A seminar at the Institute of Directors, London, will review new research on how Top 100 and other companies buy IT products and services. This includes the critical stages, key issues and the core personnel involved in the buying process.
Course leader Patrick Rea, director of strategic marketers, will review with senior marketing personnel from IT companies new strategies for finding out what customers really want, and what vendors need to do to win their business.
" Most IT companies fail to understand why and how a prospective customer arrives at a buying decision. Therefore many new business opportunities are inexplicably lost, and ineffective sales and marketing communication is inevitably repeated," says Patrick Rea
" It is only when you know what customers really want and exactly what you need to do to win their business that you can align sales and marketing activity to meet each purchaser's needs precisely and cost-effectively. Only then can you ensure maximum competitive advantage and return on marketing ROI (Return on Investment."
The seminar examines buyer behaviour and the purchasing process during each customer's 'journey' - from having no need or knowledge of the vendor's solutions, to final selection of the preferred supplier.
In highly competitive, complex and cost-conscious markets, information obtained directly from the customer on buying behaviour is clearly crucial to success, Patrick Rea explains. Yet most sector companies rely on historic sales data and feed-back from the sales team - information which is usually highly partial and invariably incomplete. It therefore has only limited use for a valid understanding of buyers. Often, it's thoroughly misleading, he says.
The seminar reviews qualitative research of Top 100 companies to find out exactly what vendors need to do to influence the buyer at each stage in the sales process and how to cost-effectively progress each sale through the buying process.
Once vendors have understood the buying behaviour that motivates and mobilises the buying process for a particular product or service category, they can then map this to a scaleable sales process that will match customer needs exactly. This 'roadmap' will enable vendors to align their sales and marketing teams and activity with an agreed, verified understanding of 'what works'. It is in fact the only way to ensure maximum transparency, integration and ROI for a company's sales process, says Patrick Rea.