Win Early Approval from the CFO- A 5 Step Checklist copy
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Win Early Approval from the CFO: A 5 Step Checklist

- Venkataraman Subramanyan

I really enjoy helping my clients craft their CxO sales conversations.

A favorite?

Making the CFO a champion for your deal.

The traditional approach ‘hope and pray’ approach is to ask,

“How can we go ahead and gain your support?”

It revolves around presenting projects and emphasizing their value.

Very often, the CFO will hear them out but there is no motivation or actionable outcomes.

Allow me to offer you a new path.

Here is a 5 step checklist to win the CFO conversation.

Let’s get started.

1.Understanding the CFO Context

The key to effective CFO conversations lies in understanding the context within which these financial leaders operate.

At a very basic level, the CFO’s role involves minimizing risks, driving revenue and profitability, managing cash flows, and reducing costs.

What is the specific context within which the CFO is working now?

To truly connect with a CFO, it’s important to grasp the specific business environment and expectations shaping their decisions.

2.Navigating the Two Sides: Context and Constraints

Once you understand the context, you can now shift to identifying the constraints blocking their success.

What is preventing them from meeting the aspirations they have?

Remember, these are two two sides of a coin,the context as well as the constraints.

Successfully engaging with a CFO involves addressing both sides – understanding their context and solving for their constraints.

3.Decoding Decision-Making Criteria

Once you’ve understood context and constraints, it’s time to think about the criteria the CFO is using to make decisions.

Various criteria come into play, such as return on investment, cash flow management, and risk mitigation.

Understanding of the CFO’s decision-making criteria is essential for tailoring conversations to deliver on their exact objectives.

What metrics, measures and milestones lets them know that they are making a good investment decision in their own best business interests?

What personal motivators trigger their interests?

4. Building a Compelling Case for Change

When you are done with the first three, you have earned the right to build a compelling case.

This means articulating the cost of maintaining the status quo versus the cost of implementing change.

By addressing the CFO’s concerns and showcasing the outcomes of your proposed initiative, you create a persuasive argument that paves the way for meaningful action.

5. Driving Consensus for Success

The final piece of the puzzle is driving consensus.

A compelling case for change, when communicated effectively, becomes a powerful tool for aligning stakeholders and garnering support.

CFOs, when brought on board early in the process, can play a crucial role in steering initiatives towards success.

Mastering CFO conversations involves a strategic approach that goes beyond project presentations.

It’s about creating a dialogue that resonates with the CFO’s context, addresses their constraints, aligns with their decision-making criteria, and builds a compelling case for consensus and change.


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Venkataraman Subramanyan is a Global Leadership Development Expert & Sales Coach. He is the Founder and CEO of Tripura Multinational. Venkat’s mission is to touch and transform a hundred million lives by 2025, and a billion lives by 2030. With over 30 years of experience, Venkat is passionate about 2 things – Leadership Transformation and Sales Acceleration. His trademarked deal qualification framework is licensed worldwide by organizations and filters over $3Billion in deals annually. He is an accredited member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

Tripura Multinational is a dynamic sales organization dedicated to empowering sales professionals and organizations to achieve unparalleled success. Originally established as a platform to address skill gaps in the sales industry, Tripura has evolved into a multi-faceted entity that offers comprehensive engagements for Sales Managers and Sales Leaders. Through the transformative power of Sales Coaching, Tripura enables sales organizations to elevate their performance from good to great and ultimately reach a world-class level. Our approach focuses on optimizing sales skills, management expertise, and leadership capabilities, helping clients plan more effectively, qualify leads better, orchestrate sales processes seamlessly, and expand their business with confidence. 

Our organisation is the trusted choice of market leaders across various industries and segments, relying on our expertise to elevate their performance to new heights. Recognized for our ability to enhance excellence, we are entrusted with the task of making the client’s best even better.

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