IT Buyers Seek Relevancy, Specs From Sales Pitches, Spiceworks Finds

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IT Buyers Seek Relevancy, Specs From Sales Pitches, Spiceworks Finds

When asked what they seek from sales pitches, IT buyers are most likely to cite product and services information that is relevant to their specific organization’s needs, according to a recent survey from Spiceworks. Survey respondents said they receive a high volume of these pitches—more than a dozen a week via email and the phone. Relatively few tech purchasers, however, respond to pitches frequently. When they do, it’s usually because the pitch addresses “a timely solution to a challenge,” along with needed pricing information and product specs. More than 500 IT professionals who are involved with technology purchase decisions took part in the research. This eWEEK slide show presents findings from the survey, with charts provided courtesy of Spiceworks.

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Online Forums Serve as Prime Product Information Source

When asked how they learn about new tech products, 97 percent of survey respondents said they rely upon online forums and communities. Other popular sources for tech buyers include tech news sites (as cited by 79 percent of respondents), Google (77 percent) and “word of mouth” (73 percent).

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IT Buyers Prefer Email Sales Pitches

When asked how they prefer to be pitched by sales reps/marketers, 57 percent of survey respondents said they like email. Other top methods include online forums and communities (as cited by 26 percent of respondents) and conferences and trade shows (19 percent).

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Sales Pitches Flood Email Inboxes

On average, IT pros are contacted by tech sales reps/marketers via email 13 times a week. They’re contacted on the phone by tech sales reps/marketers five times a week.

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Sales Pitch Response Rates Remain Low

Just 30 percent of survey respondents said they respond to emails from tech sales reps/marketers either “always” or “frequently.” Only 18 percent said they provide the same level of response for sales inquiries made through online forums and communities.

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Relevant IT Product Information Merits Attention

Spiceworks reports that 77 percent of IT buyers said they’ll respond to a pitch if it involves a relevant product or service. Other response drivers include detailed pricing information (as cited by 61 percent of survey participants), detailed product specs (55 percent) and “a timely solution to a challenge” (44 percent).

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Servers and Virtualization Solutions Command Greatest Brand Loyalty

In ranking the tech categories that inspire the most brand loyalty, servers and virtualization solutions came out on top, with both categories cited by 75 percent of survey respondents. Other category leaders include networking products (72 percent), computing devices (66 percent) and security (64 percent).

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Customer Support Reigns Supreme

“Great customer support” frequently leads to strong brand loyalty, according to 97 percent of survey participants. IT buyers also seek consistently fair pricing (96 percent), a history of reliable products and services (96 percent) and access to tech experts with the vendor (91 percent).

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Poor Support and 'Pitch Glut' Can Hurt Sales

Conversely, 94 percent of survey respondents said a poor customer support experience will deter brand loyalty. And 85 percent said the same about getting too many sales/marketing calls and emails.

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Prospects of Creative Work Boost Interest in IT Careers Among Teens

The desire for work that offers creative challenges—along with opportunities to "make a difference"—is encouraging more teens to strongly consider pursuing IT as a career choice.
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