August 22, 2023

CEOs Don’t Make Tech Decisions

What to do about a U-shaped decision model

CEOs Don’t Make Tech Decisions

New mobile apps to keep an eye on

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What new social media mobile apps are available in 2022?

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Use new social media apps as marketing funnels

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“Sit enim porttitor vehicula consequat urna, eleifend tincidunt vulputate turpis, dignissim pulvinar ullamcorper”
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Let me make a provocative statement: CEOs (and most senior leaders) don’t really make the decision on what new tech or vendor to bring on board. At the very least, they don’t make it in the way most marketing and sales processes are set up and executed. To see why, it is necessary to look at how decisions actually get made within most organizations and by whom.


The dissatisfaction with current processes and results or the need or desire for new capabilities or products (and the technology to enable them) most often come from the front-line users, those tasked with product management or are the result of financial or strategic reviews.  These needs may then be championed by a senior leader within an organization but in most cases identifying the root cause for change doesn’t start with the C-Suite. It comes to them for an initial decision on whether to move forward based on input from lower down in the organization.  The CEO or senior leader’s decision to move forward with a sourcing decision starts the U-shaped decision process.  Most such decisions are not sole sourced and aren’t made by the CEO based on their intuitive and extensive knowledge of whatever technology is needed (sarcasm intended). 


In most organizations, that initial decision at the top left of the U will put the ball back in the court of subject matter experts in product, strategy, IT and/or vendor management, to conduct the due diligence to figure out whether to build, buy or rent.  In any case where an outside third party is required either for building or sourcing the product, these experts will usually conduct investigations of products and vendors, calling in other experts in technology, data, infosec, compliance, line management and users and eventually legal and contracting.  This is where the real decisions are made and our research with buyers suggest that 80% of this work of vetting potential vendors takes place before they ever contact a vendor or sales person.




Getting back to our U-shaped process, these micro decisions will be made throughout the organization and eventually will rise back up to increasing levels of authority until it reaches a senior leader, committee or the CE0 for decision.  In most cases they will be given an outline of the process, a list of potential candidates and a recommendation. The “decision” to be made is whether these leaders feel the recommenders have made a compelling case for the chosen candidate or perhaps more investigation is needed, but it is rare for any leader at this point to completely overturn the findings of their team and command them to use a vendor outside those offered. Really, they are being asked to confirm a decision THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE BY THE ORGANIZATION.  This is the key thing to understand.


Where we see the game being played today (wrongly in our opinion) is with the race for the best contact data; promises of being able to get you the CEOs personal cell phone.  Even if this data is accurate it’s barking up the wrong tree. Who really thinks that as a relatively self-aware executive I’m going to think that I know more about this topic than the experts I have in my organization based on one phone call from a stranger or that I’m likely to trash months of work by my team based on one phone call from your BDR?  This is desperation… and the lack of a viable alternative. 


We believe that our second-generation True Intent platform TRUENT is that viable alternative. TRUENT gives you the crystal ball to see that the game is on and who the opposition is, identify and interact with the true decisionmakers throughout the organization and allows you to engage with and provide them with the compelling case to close with you as opposed to your competitors.


Thinking about how the decision-making process works at most companies, with TRUENT you can:


 SCHEDULE THE GAME.  Don’t wait for the company to come to the conclusion they need you. Put them in market by identifying dissatisfaction within an organization or product and results gaps and put your solution in front of the people responsible for taking the answer to their leadership.


TRACK AND INFLUENCE THE REAL DECISIONMAKERS. Once you know the game is on, track sentiment and identify the key players throughout the organization, not just the senior leaders.  Get insights on where your engagement level is and where you are versus your competitors.  Use Truent’s messaging and content capabilities to get the right message to the right person at the right time.


INCORPORATE INSIGHTS INTO YOUR SALES AND MARKETING PLAYBOOK. With integrations into the most widely used CRM systems, you can take the insights you gain from Truent on Intent, Engagement, Buying Stage and Competitors to inform your existing marketing campaigns and sales playbook.


WIN AND RETAIN THE BUSINESS. Build that compelling business case for recommending your solution and keep the business with customized models that track defection to allow you to see when you are at risk for losing your customer to someone else. Don’t let dissatisfaction grow in your clients unchecked.