Learn how to market to CIOs... From CIO's THEMSELVES: An interesting forum conversation

[ Source: http://advice.cio.com/how_to_target_cio ]

Anonymous user
Posted by: Anonymous in Questions
Topic: Enterprise Management
Current Rating: 5 Comments: 5

I am a marketing director in a hi-tech company and I would like to change our strategy focus from IT administrators to CIO. What do I need to know about CIO's behaviour? How do we sell and promote to CIO?

Wed, Apr 25, 2007 17:08 EDT
How to target CIO
Posted by: bcrowell
Rating: 30

My answer to this question is to have something interesting to offer. I've long felt that the most effective sales persons always have a string of interesting topics that they want to talk to me about and they develop a relationship with me and my administrative assistant that has them meeting with me around every 4 to 6 weeks.

When I was in Des Moines, EMC did an excellent job at this and Novell here in Oregon. I enjoyed meeting with these sales representatives and always felt I learned something from the meeting.

Hope this helps,


Thu, Apr 26, 2007 15:09 EDT
How to target CIO
Posted by: Ravi Chitturi
Rating: 90

Spare the glossies and show me the real benefits case and a clear conservative ROI (do your home work on the target cusomter's spend). I always liked the vendors who connects with me on the total value proposition thier products/solutions offer.

- Ravi Chitturi

Sat, Apr 28, 2007 11:00 EDT
How to target CIO
Anonymous user
Posted by: Anonymous
Rating: 10

talk business not tech geek. get out of the weeds and address the issues that matter most to us. roi, tco, does it fit into our architecture....

Mon, Apr 30, 2007 16:01 EDT
How to target CIO
Posted by: sdwhite
Rating: 70

I would largely echo what Bill said, combined with a couple of the other comments here. The best way to the CIO is through a relationship (and don’t talk to them in geek speak). Spend time and energy getting to know them, their business , their current challenges, and the business environment they operate in. What is keeping them up a night…is it slashing the operational budget? How do I improve service levels? How can I improve the business using the applications we already own? How can I get that VP of Operations slot? Prove yourself a trusted advisor not just someone who will try to sell them products or services. Heck, maybe go out on a limb and help them with something for free just to establish a relationship. Most of all, be present and look for the right situation.

Sun, Jun 3, 2007 19:20 EDT
How to target CIO
Anonymous user
Posted by: Barbara Schmit
Rating: 70

Great question and one that is not often asked, unfortuantely. I am a former CIO, who now does professional speaking on this very topic, and consulting. Salespeople are like Vultures to a CIO. Almost every salesperson is selling some technology and want to speak to us. Less than 10% ever get in that door. Understanding a CIO and our job is important on how to form that relationship with us. Selling us benefits not features. Articulate a definable, defendable and quick ROI. Understand our budgeting process and timetable. Give me references from other customer organizations (at the appropriate time) who I can contact. Consider it a gift when I refer you to others on my staff vs insisting to work with me "the decision maker". Build a long term relationship not only with me but my staff whom I refer you too. Don't be the only person I meet within your company. Don't sell and run.
Good luck!