Are you reaching everyone who will instigate and approve a sale?
Computing Research recently investigated the decision-making process for large-scale IT procurement in the UK, something that for us at INCo is of fundamental importance.
Of particular interest to any sales director or manager was how different IT and business decision-makers interact at each stage of the procurement process.
At INCo, we know from our clients that it is often tempting to assume that IT decision-making is driven from the top, with strategic directions being set in the boardroom and at C-level and driving more hands-on members of the IT team in selecting the right solutions.
The INCo sales development method (we talk regularly to people at all levels within potential purchasing companies, large and small) shows that this is often the case in critical purchases. But this research shows that it is also common for IT projects to begin in the engine room, with technicians, analysts and IT managers often identifying an issue and building the case, often at the behest of a particular business department or function. These findings are supported by INCo’s continuous contacts with potential purchasers of IT products and services, something which is at the heart of our sales lead identification and qualification process.
However, it is important to note that a recent report from Gartner and Financial Executives International shows that the role of the chief finance officer (CFO) in IT decision-making is still substantial, with 44 per cent of senior finance executives saying their role increased in the past year.
One obvious reason that CFOs are important – especially in straitened times – is that they control IT funding. As such, they can be powerful advocates and enforcers of corporate policies and decisions, and often, they are simply ignored by sales organisations, who fear that they may just be uncontactable.
What both studies demonstrate is that depth of contact within an organisation is vitally important to sales success, and that it can be that an outsourced sales development process such as INCo’s will be fundamental in establishing and growing a top-of-mind presence through an organisation.