IT Structure

New motto for sales: Always be (virtually) closing

November 3, 2009: 10:00 AM ET

Can an online connection replace the personal touch?

By Zvi Guterman, CEO, IT Structures

The economy may be improving, but corporations are still acting like we're in the midst of a downturn, especially when it comes to their information technology decisions. Companies are slashing IT budgets, delaying purchasing decisions, and executives are taking a more hands-on approach to evaluating new software offerings.

Technology vendors have reacted to this new world by doing some cost-cutting of their own. Ironically, at a time when buyers are making it harder for tech suppliers to close deals, vendors are making the situation worse by eliminating marketing budgets, reducing sales staff and restricting travel.

In short, sales organizations are expected to not only sell to a tougher audience, but to do it with fewer resources.

Some leading technology vendors are re-examining the way they sell in order to emerge from the recession as not only survivors, but as agile, dominant players. But with everyone focusing on making cuts and putting out fires, it is easy to overlook the larger strategic shift in how enterprise technology is used, sold and paid for.

The mammoth enterprise software deals that required millions of dollars upfront in licensing fees are being replaced by more agile business models, such as software as a service (SaaS), on-demand availability and pay-as-you-go purchasing. These dynamic purchasing trends have not stopped or slowed down because of the weak economy. On the contrary, they've accelerated. More

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