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10 worst sales tactics of IT outsourcing companies

Stephanie Overby | Dec. 12, 2011
If IT service providers make New Year's resolutions, our experts suggest they finally retire these tired and tiresome sales practices.

7. The Last-Minute Price Drop Most outsourcing deals are designed to deliver a 20 to 30 percent profit margin—period, says Ruckman. So when a vendor suddenly offers big price drop to a customer's business—as they often do—it's disconcerting to the educated outsourcing buyer. They start to wonder if the sales team was really gouging them before or whether the lower price could eat into the provider's profit so much that service levels will suffer. Alternative for IT service providers: Enough with the rabbit-out-of-the-hat routine. Outsourcing customers are trying to build a long-term relationship with your company. Building trust and—dare we say, transparency—into the pricing process will go a long way to win business.

8. Burying the Lead What's with the tortuously slow build up to the big finish? Your potential customers want you to tell them how your company will help them run their business better, faster, or cheaper, not write them a symphony. Alternative for IT service providers: Start the next session the way you usually end it, says Herrera of HfS Research: We're going to save you $X million per year starting in June while maintaining or increasing all your existing service levels and absorbing X percent of the risk.

9. The Never-Ending Check-Ins There's nothing more annoying than incessant follow-up calls—or worse, visits—to ask "Are we on the right track?" or "Is there anything else we should know?" "It's irritating and unproductive," says KMPG's Walker. Alternative for IT service providers: Already circled back to the prospect three times? Don't call them; they'll call you.

10. Inside Sales "The average sales lead will spend more time selling the deal internally—to his own company—than he spends selling the deal to the client," says Engel of HfS Consulting. "It is amazing to hear a sales lead talk about how much time he has spent convincing his management team that this is good deal." Alternative for IT service providers: Focus that energy on understanding your client's business challenges and outsourcing needs. A smart deal will earn you far more points internally.


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