This afternoon’s UBM session with four CIOs shed’s light on some of the mistakes sales people are making. Here are some important sound bites from the session:
1. All four CIOs indicated a need to be working at a more strategic level. They don’t want to be involved in product discussions.
2. IT no longer has a monopoly on IT services. End-users can go to the cloud on their own and get what they need – this places a higher demand on the CIO to be more strategic and relevant to the business units they serve.
3. All four look to their VAR partners for education, strategy, direction and options…their go to VAR partners will have to continuously provide strategic value, or they will be replaced.
4. They have had trouble finding VARs who really understand the more complex technologies…several called for VARs to step up their knowledge and stay ahead of the curve on the latest technology trends: Analytics, mobility, virtualization, security, etc.
5. They need faster response, alternatives, and implementations that come in on time, on budget, without mishaps.
6. They can’t do their job and keep up with the latest trends – the VAR must be that guide….
7. They didn’t seem to care what devices their end-users were bringing to work. In fact they don’t really have the power to stop the BYOD trends – however, they do need to maintain security of the data.
8. Quote, “We can’t be in the “No” Business”.
All of this was helpful, but the most important question answered was, “How should VARs call on CIOs?”
Wow – this is important – they don’t like unexpected calls or email. In fact, they do everything to block the reps that call on them. They didn’t mention IT as a referral source even one time! So climbing the ladder is out…They did mention meeting at live events – Clevel events that are by design educational…this reinforces the many posts I have made on Clevel event marketing programs. The other method was a peer referral – another CIO recommending a solution provider. That’s it…just two ways. So get your CIO clients to refer you and start working on event marketing geared to executive audiences.
© 2012, David Stelzl
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