Are CIOs more prone to isolation from vendors?

Posted: May 5, 2010 in CIOs, customers/buyers, sales, vendors
Tags: , ,

Window in the Art World - 8:33 p.m. - The DeYoung, San Fr... Mike Kepka / The Chronicle

Isolation is never good thing.

Wary industrial buyers today face the dilemma of having to make purchases from suppliers who, those buyers complain, are woefully uninformed about their product needs.  How ironic that much of the information they say the vendors should have  is exactly what those buyers won’t make the effort to share.  As vendors grow more aggressive in selling and outreach efforts, their targets retreat deeper into the bunker.

Isolation in the digital culture has become a cliche.  To paraphrase the line in Funny People: The more friends you have online the fewer you have in real life.  Our own findings in a survey of I.T. buyers, CIOs and CSOs revealed evidence that many otherwise “plugged-in” leaders can become remote from vendors.  This is self-defeating, of course, but we can hardly blame them, cold calls being what they are.  Technology can indeed make leaders more current and knowledgeable, but James Champy writes that he sees the potential for plugged-in leaders to become more distracted and remote. A sense of connection can be deceiving, he warns: “Technology, in the hands of unskilled leaders, can create distance, and even a false sense of security”.   CIOs, of all people, should be the best practitioners of technology application.  In sales, you have to make the calls.  In applying technology, you have to know what’s out there and how to make the most of it.  In other words,  there are times when you have to take those calls.  Full disclosure: Turner DeVaughn Network makes dealing with unsolicited sales inquiries — cold calls and email —  virtually painless and far more productive but it still requires some engagement.  Isolation is never a productive condition.

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