It’s no secret that Information Technology Decision Makers (ITDMs) are key to technology purchases. This is because they either lead or sign off on most enterprise technology decisions – and certainly those in the six digits or more or that impact the IT infrastructure.
As a result, B2B sales and marketers spend endless cycles (time, energy and dollars) trying to find and convert ITDMs to customers. Thousands of tech companies are continually bombarded with sales and marketing messages that sound similar or are straight out confusing–finding the right solution sought by an ITDM is inefficient.
The one critical question B2B sales and marketers need to focus on (and develop a holistic, meaningful, relevant and compelling story around) is ”Why do ITDMs engage with salespeople?” In general, there are six key points to take note of when trying to sell tech to ITDMs:
- What valuable content, information and or insights can sales and marketing share?
- Is the sales and marketing team knowledgeable about the industry, market, technology or the ITDMs company?
- Did the B2B sales rep show respect for the ITDMs role and time?
- Is the B2B salesperson perceived by the ITDM to be honest, trustworthy and transparent?
- Did sales and marketing make contact at the right time?
- Did the sales rep make the ITDM feel like there was a one-to-one connection?
Numerous research studies have shown that the method and timing for follow-up with ITDMs on technology purchases is also extremely important – follow-up in minutes or hours is exponentially more effective than days or weeks.
Another key point to remember is that information technology decision makers are different and there is no “one size fits all” with respect to the right follow-up medium (i.e. phone calls and email-texting is an earned privilege, not a right). For every ITDM who likes to receive a call offering insights when they are reviewing a piece of content, there is another ITDM (or more) who will frown upon that approach.
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In terms of frequency, the higher up a sales rep tries to penetrate in the information technology decision maker world, the fewer the number of unwarranted communications are considered acceptable. As a general rule, for the top of the ITDM chain, while once a week is generally considered aggressive but tolerable, every other week is a more palatable frequency – unless of course the ITDM engages and requests more frequent content.
Above all else, initial outreach and any and all follow-up should be tailored to each information technology decision maker. Sales and marketing need to agree on the plan of attack so that B2B marketers are assisting the sales process and sales reps do not have to diffuse an irritated ITDM. This is best accomplished when B2B sales and marketing teams agree on the definition of valuable content, what is meaningful and relevant information and what insights might lead to action.
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