Putting CIO peer groups into perspective

BarbaraDecision-makers, Influencer identification, influencer program, Sales performance

It’s a sure bet that when CIO and IT decision makers gather in groups, tech sales people circle nearby, angling to slip into the crowd. The common wisdom is that every member of these groups is a sales target. Each member is ripe with purchasing potential. That’s certainly a practical way for tech providers to look at IT peer groups. Yet when you view these groups primarily as a source of sales leads you’re leaving their greatest potential untouched.

High-end IT purchase decisions involve many types of influencers, and some of the most credible and trusted are professional peers within the senior IT and CIO community.  We see the signs of this all around us, and we know the truth from our own lives.  Research studies help quantify what our guts are telling us. Case in point, a late 2008 Forrester Research study*:

Forrester Research: Who has most impac on B2B IT Purchase Decisions1

The members of these groups are gathering to share experiences, learn from each other and talk shop. In other words, they are influencing each other.

So, think twice next time you are compelled to drop an IT peer group into your lead funnel. You may be dropping highly valuable influencer networks into your cold calling program. That’s no way to treat an influencer.

* © 2008, Forrester Research. From “Using Buyer Social Behaviour to Boost B2B Social Media Success” by Laura Ramos, Oliver Young, Patrick Tripp.