Outsourcing: Why CIOs Hate How You Sell IT Services

Outsourcing chases, and CIOs evade – this is the general cat and mouse game that is played out across telephone lines, emails, and offices throughout the world. The problem that CIOs find is how ineffective outsourcing vendors are at communicating value and opportunity. This article by Stephanie Overby explains what has gone wrong in the relationship, and what outsourcing vendors can do to get CIOs to listen. The core problem, according to Mark Hall (CEO of xPeerient), is that the vendor's sales tactics are “stuck in the dark ages”. Between the shifting of responsibility during the marketing and sales lifecycle and depending on a scattershot marketing process, IT simply doesn't want to participate. Hall goes on to say that it isn't necessarily how good of a solution your selling – at least not in the beginning. To catch a CIO's ear, you need to get salespeople to communicate more effectively, and provide an actual service: One thing I think it does make a difference in is the outsourcing decision. A good salesperson-one that's good at building relationships-can sell you a bad service. And a bad salesperson may actually have the better service. What wins the day is the best salesperson rather than the best outsourcer. If you're looking for better outcomes, you have to cut through the noise and make a decision based on rational assessment. Another best practice discussed is how to stop seeming like you're only interested in the sale. Your relationship with the CIO should be consistently kept alive-before, during, and near the possible close of your relationship. This makes the CIO feel like it's a fifty fifty business relationship and not just a call to make sure the money keeps flowing into their operation.

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