1. IT people naturally resist sales people who try to move up. Positioning your technical experts along side IT people can give them a highly valuable connection, one that will help IT people gain the insights they need to increase their own value. If this relationship holds real value, it frees the sales person to move up. The IT person will not risk giving up a great technical contact just to block you.
2. Higher level contacts in general, must gain IT buy-in before making strategy technology decisions. While this is not always the case, there is always a backlash when they don’t. An assessment does not require the same approval process, making it a better lead in. Once completed, you have the justification to move other project related services forward.
3. Every sale should have an end-goal that includes recurring revenue. Cloud services, hosted services, managed services – all fall into this category.
4. Justification for the recurring revenue portion of the sale should be made through an assessment and justified by risk related issues. For instance, managed services is presented as a way of maintaining an acceptable level of risk. When ROI is used, the contract’s life expectancy is much shorter. Bean counters will be watching this monthly expense closely, and it will be the first to go when things get tight.
Note: here’s a shot from my hotel window in Santa Clara – interesting how things have evolved with Yahoo and Google. Remember when Yahoo was a hot stock? What would Seth Godin do if he were back at Yahoo now? Yahoo would be lucky to get him.
© 2010, David Stelzl