It can be quite challenging to find the right strategies to convince Chief Technology Officers and IT leaders to make a hardware or software purchases. Each business and organizations has its own infrastructure and therefore its own concerns. There are many commonalities that businesses have, but there are also many differences unique to each situation. Some businesses have tech infrastructures that are older, while others have modern technology infrastructures. Each will have their own needs which can be challenging to a salesperson. What are some of the things a person should know that might help connect with these people who are responsible for hardware and software purchases a company might make?
The first step is doing what should be every salesperson’s best friend—listen.
Every organization has its own issues—old machines, poor security, no rules regarding who has access to the database, or some other problem. You have to sit down and listen to them explain what their long-term plan is and what their current problems are, then help them find the solutions to the problems they can see, and solutions to problems that they don’t see yet.
Use market research to help you understand what they’re thinking about and the direction people and businesses in their industry are moving toward.
Get trade journals and read them. They may seem to be in a foreign language at first, but the more you read them, the better you’ll understand the industry, and the businesses of your potential customers. Look at their websites to understand what they are doing and maybe determine where they are heading. The more you understand what they do, the better you can understand where they are moving.
Know what causes your customers heartburn.
There are always things that are challenging—healthcare businesses are worried that people who should not have access will find a way into their database and steal or otherwise compromise health data. Businesses that accept customer debit and credit card numbers worry about having that data stolen. Some businesses worry that they are quite susceptible to ransomware attacks. Understanding these concerns can help find a solution. You can offer hardware or software that will keep a business HIPAA-compliant, as well as offering software updates that keep up with new innovations the bad guys are coming up with. You can offer hardware that alerts IT if someone is trying to hack into the system. You can find ways to facilitate ordering for customers—who wants to spend 10 minutes ordering a set of headphones when a competitor allows you to be in and out of the ordering process in three minutes.
Security is one of the most important things that nearly every business will struggle with.
Sometimes it is the fear of the unknown, sometimes a business knows that their network is not as secure as it should be, but they do not know how to keep their business accessible to vendors and customers, and provide necessary security to data.
Businesses want to be the leader in the drive for digital sales, not the follower.
There are things that a business doesn’t mind being more conservative in doing, but often, falling behind in digital implementation is not one. Falling behind means potentially losing business. CIOs want to know how to implement more digital smoothly and in their budget.
How to store data in a safe manner.
Whether the concern is ransomware or other hackers, data will need to be stored in a safe way. There are different ways to safely store the data, help CIOs and IT professionals discover which of the various ways to store data will be best for their industry. The complication comes from also allowing internal and real time data to combine with older data and yet keep everything as safe as possible.
Remember that the IT department used to be like the security guard in a bank.
You had them there, but you hoped you never needed to use them. Now, the IT department make suggestions for ways to keep up-to-date. The IT department can make suggestions to streamline and improve a business model before the CEO or CFO even know something might be on the horizon. A salesman can take advantage of that by presenting new ideas in technology. Maybe it will be a good fit, maybe it won’t. IT people will appreciate a chance to think about new technology and to think about useful ways to incorporate it into their business model.
It seems that it can be hard to find the right approach to sell to some IT and CIOs. Understanding their particular business, including the pressures and potential changes is a big step in that process. Then understanding the needs and their concerns can be important in showing them that you have the hardware and software to not only make their jobs easier, but to make their businesses operate safer and more efficiently.