What are you most looking for from vendors that pitch you?

19.1k views41 Upvotes83 Comments

Chief Security Officer in Software, 10,001+ employees
I want to understand your how your product / service works techncialy, what is your company strategy and most importantly skip the marketing terms/hot topics. At the end of the day I want to know if you are a fit within my technology roadmap and how specifically that can work.
Director Of Information Technology in Services (non-Government), 10,001+ employees
I agree with Lee...Where does the product fit into my strategy. I tend to turn off when vendors start out with a slide deck telling me all their customers. I didn’t marry my wife for who she dated in the past.
22 1 Reply
Managing Partner, Partnerships & Strategy in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

That last line! Love it

CIO Partnerships, Alliances & BD (Strategy, Interconnection, Information, Implementation), Self-employed
I agree, I want to know about the company that stands behind the product and overall knowledge and stability for my roadmap, products and services. Is that salesperson start ing with me is going to be there or gone in a flash. tell me my life will improve with your support and what makes you stand above the rest, without marketing or disparaging the competition.
CTO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
The most important is whether they understand this is a potential partnership, not a contentious vendor/client relationship
in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I want the vendor to have done his homework on our organization so that they at least have a common understanding, 98% don't do this and it's a turn off at the get go. Those that do, I want to understand how their organization is going to help me achieve the goals of our organization. It's all about business outcomes, not selling me a widget or gadget. If you can truly partner in achieving those business outcomes, you'll be a vendor I'll use over and over.
7 1 Reply
COO in Finance (non-banking), 2 - 10 employees

Absolutely 100%  agree Shaun.  Do not try to sell me on a one-size-fits-all product when you present!

CIO / CDO in Construction, 10,001+ employees
Here are my 2 cents on this topic...1. What's their "story", "differentiator" or "value add" by the vendor to tell while trying to get the foot in the door2. Reputation, financial stability and experience of the vendor3. Reference cases and success stories in the same or comparable industry and their willingness to expose those references for direct conversations4. Company structure, geographical representation, staff vs. contractor ratio, stability or fluctuation across employee base as well as management base...things like geographical spread may be more or less relevant depending on one's own structure5. Experiences, qualifications, certifications (certifications matter more to some and less to others) of the vendor's staff / contractors6. Certifications of the vendor organization and business (may be more or less relevant depending on the type of engagement and one's own business) like ISO27001, 9001, SOX or others7. Compatibility in between the vendor organization and oneself (eg. values, style, human aspects, flexibility, customer focus...)8. Last but not least of course - financial offering in comparison to competitors and in the context of one's own requirements
Director of Product Management in Media, 501 - 1,000 employees
I want to hear concrete examples of how their service will drive revenue for my specific product. Sometimes vendors pitch us with case studies from products/companies that are totally different from ours or try to woo everyone with buzzwords and pie-in-the-sky possibilities as to what can be achieved through their platform/service/product. I just want a tangible use case I.e. imagine we’ve already implemented your service- what is one way that I could use it tomorrow to drive business growth and what would you estimate the KPI impact to be?

I also like to understand why it makes sense for my org to pay the vendor to provide the service rather than using internal resources to try to provide/build something similar.
5 1 Reply
Head of Data Strategy in Software, 51 - 200 employees

You can't underestimate the value of a vendor that truly understands your business.  

CEO in Education, 2 - 10 employees
I want to get why are the right person/organization for the job. What's their story and how its components signal value creation.
CTO in Finance (non-banking), 11 - 50 employees
I want for the vendor to first take an interest in where my organization is at and what my needs are with respect to where they at. Then tailor the pitch to hep me understand the value proposition and be ready for it to be in the future rather than today.
4 2 Replies
Director of IT in Construction, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

Completely agree with you John. The worst thing a vendor can do is throw a 60 minutes sales pitch on the first call instead of spending those same 60 minutes understanding our reality and challenges.

Head of Data Strategy in Software, 51 - 200 employees

The worst combination here is where a vendor asks (and receives) the 60 minute discovery call to understand your business. but then fails to incorporate any references back to your business or your challenge in the sales pitch.  To me, that says they arent listening, and it's an immediate disqualifier.   

Director of Marketing in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Their expertise and value they can offer (in terms of consultancy and content they have) in their industry... without being pushy to sell.

I also rely on referrals (network word of mouth) for final go.

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