Summit Session

IBM Deal-Makers Toolkit

Originally Aired: February 10, 2021 Now Your Desk!

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The IBM sales modus operandi is predicated on two things: confusion and fear. The vendor inundates customers with dozens of acronyms and hundreds of SKUs and scares them by threatening audits and providing contracts without protections. To help buyers gain the upper hand with IBM before their next purchase or renewal, this session focused on the vendor’s specific sales tactics, and how to neutralize them by starting the engagement with enough time to build and deploy leverage.

Key Highlights:

  • Common pain points for customers: alignment, contractual, inventory (usage)
  • A customer case study with IBM: the proposal, timeline, pushback, and outcome
  • A deal-maker checklist to compete effectively with IBM
  • Three tools to guide you through your next deal


Rachel Annello

Senior Analyst

Rachel joined ClearEdge in 2016 to focus on software suppliers, including Salesforce, IBM, Red Hat, Tableau and ServiceNow. She is a subject matter expert on CRM solutions, and provides insight into pricing practices and contracts in these complex software solution sales. Prior to ClearEdge, Rachel worked as a pension analyst at Mercer, where she performed pension benefit calculations, and analyzed and tested system configurations against client customized requirements. Rachel graduated from Bentley University with a B.S. in Mathematics, and minored in Psychology and Business Studies.

Jared Frehner

Senior Manager, Compliance Services

Jared joined ClearEdge Partners Compliance team after ten years at KPMG, where he served as a leader on IBM software audits. For two of those years, Jared was posted at KPMG’s Brazil office, where he established and grew the firm’s SAM and software audit practice. Prior to KPMG, he worked as an accountant at Rio Tinto. He is an IBM ILMT V9 Certified Deployment Professional, a Certified Flexera FNMS Operations Consultant, and a graduate of Brigham Young University (BS, Accounting). Jared is based in Salt Lake City.

Mike Fearon

Managing Director, Eastern Canada

Mike recently joined ClearEdge Partners to expand our consulting business in Canada. He brings 18 years of leadership and success in technology sales and client relationship management, having served in VP positions at IBM, HP Enterprises and CGI. Mike’s area of expertise is in telecommunications software and services. He is a former US Marine who worked at the Pentagon for the US Secretary of Defense, a marathon runner and a dual citizen. Mike earned an MBA at York University in Toronto.