• Put Me Through to the IT Decision-Maker!

    I engage on a regular basis with 1.5 million IT buyers and it is always interesting grappling with the way these buyers want to be sold to versus and the way many IT vendors market and sell their products.

    For example: Had a chat with a prospect the other day and explained how, in my humble opinion, they would benefit from marketing and selling to the IT technology buyer at midsized companies. I explained what a smart bunch IT business decision makers are, how on average they spend $275K a year and how they look to peers when researching and evaluating products and services for their businesses.

    Pretty good so far right?  You’d think so, however this is what I hear a lot of from vendors:

    We are not interested in selling to IT, we market to the C-Suite, heads of departments and it flows down from there.  Hmmm.

    My opinion is irrelevant so I decided to ask 1.5 million IT buyers what they thought.  I asked, ”As a salesperson or marketer, should I include the IT professional in my selling or focus on the CEO, CFO, CTO, CIO or department head?”  Here is a sample of responses:

    ·         Most of us ARE decision makers…or at least TELL the decision makers what to decide. That’s how it works here.

    ·         Only marketing to the C-Suite is the move of someone who knows their product isn’t any good.

    ·         I think what so many vendors fail to realize is that while I, as an IT professional, am not the decision maker, I have two very important roles: decision influencer and gatekeeper. If a vendor doesn’t convince me, they don’t make it to the decision maker…and can make or break most IT decisions.

    ·         If it is budgeted, I am the decision maker. I make the IT budget, decide what gets in and does not. It gets approved. Then I order.

    ·         While I may not have the power to say ‘Yes,’ I do have the power to say ‘No.’

    Solution:

    Do not neglect the IT department when marketing and selling technology products, services and/or solutions. Be sure to embrace and engage these critical influencers, while also marketing to the C-Level suite and then engage the IT department to support your sales and marketing efforts.

    Kenny Madden works in market development at Austin based Spiceworks, the fastest growing IT social business network. He can be reached at Kenny@spiceworks.com

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