Why CIOs Need Selling Skills

Wednesday, 01 December 2010 08:32 Ayman Abouseif
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Surly CIOs need to be able to sell themselves, their work and their visions effectively in order to reach the heights of the C-Suite. Great CIOs must be great communicators, capable of delivering a compelling presentation or a memorable speech, and inspiring others to follow them.

But that is not enough; CIOs need to mimic sales people in spending time and energy learning how their products and services work, how will customers use them and how are they positioned against competition. Sales people are also taught (and told) to listen to their customers’ issues, pains and aspirations in order to be able to successfully position their products as solutions.

Sales people know they must avoid the use the company proprietary buzzwords and technical jargon when talking with customers, something many IT executives can greatly benefit from. Sales people are trained to find the right balance between setting positive customer expectations while not overpromising, CIOs are sometimes too optimistic when setting expectations within the enterprise.

CIOa compete for budgets the same way sales people compete for your budget. So go ahead and register your IT leadership team for sales skills training.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 07 May 2011 11:50


0 #4 R Al Bolouchi 2010-12-26 08:43
I would agree with this, but I would add the CIO needs both sales and marketing capabilities.
You need marketing to create the right image for the department and to communicate better with your audience being the users.
You need selling skills to start looking at projects and plans as deals you want to close, find and eliminate the barriers, deal with risk and so on.
0 #3 Maged Alfy 2010-12-15 01:22
I was just reading another articles that suggests IT departments must have a well though out marketing plan ..

Analysts from Forrester Research consider an IT marketing manager to be crucial for developing and implementing an IT marketing plan to align IT with business; they recommend that companies hire internal marketing managers—at a salary range of US$70,000 to US$100,000 (IT Marketing Manager—Job Profile And Description, Forrester Research, March 26, 2009).

Read the full article:
0 #2 Salma Adib 2010-12-06 18:18
Interesting .. where does one attend a sales class for CIOs?
0 #1 Sayed Al Hamamsi 2010-12-05 19:50
Clearly we need to learn how to better sell our work, negotiate our budgets, manage expectations, and over deliver .. like any good sales person. But do we really need to go to sales school?

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