Bridging the Gap Between the CIO and CEO With Your Cloud Solutions

April 2, 2019 | Pam Heydinger

CIO_CEO_BlogYou’ve sold the CIO on your cloud solution by demonstrating how it’s going to reduce or avoid costs. But now you have to sell to the CEO who is focused on financial growth and market expansion. So, how do you bridge the gap between cost avoidance and growing the top line?

Selling to the CIO

IT is often seen as a cost center that increases productivity. CIOs are typically tasked with:

  • Ensuring system availability and data confidentiality
  • Protecting customer and internal data
  • Finding ways for technology to enable the needs of the business units

When you craft your message to the CIO, you have to show the cost-effectiveness of your cloud solution. For example, your cloud solution may solve issues your client is experiencing with their legacy system which meets the CIO’s objective to reduce costs and ensure system availability.

Your security solution can also support their goal of protecting customer and internal data, which reduces the risk of data loss due to data breaches. Both of these are critical to the business and support the CIO’s goals. But now you’ve got to create a message for the CEO that supports their objectives.


Selling to the CEO

One of the CEO’s primary goals is to improve the company’s financial performance. Increasingly, CEOs want to see IT facilitate revenue growth. They expect IT to use the cloud for innovations that create value rather than just increase productivity.

This means you must create a different message for the CEO that shows how your solution supports revenue growth and improves financial performance. You need a value proposition that articulates how your cloud solution will not only reduce IT costs but also add value.


Showing the Value of Your Cloud Solution

Cloud solutions add value in several ways. One way is through increased visibility throughout the supply chain. Let’s say your cloud solution provides the buyer with visibility into the vendor’s supply chain and places an order with that vendor who accepts it. If the vendor accepts the order, but the buyer can see that there is a shortage further down the vendor’s supply chain, the buyer knows right away that they need to source some or all of their order with a different vendor.

How does this impact revenue?

Showing the Value for Your Cloud Solution With Existing Products

For existing products, this visibility prevents a shortage of their product which prevents lost sales due to stockout losses. Preventing these lost sales due to stockout losses impacts revenue. This may also reduce customer churn because customers will repeatedly come back to the company knowing they can always count on them to have what they need, which leads to cross-sell/up-sell opportunities with existing clients while attracting new prospects. New clients, cross-sell/up-sell, and stockout losses all impact revenue which supports the CEO’s revenue growth objective.

Showing the Value for Your Cloud Solution With New Products

For new products, having visibility of the complete supply chain may speed up time-to-market. New products often have a higher margin. Improving how quickly new products are introduced allows the company to realize the benefits of higher margin products sooner and beat the competition, which impacts revenue and profitability. Your message to the CEO is that your cloud solution supports their revenue and profitability objective through faster time-to-market, reduced stockout losses, lower customer churn, and increased new customers.

Showing the Value for Your Cloud Solution with POS

Cloud solutions can also provide more visibility at the Point of Sale (POS). Companies can make better merchandising decisions and suppliers can make better forecasting decisions if they have visibility at the POS. A retailer buys a quantity of products in anticipation of what they think will sell.

Without visibility through the POS cloud solution, the supplier may blindly gear up to produce more of the same product. If the product does not sell as well as anticipated the supplier would be preparing to produce more of the wrong product.

However, if the supplier has visibility into how much and what product mix have actually sold through your POS cloud solution they can better plan their production. This makes sure the right products are available, ensuring customers buy from them instead of someone else and providing an opportunity for cross-sell/up-sell.

Cross-sell/up-sell, new customers, and reduced customer churn improve revenue. In your conversation with the CEO, emphasize how your POS cloud solution supports their revenue goals through new customers, reduced customer churn, and increased cross-sell/up-sell.


Tying It All Together

Tailoring your message in a way that supports the CIO and CEO’s objectives leads to more compelling conversations and ultimately more closed deals.


Ready to learn more about selling to the c-suite? Discover how ClientIQ can help drive your conversation.


Posted in Selling Strategies