There are millions of dollars at stake in reaching and convincing a CIO of what software, hardware, apps, and other technology they need for their organization in order to maximize its potential. How can you get your foot in the door with a CIO so you can explain how your products and services will make their jobs easier, and their employers more successful?
You can’t sell anything if you can’t meet the CIO or others in charge of purchasing company technology. The other challenge is making the CIO see the meeting as relevant and important to their organization.
Learn What They Have
It is not always possible to get a survey of a company’s current technology, or to find out how satisfied the company is with that technology. However, the more you know about the organization’s current IT state, the more you can prepare. If you know which information system they like, then you can prepare to visit them with suggestions for programs and apps that work well with it. Depending on the feedback you get, you can also be prepared with alternatives to what they currently have.
Get to Know Them
Sponsor lunches and meetings with half a dozen IT people. Even in larger companies, often the IT person is an island unto themselves—that is, they are the guy or gal asked to do something in an emergency situation. If they can’t get something fixed in minutes, their name can be dragged through the mud—even when they do a great job.
A chance to meet with a few other IT pros and talk about what works, what doesn’t work, and what they’re unsure about can be a boon to them, and can help their suppliers learn what is important. After a meal or two, the sponsor of the meal will have an idea about the unique challenges each IT person faces at work. Hopefully, those people will also gain ideas for their peers to do their jobs better.
Go to Events
Go to industry events that are pertinent to the products and services you offer. You can go to technology events, or, if you have a platform or hardware that would be useful, go to a company’s industry meeting. If you ‘re trying to sell to an insurance company, don’t just try to reach the CIO of the company—go to insurance conferences and impress CEOs and COOs with your wares.
Trends for 2017
When you do get a meeting with the CIO of a company, there are things that they will likely be looking for. One of those things that has been trending and will continue to be important is digital. Some believe that using digital gives a business an advantage over others. Things happen faster, things are becoming safer and these two advantages make customers happier.
Another trend seems to be a move in which workers find apps and programs that they like, then the IT department must find hardware that will support the program in the way those in the field need it. Companies will move from buying a group of computers that support a particular operating system. Instead, now they will find an app that gives them the information they need at their fingertips. After that, they will want the IT department to make sure it works.
As America continues its march toward being a service industry, consumers are demanding more and more of that service, and when things don’t go well, they look for another place to spend money. That puts pressure on the CIO to ensure that the customer experience works efficiently. People should not struggle when filling out electronic forms. People should have websites that are easy to maneuver. There are a lot of things the CIO has to consider, and customers won’t want to work with a company with inefficient processes.
In order to ensure that the customer experience is smooth, the CIO needs to spend time with customers. One way the CIO’s supplier can help is to facilitate a survey or interview questions that the CIO can use when speaking to customers. The tech supplier can help the CIO ensure that all parts of the system work well, internally and externally.
In building an effective technology strategy, it is important that the CIO helps facilitate processes for the entire organization. The CIO should not sit in their office and wait for something to go wrong and then fix it. A good supplier should strive to help a CIO become a part of the entire team; to understand not just what technology is used, but its intended purpose. This understanding makes the CIO more valuable, and makes the organization work better.