How would you sell technology to C-level executives?

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on April 16, 2002

A survey of more than 200 'C-level' executives (CEOs, CIOs and CFOs) has revealed the remarkable impact of ever-tightening IT budgets, shorter purchasing cycles and increased focus on customer service. Top level executives are now collaborating more closely than ever before on business technology investments, with an often complex interplay between them.

The Redefining Business Study survey, conducted during March 2002 by CMP Media's InformationWeek and Optimize Research, examines the business and technology strategies and priorities of financial, information and chief executives. It offers an insight into the building of a powerful business case for large technology purchases, and focuses on the complex business technology purchasing process - paying close attention to the executives' areas and levels of involvement.

Key findings
The full results of the study will be announced later this month at research events in Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta and Irvine, USA. The events are aimed at business technology marketers and vendors, and focus on the sought-after C-level executive market. InformationWeek publisher Mike Friedenberg, and Optimize publisher Scott Vaughan, are to lead a panel of senior executives discussing the relationships between executives based on the survey's key findings:

  • The C-level executives are not involved in all purchases. Their involvement is based on the price of the solution being evaluated and the type of technology being purchased.
  • Some 41% percent of capital IT expenditure pays for strategic initiatives like CRM and ERP, while 43% is spent on infrastructure technologies.
  • The chief information officer (CIO) is involved in countless business technology initiatives but cares most about e-business, security, data management and data storage.
  • The chief financial offer (CFO) cares most about back office applications, consultants and customer-facing applications.
  • The chief executive officer (CEO) cares most about customer-facing applications, service providers and e-business.

The main goal of the research (and accompanying events) is to help technology marketers gain the perspective they need in order to match up their marketing goals with the needs of business technology buyers. InformationWeek and Optimize have created profiles for each type of executive to help marketers understand how to use the proper language when marketing and selling their solutions. InformationWeek's publisher, Michael Friedenberg, noted that "it is critical for technology companies to have a deep understanding of the shifting priorities of their target audience."

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