You may have your heart set on ditching your legacy business intelligence tools for a modern, efficient, and user-friendly system. Getting a buy-in from leadership, however, can be complicated.
In order to get that buy-in, it will be important to speak a language they understand and address the issues that will help drive them to a decision.
How Much Will it Cost?
Business leaders can often sound quite a bit like the parents of a teenager. When you want something, their first question is always, “How much will this cost me?” When making the case for business intelligence tools, you need to know both the up-front costs associated with each tool you consider, but also the total cost of ownership. You should know what the ongoing maintenance and management costs will be, what you can expect when you need to scale up.
When presenting your boss with these costs, always include corresponding savings – both cost and time savings. Focus on sticking points for your legacy business intelligence tools. If, for example, you know that your boss is unhappy with the fees your current provider charges for consultants, or you’ve experienced rapid growth and current tool lacks the ability to scale up efficiently, position your desired business intelligence tool as the answer to those problems. Just be sure to have hard data to back up your position.
When it comes to realizing ROI, there is no easy answer. It will depend upon your unique circumstances, the way in which you utilize the business intelligence tool and the type of tool you choose. There are hundreds of ways that you and the BI salespeople could leverage public proof points to make the case for a new tool, however, there are a significant number of variables that can affect how quickly ROI can be realized, and just what that ROI will be.
It can be helpful to direct your boss’s focus to a single, expensive problem that she and the executive team can relate to and use relevant metrics to show how the BI tool will solve that problem. Choose a problem that you know is a priority. Research the ways in which the new tool will eliminate that problem, and provide detailed cost savings and its projected impact on the bottom line.
How Will This Benefit the Business, Really?
Many executive leaders may see a new business intelligence tool as a disruption to the business. The current process may not be ideal, but adopting a new tool means preparation, testing, implementation, troubleshooting, user training, onboarding, and potential downtime. Therefore, they will want to know just how that headache will benefit the business in the long run.
For a lot of leaders, business intelligence is an abstract concept that has very little relevance on the issues they face day-to-day, or so they believe. The challenge is to present concrete examples of how a new business intelligence tool can benefit the organization. The most effective way to do this is to schedule a live demonstration of your ideal tool. When the executive team sees the tool in action, they can begin to visualize how the tool can positively impact efficiency, productivity, decision making, and the bottom line.
Change is always met with resistance, especially change that involves adopting new technologies. In order to sell your boss and other decision makers on the power of business intelligence tools, it’s best to approach the situation with as much information as possible that can will illustrate costs, ROI, and real business benefits.