It’s the partnership that matters, not the sale. This seems to be the conclusion CIO Yousuf Khan has come to on the CIO Buyer journey. Khan, who recently sat down with Salesforce’s Aygun Suleymanova for a webinar hosted by Pulse Q&A, is now CIO at Moveworks and shared his own thoughts of how vendors can best make the case for their software and tech products.
Having both run a large IT procurement function as well as customer success, Khan has a unique perspective that allows for key insights on the buyer journey. “In the past, because there were multiple reference points, the buyer was usually the CIO or CTO,” Khan said to Suleymanova. But this is no more the case as the line of business is now driving the bargains, buying more software and technology than before.
“They’re most likely building more technology as well. The line of business is a much bigger buyer of technology than before,” Khan added. What follows is that the line of business is trying to build a much bigger partnership with the CIO and somewhere down the line this tech needs to be bought and harnessed by way of a partnership with the CIO.
“It’s here to stay and healthy for the business,” Khan said about the business connection with the CIO, “The biggest reason is every company is becoming a tech company and they’re using software to improve their product, improve operational efficiency across every department and every function.”
As for how best to approach CIOs, Khan was of the view that timing is everything but the solution is crucial too. “It’s about getting a common denominator, something that everyone can care about. Ask what it is that most people agree with needs to be resolved, and you start with that.”
According to Khan, integrating different software solutions (be it marketing, HR or otherwise) into the larger architecture will also be vital. “It needs to be done in partnership.” Reflecting an understanding of the CIOs environment and company also goes a long way towards establishing this partnership. “It’s not relevant if all his friends are using it. It has to be targeted to the CIO and their problem.”