Sometimes the problem your salespeople run into has nothing to do with what they’re selling and it very well could have little to do with how they’re selling. According the latest research from Gartner, your salespeople’s biggest problem could be who they’re selling to. In the quickly changing world of IT where IT solutions providers have already had to migrate from VARs to MSPs and now to CSPs (cloud solutions providers) to remain relevant, there’s another change you can’t afford to overlook, which is the change in the IT buying decision making process.
Gartner analyst Tiffani Bova really hit home this point last week at the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit event, where she shared some surprising statistics from Gartner’s latest research. As more and more businesses shift their focus from the enterprise systems of the back office (e.g. servers, routers, and switches) to front-office IT applications and services, the decision making process is moving out of IT’s hands to LOB (line of business) managers and business executives.
Don’t misunderstand: IT is still very involved with the process, but their role is becoming more about implementing and managing IT and less about making the decision as to which IT solutions and services their company should purchase. Exactly how much of the IT budget is moving outside the IT department you may ask? According to a Gartner study of more than 500 IT marketing managers based in the United States and Europe, 41% of spending on technology now comes from outside the IT department.
And, it’s important to realize that it isn’t just the decision makers (DMs) who are changing, the buying motivations of these new DMs is very different, too. According to Gartner’s Bova, these DMs’ biggest motivator is to acquire technology that can improve decision-making processes (e.g. business intelligence, analytics, and performance management applications). What that means for you and your sales team is that you’ll want to focus less on the specific features and functions of the latest hardware appliances and instead speak to the way your bundled IT offering can help transform their business processes. The goal you’re shooting for is to show them how you can help them do more with less — and operate their businesses even better than they did before.
The upside to this change in the IT buying decision making process is that if you don’t have it all figured out right now, it’s okay. IT still owns nearly 60% of the budget. That said, I think you’ll agree that it’s a no-brainer that if you want to have a shot at winning the other 40%, you’ll need to educate your sales team about this new reality and train and equip them to help keep your company relevant in the ever-changing world of IT.