The CIO vs. the Salesperson

John D Halamka June 25, 2012
The CIO vs. the Salesperson
What better way for a salesperson to sour a long-term relationship than to bypass the CIO and tell the CFO that IT is wasting money?

In my 15 years as a CIO, I've experienced a gamut of questionable sales techniques. Some favorites, so to speak, include the "end-of-quarter deal never to be repeated," which is then repeated at the end of the next quarter; the promise that "we're your partner and you always get our best price," which you suspect is being made to all of the company's hundreds of other customers; and the selling of products that don't yet exist.

As much as I hate all of those, they can't compare to a reprehensible technique I recently experienced: the salesperson end run around IT.

Here's how it works: The vendor's salesperson doesn't like the answer IT is giving him. That's normal; salespeople don't like to be told no. But the salesperson then goes to the CFO and tries to convince financial leadership that IT leadership is squandering the budget.

Here's the email that the salesman in question sent to the CFO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The salesman's name, along with a few other identifying bits, has been redacted, though I'm not sure why I want to protect the identity of this weasel.

Source: Computerworld (US)