Guest Column | August 11, 2014

The Current IT Industry Sales Model Is Officially Broken

By Chad Cardenas, Chief Innovation Officer, TRACE3

IT Industry Broken Sales Model

I surely have not been alone in watching the demise of the IT sales model over the past several years, and I believe the time has come to officially declare it broken and possibly beyond repair in its current state.

I say this with trepidation because my company TRACE3 started out 12 years ago as a value-added reseller of technology solutions. We have a clear and vested interest in improving the sales cycle for our CIO clients.

Why, then, would I declare the current IT sales model to be broken? Because incentives and solutions on the sales side of the equation simply don’t line up with what most CIO buyers are really interested in. As CIOs pivot more toward innovation with a business impact and away from the legacy “keep the lights on” mentality, there is a greater divide between CIOs and traditional IT sales reps. The CIO of tomorrow wants to work with business peers to identify opportunities for transformation, then leverage innovative solutions to do so.

Simply put, far too much value gets lost in the shuffle of IT sales engagements these days. Most sales cycles start with a salesperson who doesn’t understand the client’s real needs, pushing a solution in search of a problem.

Even the minority of salespeople who may lead with a problem-defining discussion are limited in their ability to provide real value because most of their solutions are becoming commoditized. Sure, there are absolutely innovative new technologies that can provide a competitive edge, but even for those, the context in which they’re delivered makes all the difference.

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