Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
Commentary
6/29/2009
10:19 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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CIOs Don't Listen To Vendors Anymore, Says Salesforce CEO

During the global economic downturn, an IT industry that delivers too much complexity and not enough flexibility has lost a lot of credibility, says Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, and a major repercussion has been the rise of the reference-account CIO as sales driver. Is your commission plan all set up?

During the global economic downturn, an IT industry that delivers too much complexity and not enough flexibility has lost a lot of credibility, says Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, and a major repercussion has been the rise of the reference-account CIO as sales driver. Is your commission plan all set up?While reference accounts have always been important, Benioff's statement could have powerful implications if it rings true across a broad spectrum of CIOs. As is his custom, Benioff made his point in blunt terms, as reported by InternetNews.com:

As a result of such problems, he said IT customers are so skeptical and have been burned so many times that they need to hear from other customers. That's why he said a company's customers also make the best salespeople. "You've got to get your customers selling for you," he said. "I don't think customers listen to vendors anymore. I think they listen to each other."

"If you get the customer references, and you can get that gravitas around customers talking about you and recommending you and referring you, you're in good shape," he added. "If you can't get that going, you're in trouble."

Think about that for a second, and ask yourself if you believe it's true: "I don't think customers listen to vendors anymore."

How about it - do you still listen to vendors? Let me know at bevans@techweb.com, or leave a comment in the forum below.

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