Do you know what your customer is thinking?

I recently attended the Harvey Nash CIO 2017 survey findings. Whilst the majority of the audience were CIO’s from large organisations, the event was extremely relevant to all B2B tech solution providers.

This article highlights my observations from the event and what companies should be aware of when targeting potential customers. These include CIO requirements for:-

Relationships matter

Everyone knows relationships matter when it comes to business. Knowing your customer is essential to making that key sale. A sales person who does not do their homework and understand what their customers priorities are is unlikely to be well received by a company seeking technology to run his or her business.

This is where surveys such as that run by Harvey Nash are a valuable resource. They let you know what your customers priorities are.

Stability and consistency

The survey highlights a key priority of today’s CIO’s is to deliver a consistent and stable IT performance in their business. This was an increased priority compared to the 2016 survey year’s findings.

A good pitch needs to engage with a customer. It should be built with the customers current priorities and long-term objectives at its heart. This ensures that you can match your product to their priorities rather than just focusing on listing the benefits of your product.

Delivering innovation

The importance of developing innovative and new products and services was also stated as a key priority of CIO’s. This is not unexpected as the Deloitte 2016-2017 Global CIO Survey found that more than a quarter of CIO’s interviewed ranked the IT in their organisations as below average in digital skillsets, especially customer and digital experience and analysis.

CIOs therefore have a tricky balance to achieve in ensuring stability in IT whilst also delivering innovation. Technology solution providers can use this information in tailoring their pitches to recognise the tricky balance their customers have.

Agility and digital

The good news for our B2B tech members is that CIO’s want to be agile and buy more solutions as a service. As a result, they are dedicating higher levels of time for innovation with more businesses increasing the number of people dedicated to fostering innovation. With increased resource focused on innovation, B2B tech solution providers should find it easier to get engagement with corporates. However, this is likely to be offset by the increasing number of B2B tech businesses in the market all competing for time with potential customers.

Companies have recognised the increased number of innovation and technology solutions available in the market responding by adding crowdsourcing to their technology searches. The increased use of crowdsourcing was covered in our previous blog

Final word

According to the Deloitte survey, 2 in 5 CIO’s know they are currently underinvesting in emerging technology and analytics. Businesses also want to develop innovation and be agile. This is great news for B2B technology providers as demonstrates their market is open for business. With an increasing number of technology service providers, knowing your customers priorities and tailoring pitches should provide an increased pitch success rate.