Feeds

Finance directors are the real deal-killers

The make or break of IT investment decisions

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Quocirca's changing channels The fact that most businesses value IT, as shown in a recent Quocirca survey, will not come as a surprise to many. For many it is considered an integral part of their operations. So, neither is it surprising that businesses take major IT investment decisions pretty seriously as well.

This has always been the challenge for those charged with the task of selling IT, be they the representatives of vendors or the sales staff of resellers. All too often the sales effort gets bogged down in the IT department, where time can be wasted on unwinnable deals that will not go ahead because of decisions being made elsewhere.

The most likely place that those deal killing decisions will be made is in the finance department, and finance directors (FD) are more likely to have the decisive say in prioritising IT spend than their counterparts in IT or even managing directors.

At the back of their minds most salespeople probably know this, but getting access to FDs, to qualify and hopefully help close deals is not easy and, when and if you do, you may not have long to make a good impression. It would surely help if the FDs had a favourable view of your company and its products and services before you speak with them.

Well, there is some good news here. Financial managers in general consider that it is important for them to keep up to speed with technology developments. The source of information they rely on most is communicating with their colleagues and peers in other organisations. But if they are asking their friends down at the pub what they think of a particular vendor or reseller, the friend must have got their information from somewhere.

Financial managers, it turns out, are surprisingly interested in IT, making good use of information sources such as IT trade shows. Many consider the IT press as a better source of information than the daily papers; although most financial managers do read a daily paper three or four times a week, considering them to have some use as a source of information about IT issues. The Sunday papers are not so highly regarded.

Managers across all industries rely more on the online media to read their favourite publications than they do on the print media. That is all except public sector managers who still seem to find plenty of time to put their feet up and read traditional print media.

Online access to information is critical to all management for keeping up to speed with IT, not least financial managers. Internet news sites and search engines are considered useful by most of them and, when it comes to search engines, one predominates as a starting point for their searches – Google.

If an FD has a good impression of your organisation and has the budget to spend they can say the magic "yes" and give a go-ahead to your sale. That "yes" is critical and work has to be done to get to it. But there are many other parties to be influenced en route. These may not be able to give that final approval but they can, to varying degrees, scupper your chances by saying "no" at some point during the sales process.

To avoid this, sales teams often put in a huge amount of effort doing the ground work for their proposals; demonstrating the technical capability of the product to the IT staff, ensuring that line of business requirements can be met, and that the user interface is actually acceptable to end users. But all this can be to no avail if the money is not there or the finance department was never going to approve your company as a suitable supplier in the first place.

A copy of Quocirca’s report "IT Investment Decision Making" is freely available to Reg readers here.

Copyright © 2006,

Bob Tarzey is a service director at Quocirca focused on the route to market for IT products and services in Europe. Quocirca is a UK based perceptional research and analysis firm with a focus on the European and global IT markets.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.