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Dodging Those Pesky Sales Calls With a Database on Vendor Pitches

How often do you pick up your phone to find a salesperson on the line? Do you ever wish there weren't any such thing as products "tailored specifically for the midmarket"?

CIO Sam Segran can help.

Segran, CIO of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, has found a way to keep his phone line open -- and actually take advantage of what some of these sales reps have to offer.

"I've built my own personal firewall," he says.

Since November, he's been routing sales calls to his director of technology assessment, Darrell Bateman. Bateman records his notes on the vendor pitches in a database. Then he prepares a weekly log of the 20 or so calls that have come in. The log helps Segran see what vendors are pushing, and the database gives Bateman the ability to track vendor offers and behavior over time.

This system gives Segran more time to do his job, and the information to quickly ramp up on new technologies when he needs to. "We now have a database of people that we can call when a technology need arises," says Segran. "We are actually getting value out of those sales calls." And he can now answer his phone without fear of talking to another midmarket pitchman.

This was last published in June 2005

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