I spend a lot of time speaking to founders of startups targeting the enterprise technology space.
Many of them have succeeded in create a product that appeals to a consumer market (or the marketing department), but can’t seem to scratch the surface with CIOs.
As a result, when founders need to sell to a CIO economic buyer, the deal fizzles away.
It would be very ambitious for a startup to solve all of the problems a CIO has with a single product, but it is still possible to market in a way that appeals to this important audience.
Smart founders can follow some simple steps to unlock the buy in of the CIO:
See CIOs as a partner, not an adversary
Too many founders see the CIO as an obstacle to get past, instead of as a potential ally. Founders and CIOs often share a common agenda – using IT, big data and analytics to fuel growth.
Help CIOs work smart, not hard
CIOs want to provide their business with services that help business move faster. Many CIOs are frustrated at the amount of time they have to spend focusing on keeping the lights on, rather than driving the business forward.
Help CIOs capture data
Many CIOs struggle to get “outside the building” and capture user expectations and preferences. If you can help them get meaningful, actionable insight from mobile, social and digital services, you’ll be well placed to make the sale.
Help CIOs make the most of what they have
Many CIOs are faced with a maddeningly complicated infrastructure, and spiralling costs for maintaining it. With many looking to move to a virtualised, automated, SaaS world in the near future, many of them are looking for a way to free themselves from their current mess. Are you helping them along that road, or are you adding complexity?
Help CIOs improve existing processes
CIOs are continually looking for ways to improve their service – they’re measured on it at board level, after all. Can you help them stitch together existing technology to take advantage of initiatives such as big data, mobile and social?
If founders can help CIOs adapt to the changing technology landscape and smooth their transition from managing infrastructure to being a broker of services, you’ll help them keep their seat at the table and be well on the way to making the sale to CIOs.