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How to Use Executive Turnover as a Killer B2B Sales Strategy

3 min readOctober 23, 2013

Each day, LinkedIn prompts each of us to “say congrats” on someone’s new job. Directors become VPs,  VPs become CXOs, and CEOs found new companies. The changes accompanying executive role shifts is much like what happens when coaches leave one team for another, or a political leader takes power. Entire systems of operations change, as do tactics.

If you’re an inside sales rep tasked with outbound prospecting, this is a good time to be a shark.

Why? A new executive is likely to have three things that can inspire serious sales conversations:

  1. A strong desire to usher in change
  2. A budget with which to deliver that change.
  3. A mandate to deliver changes.

When To Reach Out To New Executives

Timing your sales pitch is critical.  The best time to reach out is immediately before or after the new executive takes control. These windows offer the greatest opportunities for success, since it’s during the period when leaders can typically be at their most disruptive.

You may have heard that U.S. presidents are thought to hold the most power during their first 100 days of office. During this time, they usually hold sway in the court of public opinion. And beyond that, even political rivals tend to sit back and let the president make the first move before reacting. The same applies to newly minted executives. There tends to be the hope and expectation that the new hire will deliver positive results.

If you are able to determine that an executive is moving to a new company, you should immediately reach out to see if he’s open to using your products or services at his new company. Or if you can contact a new executive  hire at a prospect company, you can try to convince her to use your goods and services in order to make a positive impact in her new role.

How to Spot Executive Turnover

Hunting for executive turnover can not only help reps identify new opportunities, but it can also help with lead qualification. Here are three essential tips that can help reps identify and leverage change within targeted companies to close more deals.

Google News Alerts & PR Sites

Companies often announce new hires at the time of, or in advance, of their arrival with press releases. Accordingly, searching hiring terms or setting up Google alerts along with executive titles can yield great results. Since many such press releases will never make it into Google news, also try searching sites such as PR Newswire.

Browse Trade Publications

Industry trade publications often get inside tips about when executives are going to move from one company to another. Depending on the industry and publications, you might see former announcements or even rumors that are worth following up on. For example, Ad Age is a perfect destination for discovering when high-level advertising professionals move to a new agency.

Check LinkedIn

As we mentioned, LinkedIn invites you to congratulate contacts on their new job. You can also view how long an executive has worked at a particular company. If, for example, you find yourself in a sales conversation with a CMO, it’s prudent to glance at their LinkedIn page to see how long they’ve held their position. If they are a new hire, it can help you qualify a lead as being more serious and sales-ready.

Browse a Company’s News Feeds

Often top-level executives are promoted internally, which makes it harder to identify in LinkedIn. Revenue.io apps offer another way to identify turnover. Our app automatically delivers a company’s news feed. This can sometimes help reps quickly identify turnover, since many companies put out press releases and gain news coverage when making changes to their leadership positions.