Selling to the CIO


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People who have viewed my CIO's Dilemma preso will recognize some of the slides on the front end of this one but the rest is all new material.

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  • Glimpse into the CIO’s worldSome of the challenges they faceSense of what it’s like to stand in their shoesHow you can use that knowledge to build relationships and sell more effectively to the CIO
  • Let’s take a look at the CIO’s world from a macro perspective
  • All of this creates a series of dilemmas for CIOs
  • These are the things CIOs prioritize as central to their role.[let people review][CLICK]Given that negotiating with vendors is at the bottom of the list, it’s important to position yourself as helping in one or more of the other areas.
  • Now that I’ve painted a picture for you of the CIO’s world, let’s zoom in and take a look at a day in the life of a CIO. Let’s call him Jim
  • Jim’s days are chock full, every day, most weeks and months of the yearThe range of issues he deals with is mind-boggling, and it’s sometimes difficult for him not to get distracted by side issues as they crop upFor example, the weekly staff meeting on Jim’s calendar seems simple enough – the team will give status updates on data center performance, network availability, application rollouts, etc. As you can imagine, things aren’t always perfect, and Jim has to respond to many issues on the fly. Some people make requests for additional resources, and sometimes a director will bring up an issue that leads to a much bigger problem. What looks on the calendar like 90 minutes of check ins and updates actually represents many, many hours of potentially high-stakes decision making as well as expenditure of both money and Jim’s own political capital within the business.Or take the IT Portfolio Steering Committee meeting. It took Jim months of positioning and lobbying to sell his business colleagues on the value of this effort – and there are still a couple of VPs who inevitably skip the meeting or try to delegate it to one of their staff members. Ongoing struggle for Jim.As intense as this view of Jim’s calendar seems, it’s actually a deceptively ordered view of the CIO’s world. Consider this:On this particular Wed., Jim gets a call at home at 3 a.m. that the order-processing system for all of Europe is down, and no one knows what is causing the problem. It’s going to take all day to resolve the issue; meanwhile the head of sales is going balistic, and the CEO – with whom Jim has a high-level strategic meeting in the afternoon – isn’t necessarily feeling his highest level of confidence in his CIO.(Jim does the wise thing and reschedules that meeting to another day)By the end of the day, Jim barely has time for dinner with his family before finally getting to work on his talk for the upcoming conference he’s speaking at – not the best time of the day for creative work.And as if being responsible for all that weren’t enough in itself...[CLICK]62%...Security (28 percent), strategy (24 percent) and administration/operations (19 percent) are the mostfrequently cited non-IT areas of responsibility CIOs are heading up.Based on A Day in the Life of a CIO, by Mike Sisois. A PDF of this piece is available at
  • Sometimes CIOs feel like Alice in Wonderland – running as fast as they can just to stay in the same place
  • Couple of reality checks[CLICK]#1: don’t have time for you[CLICK][QUOTE]Vendors who call and start pitching a generic marketing message about a product the CIO can’t use are doomedSource: StorefrontBacktalk Blog, A Little Bit of IT Hustle Feb 2010
  • #2: CIOs don’t like youSome CIOs don’t want you to approach them at all![CLICK]But don’t take it personally – just learn why this is the case so you can work around it.
  • One reason don’t like salespeople: feel bombarded by the billions of dollars in marketing and sales efforts that are directed at themDirect mktg, advertising, events, sales & lead gen....more than any other executive group!CIOs become extremely skeptical. Give them a reason to think you’re differentHit with marketing materials like no other executive on a daily basis (this should all be one slide)B2B Marketing IT spend – source: IDC, Marketing Investment Planner 2010: Benchmarks, Key Performance Indicators, and CMO Priorities Oct. 2009Sales Lead Generation - $12.6B$4.7B in Direct Marketing (direct mail, telemarketing)$5.7 Digital Marketing (display ads, search, SEO, emails, social networking)Advertising - $9.7BEvents - $8BOther areas – Market Intelligence, PR, Analyst Relations, Collateral, Sales Tools, etcTotal over $44BOne of the Primary Target of these Billions – CIO’s!Source:IDC, Marketing Investment Planner 2010: Benchmarks, Key Performance Indicators and CMO Priorities, October 2009, IDC #220133, Volume: 1
  • Want to know how to really annoy a CIO?CIO Executive Council research in late fall 2009, produced report called Vendor-CIO First Contact: Smarter Approaches for Vendors Seeking to Connect with CIOs[CLICK]These are some of the things that annoy CIOs the most.Bad communications (unsolicited, no clear value)Lack of preparation & knowledge of companyGoing over or around the CIOOffering lunch or gifts – Don’t insult my intelligence – Don Haile, former CIO Fidelity, robot/controller example
  • Want to know how to really annoy a CIO?CIO Executive Council research in late fall 2009, produced report called Vendor-CIO First Contact: Smarter Approaches for Vendors Seeking to Connect with CIOs[CLICK]These are some of the things that annoy CIOs the most.Bad communications (unsolicited, no clear value)Lack of preparation & knowledge of companyGoing over or around the CIOOffering lunch or gifts – Don’t insult my intelligence – Don Haile, former CIO Fidelity, robot/controller example
  • A few points on the all-important communication front[STAT]Do you really want to start your relationship being perceived as annoying?And while 2 are annoying, some CIOs receive dozens if not hundreds of calls.One CIO has even called for a CIO Do Not Call List![CLICK]In his blog post on that topic he said...[QUOTE]Most CIOs don’t answer their phone – unless its their double secret lineMany CIO’s don’t listen to voice mails – their admin doesSome are now ‘outsourcing’ vendor calls to 3rd parties to manageIf they do listen, many delete at the first moment they realize it’s a vendorWD40 Company – have a fictional Director of Procurement vm to forward vendor cold calls toIf you leave a message: make it very short, and to the point – ask for a referral to someone on their teamSend an email instead Note – there is a difference between email and spam!Source Quote:Article: A CIO Do Not Call List, Written by Todd L. Michaud, February 11th, 2010 up photo:
  • E-mail is better, but be careful here too.43% say sending spam is one of the 3 most annoying things vendors do[CLICK]And yet, the majority are sent lots of spam anywayIf you send a message:Show that you know something about their company and business IT goalsDemonstrate how your product can help achieve those goalsKeep is short and to the point – IF they read it – they will likely read the first 2 lines and decide to keep or deleteIf CIOs do not recognize the sender – they delete it almost immediatelyMost CIOs use spam filters – emails from certain domains never gets readMany administrative assistants handle email inbox for CIO
  • Heart of the matter: selling to the CIO
  • Before you do anything else, you’ll want to ask yourself 3 questions:[review list]Remember: research, relevance, ROI
  • Mistake: “tell me about your business.” [elaborate]But exactly WHAT do you need to know about a CIO’s company?
  • Great list from CEC’s First Contact reportSome of this is easy (industry, company size, competitors ): company web site, GoogleSome will take more digging. Think about the difference if instead of saying, “tell me about your company,” you were to ask, “How have things shaken out after your acquisition of Acme Travel? Was their print environment comparable to yours? What challenges has that raised for you?”
  • Relevance: What problem is your product or service helping to solve? Can’t possibly know this w/out research, then connecting what you do to what they needLynn Willenbring, CIO of the City of Minneapolis, vendors pitching mainframe solutions, haven’t had a mainframe for over 10 years…… She says, ”don’t waste my time.” [Pet Rock maybe not the best example to make my point: In 1975, American advertising executive Gary Dahl made somewhere around $15 million in six months with this kooky idea.]
  • You can find case studies on almost every solution provider’s website. Just be careful not to use too broad a brush in your attempt to demonstrate return on investment to a CIO. Once you understand what the real NEED of the CIO is, drill down into it and personalize your examples based on THEIR current environment. Don’t forget TCO.
  • here’s reality check #3: CIOs actually need and want technology partnersTo get there, you may have to re-think your approach before trying to build a relationship [CLICK]There are 3 basic elements that can help lead to partner status.First – are you building credibility and trust? We’ll talk about steps to make sure that you are.Second – what is your message – and how are you delivering it?Third – are you ready to back up your promises by putting some real skin in the game?How well you execute on these elements will equal your CIO Partner Potential. Partnering With the CIO: The Future of IT Sales Seen Through the Eyes of Key Decision Makers,Michael Minelli and Mike Barlow
  • Credibility and trust should be the cornerstone of your approach. It can carry you and your company over many other shortcomings. How do you establish credibility & trust with the CIO?Part of this is the knowledge you have about the company’s business and IT – remember we talked about doing your homework [CLICK]Relationships are critical. Business is social. Interact first, sell second. But how make the connection?[CLICK]Understand the network CIOs live in and connect wherever you canCIO’s team – cultivate relationships inside the circle – don’t dis the admin!CIO’s peers – trustmore than any other source of information. Reference accounts. Also other relationships they might have with suppliers, consultants, media....Patience – while there is quota and company pressure to sell, you can risk never selling a CIO anything if you push the wrong buttons.
  • Second element of aspiring to Partner status is to center your message from the CIO’s perspective, so... First – You need to listen. Adapt your marketing message based on actual needs/situation of CIO Second – Stop selling product! Solve a real problem. Salesperson’s dilemma: Monthly quota pressure vs. the longer cycle of credibility building. Third – Use data with CIOs – it’s evidence and adds to your credibility. Finally – Master the art of being different! Or put another way – DON’T BE THAT GUY! You know – the one who hard sells and brags about it at the Monday sales staff meeting. Hard sell might pick up a printer order here and there – but you will NEVER be a partner. Make sure you are communicating in a way that respects the customer’s needs
  • Third test on the way to partner status: willing to put some skin in the gameCIO’s today give more weight to partners who will share some risk. For example, could you lower the initial up front cost and base a percentage of revenue on ROI promised. This approach will give instant credibility to your proposal.Quote Source: CIO Blog of Chuck Musciano:
  • Strong relationships are built on HONESTY. Remember bombarded. SkepticalDon’t lie to me (Don Haile, others)The quickest way to blow your credibility with a CIO is to overstate what your product can do and who you’ve done it for before.
  • If you establish credibility, talk about things that are relevant (and in a way that respects the CIO’s time and needs) and believe enough in your product to put some skin in the game, you are more likely to be considered a trusted business partner.
  • Covered a lot of ground – if you only remember threethings, these may be the most critical:Time is the CIO’s most valuable resource; don’t waste it!Practice the 3 Rs: Research, Relevance, ROIPartner status is built on credibility, trust & a real commitment to the CIO’s successPhoto:
  • Selling to the CIO

    1. 1. Selling to the CIO<br />How to Make Yourself Relevant to the Busiest Person <br />on the Planet<br />Abbie Lundberg, Lundberg Media<br />Former Editor in Chief, CIO Magazine<br /><br />Photo by Matthew Fang<br />
    2. 2. The CIO’s World<br />
    3. 3. profitable<br />growth<br />Photo by Matthew Fang<br />
    4. 4. a slow recovery<br />Photo by Steve Wall<br />
    5. 5. poor visibility<br />Photo by Anders Ljungberg<br />
    6. 6.
    7. 7. The CIO’s dilemma<br />
    8. 8. The CIO’s Dilemma<br />Build New Capabilities<br />Be More Responsive<br />Customize<br />Be Open<br />Make Business Agile<br />Think Strategically<br />Business Unit Goals<br />Cut Costs<br />Be More Efficient<br />Standardize<br />Be Secure<br />Make IT Predictable<br />Execute Flawlessly<br />Enterprise Goals<br />
    9. 9. "Being highly responsive to our business partners’ and customers’ needs and creating standardized processes and technology platforms can seem like conflicting goals, but doing BOTH is key to maximizing value.”<br />Stuart McGuigan, CIO, CVS Caremark<br />
    10. 10. How<br />does IT matter?<br />
    11. 11. “There are very few secrets out there anymore. <br />The only competitive advantage becomes speed.<br />Organizations need to keep embracing innovation and new technology models. <br />At the end of the day, it’s about getting from point A to point B quicker than everybody else.”<br />Rollin Ford, CIO, Wal-Mart<br />
    12. 12. The IT Mess<br />
    13. 13. Photo by Doug Shick<br />
    14. 14. IT budget thaw<br />Source: CIO Magazine’s Economic Impact Survey, Dec. 2009<br />
    15. 15. Today’s Tech Landscape<br />Q. Which option best describes your plans for each of the following applications in the next 12 months?<br />Source: CIO Technology Priorities Study February 2010 <br />
    16. 16. Tomorrow?<br />Q. Which option best describes your plans for each of the following applications in the next 12 months?<br />Source: CIO Technology Priorities Study February 2010 <br />
    17. 17. Source: State of the CIO 2010<br />
    18. 18. So little<br />money!<br />
    19. 19. A Day in the Life of a CIO<br />
    20. 20. A Day in the Life of a CIO<br />62%<br />of CIOs also have a leadership role in one or more non-IT areas of the business<br />Source: State of the CIO 2010<br />
    21. 21. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do just to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast!“<br />- Red Queen from Through the Looking Glass<br />
    22. 22. Reality Check No. 1<br />CIOs don’t have time for you!<br />“I consider my time my most valuable resource. As a result, I get really annoyed by people who waste my time, especially salespeople.”<br />- Todd Michaud, VP of IT, Focus Brands (Carvel, Seattle’s Best, Cinnabon)<br />Source: Storefront Backtalk, A Little Bit of Hustle Goes a Long Ways These Days<br />
    23. 23. Reality Check No. 2<br />CIOs don’t like you!<br />“Vendors shouldn’t approach me. If I were in the market for the product being sold, I would have contacted the vendor on my own.” <br />- Chris Laping, CIO Red Robin Restaurants<br />
    24. 24. CIOs Bombarded by Marketing and Sales<br />Total<br />$44B+<br />Source: IDC, Marketing Investment Planner 2010: Benchmarks, Key Performance Indicators and CMO Priorities, October 2009, IDC #220133, Volume: 1<br />
    25. 25. How to Annoy a CIO<br />
    26. 26. How to Annoy a CIO<br />What are the three things about a vendor’s approach that annoy you the most?<br />Source: Vendor-CIO First Contact: Smarter Approaches for Vendors Seeking to Connect with CIOs, CIO Executive Council<br />
    27. 27. 80% of CIOs say more than 2 cold calls over a two-month period is “annoying”<br /> “It is not uncommon for me to receive more than 100 calls from various salespeople in any given week. It is to the point now where I am unable to answer my office phone.”<br />- Todd Michaud, VP of IT, Focus Brands (Carvel, Seattle’s Best, Cinnabon) <br />Source: CIO Executive Council, Vendor First Contact Field Guide<br />
    28. 28. Emails… think twice <br />43% of CIOs say spam is the one of the 3 most annoying things that vendors do<br />64% of CIOs receive 10 or more unsolicited emails per week…<br />…of those, 41% receive 40 or more per week<br />Source: CIO Executive Council, Vendor First Contact Field Guide<br />
    29. 29. Selling to the CIO<br />
    30. 30. Research, Relevance, ROI<br />Questions to ask yourself before engaging a CIO <br />
    31. 31. Research<br />
    32. 32. Research<br />What are the 3 most important things a vendor should know about your business before approaching you?<br />Source: CIO Executive Council, Vendor First Contact Field Guide<br />
    33. 33. Relevance<br />
    34. 34.
    35. 35. Reality Check No. 3<br />Surprise!<br />CIOs want PARTNERS<br />Photo: Magnus Hæroldus Laudeus<br />
    36. 36. Credibility & Trust<br />KNOWLEDGE | RELATIONSHIPS | PATIENCE<br />Graphics by Intersection Consulting<br />
    37. 37. Hone Your Message<br />
    38. 38. Share the risk, share the reward<br />“Vendors who find a way to put their money where their mouth is will gain the respect, and business, of discriminating CIOs.” -Chuck Musciano, CIO, Martin Marietta<br />Photo by hakonthingstad<br />
    39. 39. Be honest<br />
    40. 40. Trusted Partner<br />Partner<br />
    41. 41. What to Remember?<br />CIOs have no time<br />Research, relevance, ROI<br />Partner for success<br />Photo by Robinh00d<br />
    42. 42. Abbie Lundberg<br />508.269.3547<br /><br /><br />Most of the photos in this presentation are from flickr, offered for use under a Creative Commons license<br />Photo by Matthew Fang<br />