Peer to Peer (P2P) Contact in the Sales Cycle
CEOs, CFOs, and sometimes CIOs make the big decisions. It makes sense to get your CEO across the table from the prospect, and that scene plays out worldwide every day. But things are changing. Today most decisions travel up the org chart, not down.
Forrester Research reports that 26% of enterprise infrastructure decision-makers rely on some level of IaaS. A similar number of software decision-makers plan to use SaaS, compared to 13% of IT infrastructure decision-makers and 16% of software buyers who already do. 6% of hardware decision-makers use HaaS. As systems move to the cloud, so does power.
A phalanx of aggregators and analysts surrounds and permeates C-Level. These aggregators rely upon remote services to deliver ready-to-use comprehensive information. The best services offer customized information through portals and APIs that are readily available to management. What separates winners from losers isn’t always their performance, though that is critical. What wins in corporate life is detailed, reliable reporting. C-Level expects evidence of proficiency. Experienced leaders no longer make decisions based upon a handshake. They require proof.
Sales require clarity. Any level of ambiguity forces investigation, which delays a decision and puts that sale in jeopardy. What are the deliverables? How much do they cost, and what is in the SLA? The company providing the highest level of detail during the sales cycle typically wins the contract. For this reason, C-Level places a premium on detailed information. They can’t win contracts without it.
Many companies are now exploring decentralized leadership. It’s not unbelievable that in the future, many major corporate decisions will be made by statisticians, some of them not even human.
So, where does this lead P2P? The ritual of CEOs meeting with CEOs is one of negotiation. Both parties know what they want, and winners know how to get it. The seller knows their proposal inside and out. They know where they can give and where they hope to take. The buyer knows what they can afford and how every expense on the ledger affects their bottom line. They smile. They are patient. Both fully informed they know when to close and when to walk away. Point of fact, they are the final stage in the existing corporate sale cycle. Their teams have prepared them for negotiations. As such, they should only go to the table when all the facts are known and prepared.