Selling Around IT in Larger Firms

Large firm IT departments are “gatekeepers”. Their job is to keep the enterprise network computing infrastructure safe and operational. New software from a new vendor is almost always viewed as a threat. Most of the time, they will say NO to any new software. Most of the time our clients have to sell around them. Here’s five tips for doing that:

  1. Provide a service (deliver the results of you running your software) instead of selling software.
  2. Package your offering as SaaS at a price that’s below the radar of IT.
  3. Leverage an existing partner: Who else is your prospect buying from?
  4. Find someone who is in a lot of pain whose needs have been ignored by IT.
  5. Find someone whose needs span more than one IT administrative boundary, so that no single IT group views satisfying the need as their obligation.

A related article “Selling Around The CIO” which is well worth reading to understand what likely counter-attacks from an IT group will look like. In particular we advise clients to prepare for three audiences in a sales presentation: business, end user, and IT. The objective of the IT oriented presentation is simply to neutralize as many potential IT roadblocks as possible. It can be given directly to the IT folks or supplied as ammunition for your internal champion if needed.

Another blog entry worth reading on this topic is Ori Weinroth’s summary from the 2006 Office 2.0 Conference on “Is IT the Enemy of Office 2.0

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