How IT Sales can wield more influence with Decision Makers by focusing on ESG
I recently caught up with an old colleague, and he shared a familiar, yet revealing, story about how he replaced a long-standing, preferred technology at a key prospect. This story, which I’ve heard variations of over the past three decades, is a reminder for IT sales and marketing leaders to not to get too comfortable.
The Risk of Complacency
Your software is the go-to solution for data and analytics problems at a major customer. You have a strong foothold, with healthy renewals and incremental business. Your technical sponsors, mainly at the architect level, are strong advocates for your technology. But here’s the catch – you’re too comfortable, too focused on the technicalities, and missing the bigger business picture.
Blindsided and Sidelined
Now, here’s the twist. You weren’t chosen for a high-profile project, ideal for your technology, that’s part of the client’s new business model. Why? While you were content waiting for IT to ask for more licenses, your competitor was busy engaging with the client’s business leaders, discussing their core imperatives, including the increasingly crucial aspect of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices. Assisted by a major consultancy, your competitor not only proposed a solution using their technology but also aligned it with the client’s ESG goals. The result? The business directed IT to adopt this new solution, sidelining your technology and making your competitor more relevant in the current and future business landscape.
If this scenario sounds all too familiar, it’s a warning not to be complacent.
If you’re not discussing ESG and broader business strategies with your strategic customers, rest assured, your competitors are.
Reset the Rules of the Game
But it’s not just about ESG. Today sales and marketing leaders need to be conversant, not just in technology, but in the language of business. In particular, and the pressing significant issues that are influencing corporate strategy. It’s about building relationships beyond the IT department, extending your influence into the C-Suite, and becoming a trusted advisor on business issues and key business imperatives.
Work Harder, Work Smarter and Get Some Help
If this sounds too hard or that you don’t have the relationships or permissions in your account to have these conversations, there is a way that you can respond. Forward thinking technology businesses, are taking proactive to educate their sales force on business issues and leverage their relationships with those organisations that are influential advisors to your client such as Global Systems Integrators.
Make ESG Your Strength Not a Weakness
Click either of the buttons below to learn how you can make sure you aren’t blindsided and sidelined on ESG by your competition.