What senior IT decision makers think about your current sales and marketing approach

Peter Ross

VP, Corporate Marketing

It’s not who you know, it’s WHAT you know about who you know.”


TechTarget recently hosted an event in partnership with NETSEA, New England Technology Sales Executive Association, to better understand some proven ways to market and sell to an audience of Senior IT management.  If you stopped reading then it either means you don’t care about selling to CIOs or you’ve already cracked the code of how to do it effectively.  If it’s the latter, then please feel free share your insights with us so we can get closer to figuring out the best ways to engage this elusive audience.  If you are still looking for new strategies to get the attention of CIOs and their staff then you will hopefully find this commentary useful.   The moral of the story is that effectively marketing and selling to CIOs is very tough — but if you know exactly what they are looking for, you still have a chance to be very successful with this audience.

Here’s a few of the key things I took away from the panel of Senior IT folks from Aquent, Sum Total Systems and TechTarget, who openly shared their POV with the room of 40+ tech sales reps at the event:

CIOs are extremely busy.  Which means they don’t have a lot of time to take calls or meetings from technology vendors.

  • So if you are selling to them, you better find other ways to engage them both online and face to face.

CIOs do a lot of research before they even take your call.  According to an HBR article, The End of Solution Sales, over 60% of the buy cycle decision, such as researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking pricing, has already been conducted prior to speaking with a vendor sales rep.

  • This means you better have a rock-solid content marketing strategy that educates, differentiates and communicates to this audience on a very convenient and personal level.

CIO’s are using social channels more and more.  They aren’t just on LinkedIn waiting for your inMail.

  • Your messaging should be present across communities and social media to ensure, not just awareness, but potential conversations with CIOs when they are ready to engage at that moment.

Buying technology is a team sport and the CIO is the team captain.

  • Their advice is to surround their entire buying team with your technical expertise and don’t put all your eggs in one basket just trying to get the CIO meeting.  Most projects are delegated to their teams to produce a short-list.

It’s not about you, it’s about them.

  • Use intelligence about their pain points, interests, project timelines, etc. to guide the introduction to CIOs and their teams.  If you don’t have the inside scoop on their requirements, you don’t stand a chance.

There’s a lot more where that came from.  If you missed the event or want to learn more about their invaluable advice to tech sales and marketers, then I encourage you to check out the full videos of the panel discussion and the other presenters to hear first-hand what they had to share.  We’re interested in your feedback, please share your comments with us and our audience below.


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CIO, marketing to senior IT, NETSEA, online ROI summit, sales alignment

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