Last month, at the inaugural Microsoft Envision event, we sat down for a chat with LinkedIn’s Technology Industry Vertical Director, Mike Weir. We’d thought the conversation would be a fun little dip into the changing role of IT decision makers and how they go about vetting potential new solutions. We wanted his take on today’s informed tech customers.
Weir dove right into the heart of the matter, noting that IT decision-makers are often no longer single individuals, but committees made up of marketing, sales, operations, and HR specialists. These groups, already well-versed in the needs of their business, work together to become equally informed customers. They consume seven to ten pieces of product-related content on average, from videos to white papers.
When selling to IT committees, the biggest breakdown in communication between a vendor’s marketing and sales teams happens at the first point of contact. It’s very important that vendors join the conversation at the proper point in each committee’s buying process.
“[Often] sales comes in like it’s ground zero, and wants to have a conversation and… [buyers react] like ‘Woah, woah. We’re way past that. We have full knowledge of your product suite. We’ve talked to people who use you. We just want to get into the weeds here.’”
There are a few ways to combat this communications breakdown. Vendors need to gain a deep understanding of what Mike calls “their universe.” This includes knowing the capabilities and focus of their products, the needs and desires of each member of each prospect’s IT committee, as well as what solutions best enable each customer’s business to work in a cohesive, holistic way.
Weir is also quick to point out the advancements made in marketing’s ability to qualify leads, even when the point of contact is a committee rather than an individual. In his words, “marketing data has made us much smarter… it’s moving down from high level stuff to really see [which IT committee member has] engaged with product-level sheets.” When knowledgeable IT committees meet with informed vendors, both teams pave the way to success.
Catch our full interview with LinkedIn's Mike Weir