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Cheat sheet for ITmarketers

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What 2 Million IT buyers told me about sales and marketing

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Cheat sheet for ITmarketers

  1. 1. IT Buyer’s Cheat sheet for IT VendorsOn general sales approaches• We want you to take 2 million of us as seriously as you take one Wall Street Journal reporter• I am not a lead, a click, an impression, get over your own internal metrics and listen.• I have never bumped into a business walking down the street. Be a human, not a business.• If you force me into your linear "lead gen" funnel I am off. If you dont like that, Ill go to someone who will play on my terms not yours.• When you use BANT, I use BOLT.• Fact is most CEOs dont go to I.T. and say "I need you to get X". They come to us with a business need, and ask us to find a solution. If you sell a business solution, you need to come to me. Not that I want those calls either.• We’re impervious to your marketing speak• Food will not guarantee that we choose you, but it may help.• Do not ask us about the weather, how our days is,... We will initiate the small talk [when] you are established with us.• Meetings have agendas, prepare one so that I know if I am interested in what you want to talk about before the meeting• Avoid high level business solution talks because you dont know my business well enough. Give me useful details about the product. Its my job to understand how and when that applies to my business. If your product is applicable, it will be apparent.• Dont offer me a demo of your appliance and then when it does not work blame it on my network setup• If I get bids and decide on another company please dont interrogate me as to why you didnt get the bid. If youre unhappy that I didnt come back to you asking for a better price you should have given me the better price in the first place.• Dont go on and on about how badly you want my business, and how great a price you can get me, then give me a quote that matches what I can get on your website without even having an account.• Just give me the *&$#* quote! I dont always have time to sit through webinars, sit through long phone calls, and go to lunch. Give me info, ask me questions (written is best) and give me a quote. Compiled by 2 Million IT buyers, Kenny Madden & Alex Reiss from Austin based Spiceworks, the IT social business network. We can be reached at kenny@spiceworks.com.
  2. 2. IT Buyer’s Cheat sheet for IT VendorsOn general sales approaches (continued)• I.T. Professionals and Non-technical Managers shouldnt get the same presentation material. I hate getting invited to a presentation full of accountants and office managers. Either the information is too technical for them, or not detailed enough for me. The same goes for printed material and webinars.• We know a LOT of people. If you leave a bad taste in our mouths, more than likely LOTS of people will know - quickly. On the flipside, if you do something right, we will praise you with accolades, and tell others. Word-of-mouth is huge in IT. Especially [in Spiceworks].• If I tell you Im only researching right now.... accept it! Trying to force a sale will only force me to research OTHER companies.• You may have the best solution since sliced bread but if it doesnt fit how we do business it just doesnt fit. Its nothing personal it just doesnt fit.• The use of high-pressure sales tactics will guarantee well never do business.• You and EVERYONE else is Microsoft / Symantec / Oracle / Cisco etc - Platinum, Premier, Gold,complete as appropriate Partner in the complete as appropriate market / sector / vertical.On cold calls and communication preferences• I hate spam. That list you purchased that has my email from a tech conference I attended does not tell you anything about what I do or my business is within my company. Your spam will go where it belongs. >/dev/null• Dont call me with some stupid fake "survey" and attempt to generate leads from it. Its not my job to feed your market analysis information over the phone• If Ive been ignoring your cold-calling for 5 years, IM NOT INTERESTED• Just because I download a demo of your product, please do not contact me with numerous e-mails and phone calls offering your services. One brief initial contact is ok, but if I am interested in your product I will contact you.• Speak the language of your customers, fluently and clearly. Respect my communication preferences. I usually ask vendors to follow up in email. It is less invasive to me and I can respond more easily in downtime. I actually had a vendor call the front desk and have me paged when I ignored two of his quarterly follow-up calls. I told him if he ever had me paged again he would never have an opportunity to do business with me, I had left a meeting to answer my page expecting an emergency. Compiled by 2 Million IT buyers, Kenny Madden & Alex Reiss from Austin based Spiceworks, the IT social business network. We can be reached at kenny@spiceworks.com.
  3. 3. IT Buyer’s Cheat sheet for IT VendorsOn product knowledge• I.T. Professionals and Non-technical Managers shouldnt get the same presentation material. I hate getting invited to a presentation full of accountants and office managers. Either the information is too technical for them, or not detailed enough for me. The same goes for printed material and webinars.• If I sent you a list of questions about a product do not call back to chat about it unless you are prepared to give clear detailed technical answers to ALL of my questions. Answering by email with details is even better; then a follow up call if I respond.• Just give me the *&$#* quote! I dont always have time to sit through webinars, sit through long phone calls, and go to lunch. Give me info, ask me questions (written is best) and give me a quote.• I dont want to know what the bullet points are in the brochure, I want to know what your product can do for me• If you try to sell me something but I know more about your product than you do, youre not going to make the sale.• I.T. people research the heck out of everything, and frankly we dont trust sales people. Provide some third party reviews or articles that can quickly help us make a decision. I know you think your product is the best, but youre going to need to prove it.• Avoid high level business solution talks because you dont know my business well enough. Give me useful details about the product. Its my job to understand how and when that applies to my business. If your product is applicable, it will be apparent.• If you say your appliance/software/product will work with our network without knowing our network, Im going to be skeptical. Research your customers environment before making promises.• Understand my business before pushing your product. It may not fit how we do business.On decision makers• A company that markets to the people who say yes or no to a spend decision is always going to fail if the people who make the recommendations are unaware of the product.• Marketing to the C suite is the move of someone who knows their product isnt any good and has to convince the MBAs to not trust the people that they hire to know these things.• I may not be the person who gives the final yes, but I can give a final no.Compiled by 2 Million IT buyers, Kenny Madden & Alex Reiss from Austin based Spiceworks, the IT social business network. We can be reached at kenny@spiceworks.com.
  4. 4. IT Buyer’s Cheat sheet for IT VendorsOn decision makers (continued) • A company that markets to the people who say yes or no to a spend decision is always going to fail if the people who make the recommendations are unaware of the product. • Marketing to the C suite is the move of someone who knows their product isnt any good and has to convince the MBAs to not trust the people that they hire to know these things. • I am not the decision maker, but I tell him what to decide • Many vendors fail to realize is that while I as an IT professional am not the decision maker I have two very important roles, decision influencer and gatekeeper. Compiled by 2 Million IT buyers, Kenny Madden & Alex Reiss from Austin based Spiceworks, the IT social business network. We can be reached at kenny@spiceworks.com.

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