Gartner Research

The CIO's Trusted Advisor Playbook: Selling and Persuasion

Published: 14 March 2017

ID: G00327910

Analyst(s): Leigh McMullen , Ed Gabrys


To help the enterprise thrive in an uncertain digital future, a CIO needs trusted advisor skills. These skills differ from the technical skills that helped CIOs master their current role. A great trusted advisor to senior leaders uses formal abilities to sell, persuade, and overcome resistance.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Question
  • Opportunities and Challenges
  • How This Report Will Help


  • Acknowledgments

Executive Summary

  • CIOs must become trusted advisors
  • Selling your vision with values
  • The tactics of persuasion
  • Overcoming resistance

CIOs must become trusted advisors

  • The CIO’s trust problem: The trust you have is not the trust you need
  • How to use this report
  • Trusted advisor skills are transformational skills
  • A trusted advisor must be a top-notch salesperson

Selling your vision with values

  • Selling, buying, and why you should care
  • Why much of what we believe about sales is wrong
  • People buy based on values, not value
  • CIOs need to stop selling “the value”
  • Persuasion happens one person at a time
  • Purely fact-based approaches are often useless when trying to persuade
  • Your selling “superpowers”

The tactics of persuasion

  • Why selling from a script doesn’t always work
  • Use the tools no matter how good you think you are naturally
  • Understanding the motivations of your stakeholders
  • Tool: Stakeholder analysis
  • Tool: Power mapping
  • Putting it all together

Overcoming resistance

  • It’s not just “change resistance”
  • What triggers resistance?
  • Resistance manifested: How do you know it when you see it?
  • The simple formula for overcoming resistance
  • Conclusion

Further Reading

  • Related content
  • Executive Programs reports
  • Core research
  • Books
  • Article
  • Websites

©2021 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.