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Why are CIOs getting harder to contact, and what can a vendor do to reach them?

If you are a vendor trying to reach a CIO that you have not met before, have you wondered why he/she doesn’t want to take your call?


Obviously there are several reasons, but the number reason is because the amount of vendors trying to reach CIOs has increased substantially. 


Here are other reasons why this is happening:

  • The Cloud has enabled an exponential increase in software startups, that are eager to show their solutions to CIOs.
  • Social media has changed the buying process.  CIOs can find a lot of information about the vendors, and pre-select who they want to speak with, before engaging a conversation with a vendor.
  • CIOs are becoming more business-focused; and many vendors speak features and capabilities, and not business outcomes.
  • ROI-selling speeches from vendors tend to be vague.  Most vendors’ rapid ROI tools generally do not objectively demonstrate the strategic impact for their client; nor demonstrate how exactly their solution’s features would result in outcomes in the business areas; and CIOs are looking for more than simple ROI sales speeches, and/or more than just TCO reductions.
  • CIOs receive some many emails every day from vendors, that your email, even when you can help, will easily get lost.


The question then would be: what tactics and strategies IT solution and service providers should use, in order to increase their chances of reaching a CIO or CTO, when they are convinced that their solution can help a specific company?


Since technology solutions do indeed help CIOs, if you are a vendor, or a CIO, what would you recommend a vendor needs to do to reach a CIO?  


4 comments | Add a New Comment
1. Verinha Tuan | August 23, 2016 at 06:26 PM EDT

I am a CIO, and I agree that today I receive many more calls and emails than I did a few years ago. However, I do return emails or calls when I believe the vendor is professional and is speaking about solving problems, not technical capabilities.

2. Edson Breton | August 23, 2016 at 07:00 PM EDT

This is interesting, and true. I am also a CIO at a small manufacturing company, and I would agree with Ms. Tuan. I receive a large number of emails and calls, and many get lost in my inbox, but when I see that the vendor has a product or service where I have a business need, then there is higher chances for me in replying to a cold call.

3. Oscar Paredes | August 24, 2016 at 09:23 AM EDT

I agree as well. The number of calls I get has significantly increased lately. I randomly take calls and answer emails to learn and keep up with the market. However, I tend to engage with companies who are willing to listen, talk and present solutions to problems I have. I notice many sales people want you to listen to them and want to create problems you don't have so they can sell you a solution you did not need to begin with. I particularly shy away from them.

4. John Daane | August 25, 2016 at 02:25 PM EDT

Vendors who cold-call are difficult to talk to, they have an agenda they need to go through on their first call. A Vendor who asks me up front what my greatest challenges are, is a vendor who cares about my challenges. A vendor who immediately launches into a diatribe about their company, and the services they offer, is a vendor who cares about the vendor.

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