27
Feb

IT Buyers in 2013 are Much Better Informed and No Less Willing to Spend

A lot has been written about serious changes in IT buyer habits in 2012 and 2013. The consensus is that IT buyers are not talking to sales personnel until much later in the sales cycle. One reason for this change, some contend, is tighter budgets in 2013. Tighter budgets aren’t driving less engagmement. Better informed IT buyers don’t have much to talk with sales people about.

Let’s look for a moment at spending levels. We think that total IT spending in 2013 will increase over past years. Enterprise IT spending will increase, as well. All of these buyers might not buy PCs, Laptops, or on premise software, but they will still buy tablets, phablets, smart phones, cloud services, or a combination of products and services (that may include PC hardware and software as well).

Products need to be promoted online. IT buyers are online researching requirements, solutions, and customer experiences with specific products or even solutions. Product marketers have an opportunity to present these buyers with communications copy to build their interest.

Here’s a design for this online content: start with a simple text statement that presents, broadly, a pain point typical of a buyer of your product or service. Display on the same page customer testimonials, awards and company news. Use back pages of your site to present your specific expertise, management team, etc. From this content design one can see that IT buyers in 2013 look for sellers with direct experience meeting their needs, who can be trusted to deliver, expertly, on requirements.

Of course, producing persuasive content is not so simple. The most important of the three design cornerstones that we just presented, presenting the pain point, requires that sellers thoroughly understand their buyers. Product marketing must produce a very clear picture of a promising prospect. It won’t hurt to display that picture to sales personnel, customer service, and even technical staff.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

7
Dec

More Software for Nurturing the Right Leads — Alinean XcelLive v.3

Tom Pisello, CEO of Alinean has written extensively on the “new buyer” for technology products and services. I discussed a short piece that Tom Pisello prepared for Sandhill, Recovery Makes Selling IT Much Easier into 2012 Fahgettaboudit back in November, 2011: How to Win The Complex Sale of Technology Products & Services in 2012.

Alinean has launched a SaaS offering, Alinean® xcelLive which purports to be the first Saas sales and marketing offering that is accessible without a programmer. Cut through the marketing speak and you come up with a very handy online program that creates personalized (remembering Peppers & Rogers and Marketing 1:1, online marketing ought to speak directly to each web site visitor if it is to be effective) white papers, charts, and more. Best of all, Alinean customers can feed their specific information into the SaaS system from Excel spreadsheets, Word and PowerPoint documents. It’s safe to say, on paper, that ease of use is quite high with this product.

What’s the objective? No less than to empower customers of Alinean’s SaaS to respond to the new IT buyers of 2012 and beyond right away, even as they visit web sites sifting through Pisello’s “noise” for the information they require to make an informed decision about whether or not the product at hand is a product worth a second look and, perhaps, a call to a sales person. Note: sales people in the soon to be at hand new world of 2012 are called in after a decision is already in progress, not before.

While I am not completely sold that I want my sales team to be called in after the fact, I have to acknowledge that the premise is quite plausible and borne out by my own extensive experience. The fact that IT budgets are very tight as the result of the fact that, pervasively, IT implementations have failed to deliver full dollar value on their promise. Further, information overload is the rule. Buyers do not need sales people to add more information, they need sales people to provide the business case rationale (as Pisello frames it, in clear, palpable estimated cost savings) why product A is superior to product B or C. Therefore, where prospects have a clear sense of what they’re after, I think that this SaaS offering is quite compelling.

For the record, I want my sales people working prospects in very early stages, typically prior to the formulation of clear buying decisions. If sales is ensconced within a prospect at a very early stage of a buying decision, then the opportunity exists to influence the prospect and ensure that the solution of choice becomes something unique to my sales team and my products. Of course, development of my type of opportunity requires lots of time and a lengthy sales cycle. Certainly contact me directly at 631-673-2929 if you care to hear further about my approach.

Nevertheless, a safe bet would be to utilize Pisello’s SaaS on the web, with my kind of sales team back at the office.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2011 All Rights Reserved