Buyers resist hard sell approach

23 August 2006
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24 August 2006 | Paul Snell

IT purchasers are becoming more defensive in response to pushy sales tactics, according to research firm Ovum.

And it concludes, after carrying out a survey among large companies, that sales staff should help buyers with IT purchases instead of concentrating on the hard sell.

Common complaints from buyers about IT sales staff include sellers not knowing enough about the products, their unwillingness to give demonstrations, and applying too much pressure on buyers.

It found bad behaviour from sales teams, such as dishonesty or pushing buyers into early decisions, can have a negative impact on relationships for five to seven years.

The report concluded: "The messages are clear. Stop selling to customers and prospects - move towards an approach based on helping them to buy. Create simple, clear and fair pricing, making it open and transparent to all."

Ovum surveyed 40 technical buyers working for firms, across a variety of sectors, with more than 1,000 employees, in North America, EMEA and Australia.

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