I have been working long and hard on writing a book – “What Every CIO Wants – A guide for global technology salespeople“. For many years I have lived a double life as a senior IT Executive with a salesman inside, desperately trying to get out. This book outlines my observations of what salespeople get right and what they get wrong. I hope it improves the way that technology salespeople engage and helps win the best and smartest salespeople more business.
Here is a short section to give you a flavour of the style and content:
One of the key things to understand is that IT is not just about cost-cutting: IT is also about driving innovation, driving speed and business agility, and reducing risk for the organization that the IT department serves. Sometimes, making a massive investment in the IT department can have an even bigger impact on the business itself. For instance, spending a million dollars to improve a customer relationship management system and functionality of a call center could have a $10m impact on that business’s interactions with its customers. Spending on IT not only can — but should – drive business innovation, business agility, profitability and revenues.
In the current uncertain economic climate, CIOs and other businesspeople want to conserve cash in their businesses and avoid making inflexible, long-term financial commitments. Equally, CIOs want to be able to scale up as well as scale down capacity because, if the market turns positive, they know that the CEO will expect them to support immediate business expansion.
The old annual model of business forecasting and then interlocking IT capital spend to support fixed plans developed by the business is no longer viable. No one wants to make a big investment that locks in a fixed set of costs and volumes that can’t be switched off or scaled up in a hurry. One might think that this uncertainty is likely to cause delay and inertia inside the sales process for capital projects. However, it’s actually a plus for smart salespeople who can message and align IT costs against revenues. In some market segments and use cases, cloud-based services are taking off because of their natural financial alignment between real-time usage and cost.