Carl Moe explains that with all of our electronic communication tools available today, sales people can literally prospect the universe and close business with clients they may never meet face-to-face. However, there are still business relationships in B2B sales where the value of your product or service is such that having face-to-face executive level connections between the two organizations can increase the alignment as well as create a competitor barrier. CEO level connections can be extremely productive for both companies and are well worth the effort.
Building these connections does not come without risk for the Chief Revenue Officer. He has observed CEO's without any sales background or experience have some success in building executive relationships with current clients. Unfortunately, some CEO's then decide they are ready to join the sales team and go "slay dragons" (i.e. attack the market and close new business). This epiphany occurs most frequently when overall business performance is below expectations.
The good news is you now have a CEO ready to engage in the challenges of working with the primary independent variable of every business - the prospect. The bad news is these well-intended CEO's have little or no sales background regarding the differences between existing client relationship events and new business prospecting calls.