right!

Note: the old addage of “too good to be true” is hard-wired into our subconscious. Every C-Level has been burned by false promises, so back up your validators with proof – link to the source / proof / explanation.

You’re viewing part 3

See part 2

How to target the Team Leader

The Team Lead needs to know your tool is going to do the job they need it to do without making their life worse.

See part 4

How a C-Level will interact with your website

The typical C-Level prospect will engage with the site, initially, at a very high level.