Targeting large companies always requires going that extra mile in terms of preparing the pre-sales data and sales intelligence which includes knowing the right set of decision makers. When it comes to these larger accounts knowing just one or two high-level decision makers is barely enough to crack into them and get discussions moving. The same applies to going after the larger accounts while selling software or technology products or services.
It's important to know a number of decision makers at different levels including Manager, Director and Vice President / C-Level to be able to connect with the right level to get a foot into the account. From our experience in lead list building within this segment, we know information technology or software organization within large companies like the fortune 500 are vast and often spread across different locations. One of the biggest challenges in the process to engage these larger companies is simply connecting with the right person.
Simply purchasing or buying a list of "Vice Presidents of IT" is not necessarily the right place to start and a lot of time can be spent after hitting a dead end in simply trying to locate the right person. C-Level or VP-level contacts in IT could be responsible for a wide variety of areas and that's where the extra step of identifying a contact's role and responsibility along with their job title can spell all the difference. For example, a fortune company may have 50 VP's of IT across 10 locations. If you are looking to sell a SAP integration solution, then you need to ask for or locate only the VPs of IT who are responsible for SAP engineering within the company.
Similarly, if you are looking to sell a firewall solution, then you need the decision makers within IT or IT Security who are responsible for firewall security as other contacts are likely to be dead ends. Another factor of selling into technology or software organizations which stands out (those of you who have been selling into IT will have seen this) is that decision makers within this organization are often hard to connect with over the phone or email and it's often a battle of trying different times and multiple emails to actually connect with them. Very often after connecting, inside sales persons are referred to or asked to try another level or another decision maker to continue talks, so it's important to have as many decision makers at different levels as possible before getting started to improve the odds of connecting quicker.
Connecting with deeply rooted decision makers like managers who often work more directly with the technology involved is a great starting point, are more open to dialog and are a valuable source for first-hand information even if they are not the final decision makers. It's always good to have a mix of deeply-rooted contacts as well as the higher level or final decision makers.
So when it comes to selling software or technology and building lists of decision makers at larger accounts:
- Build as many sales intelligence as possible on each account before going after them
- Locate contacts across different locations of the company, the technology organization can be widespread
- Identify contacts based on their exact roles and responsibilities keeping in mind the technology area you are offering. Going completely by job titles is not always the best way to go about it unless the software or technology is more generic in nature
- Locate contacts at different levels of the technology organization including deeper level management and higher level executives to have a wider range of contact points