Growing Shift in Technology Sales: The Changing Face of Technology Buyers
3 Steps to Maintain Focus While Tech Selling is Blurring
Identifying business purchasers for technology sales vendors used to be easy. You found the department with the guys wearing pocket protectors and you wowed them with your cool solutions. Ok, perhaps it was never that easy – but technology purchasing used to be at least centralized in the hands of the IT department. This is no longer the case. The face of the tech selling is blurring – and increasingly, there is not a pocket-protector in sight.
Trends show that by 2017, the Marketing department will control the lion’s share of the technology budget. With the many ways that technology is used throughout modern sales and marketing processes, it is not so surprising. Sales and marketing departments now use technology to manage prospect and customer relationships, internal and external communications, sales and marketing processes, campaign performance, project and product development… the list goes on and on. Since many of these technologies are specific to the needs of those departments and they don’t affect corporate infrastructure or network, the IT department is often not even involved in the purchasing process.
Tracking a moving target adds complexity to your process. In order to capture this revenue, it will be important that your technology sales strategies adapt to find the purchaser regardless of the department where they sit. If you are wondering how to ensure that you are capturing these moving (and growing) revenue opportunities, read on.
As a technology sales person, your objective has not changed – find the need, fill the need. But technology’s broader application across departments means that it will be important for sales to adapt to reaching out to some new roles, adopt some new ways to help target prospect organizations, and implement useful tools that put you in front of the broader range of decision makers:
1. Fight the Silo. As individual departments have started managing their own technology purchases, organizations are struggling to avoid purchases that cannot integrate with existing technologies or meet cross-departmental objectives. Customer service may purchase a product to track customer interactions, then sales purchases a product to automate email exchanges – without coordination, these tools may not integrate with each other or with existing programs like Salesforce or Marketo. Ideally, these platforms would all integrate and share information. However, when purchases are siloed by individual departments, companies lose many of the advantages of the combined deployed solutions. Leveraged together, as the old adage goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
As a technology sales professional armed with the sales intelligence from a platform like DiscoverOrg, you will not only know what technologies the organization has installed, but also what solutions they are currently seeking. You can use this intelligence to propose solutions that are superior to others and demonstrate your understanding of the prospect’s environment. You can offer solutions that will help companies to leverage existing investments across departments.
2. Find the Decision Makers Where They Sit. To understand the new buying roles within organizations, multi-stakeholder selling has proved most effective – involving all relevant parties from the start. People in a variety of departments have been tasked with technology purchasing without – perhaps – familiarity with all available solutions and their functions. Technology sales proposals have to be prepared for the possibility of less tech-savvy buyers.
Identifying the decision makers may also be complicated by the fact that a title in one company may mean one thing, and in another organization, that title may be far more (or far less) technical in nature. For example, at Game Stop there is a Director of Digital Marketing and a direct report who is an email marketing manager, while at Bed Bath and Beyond, they have 3 ecommerce marketers and no email marketing manager. A name and a title are hard to navigate if you don’t have the inside scoop in the job function.
Leveraging a sales intelligence solution like DiscoverOrg will enable you to bring all the decision makers into the process. DiscoverOrg’s organizational charts for the IT, Finance and Marketing departments empower sellers with the ability to present solutions to the right decision makers, in the right departments, at the right time.
3. Spray and Pray No More. Companies are bombarded with untargeted solicitations every day. Most never see the light of day because they don’t target the company’s goals or pain points. If you are marketing to marketing departments, take the time to get it right. Don’t sell features, sell benefits. Use sales intelligence to find the right contact and reach out with a solution. Consider it marketing to an audience of one. Get it right by focusing on getting and using good actionable intelligence on your target accounts.
The trend towards de-centralized purchasing means the people you need to be reaching within organizations are harder to identify, may have different titles and are more dispersed throughout the organization. Because of these changes, your prospecting must also be broader. Luckily, as the face of technology purchasers changes, your favorite tools to help you connect with your targets are evolving as well. DiscoverOrg now offers seven powerful datasets including profiles for the finance and marketing departments – helping you to locate and contact relevant decision makers across departments and arm you with actionable intelligence to close more deals faster.
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