The way consumers’ purchase has changed. We are no longer a society destined to weekend getaways at the mall and long drawn out sales negotiations at car dealers. We have become smarter in the way we research and make decisions in our everyday lives and have taken advantage of technology to ease the way we shop. With all this technology at our disposal, why then would we expect our business habits to be any different from our personal ones?
What we are discovering is that they are not. More IT decision makers are active online today than ever before, taking advantage of discussion boards and social media outlets before ever engaging vendors. In a recent poll done by LinkedIn, IT professionals are 3X more likely to be engaged online in social outlets than their peers. We are becoming more educated in what our competition is doing, and how to leverage technology to beat them.
Why then are more IT manufacturers and distributors not adapting to this new purchasing model? I expect to be able to go to Nordstroms.com and purchase new shoes and enjoy haggling for my new car through Jeep’s online purchasing department, so one would assume that I would also like to do all my IT purchasing online as well.
While most IT companies are still resistant to this new reality, EMC listens and adapts. The Web & Inbound Sales Team (my new team!) is proof. Gone are the frustrating call center phones that require a customer or prospect to navigate through 10+ prompts and transfers to finally talk to the right team. Now, we have a single phone number that is directed right to our sales team regardless of where in the world you are calling from. Additionally, we have introduced our online store (store.emc.com) where customers can look at different configurations, baseline pricing and request quotes. I am so excited to be a part of a team that is revolutionizing Inbound, dedicating itself to thought leadership, and responding to our customers’ changing buying habits.
As technology becomes ever more accessible, why wouldn’t you want to adapt for your customers.