How to Sell Business Process Automation Internally
It often happens that someone internally comes up with an idea on how to improve organizational processes. But how often does it happen that a new idea gets implemented?
Organizational change is a hard and often critical component of keeping up with competition and achieving greater success, but this can only happen when upper management gets on board. Yet, this it’s often hard to convince them when they see dollar figures.
If you recognize the need to implement change in your organization, but are hesitant to bring it up, you could raise the idea in a conceptual way. When we see ideas we often can’t connect the dots between them and the solution and how it will add value to our business processes. An idea is vague. But when we connect the dots with cold, hard metrics and a step-by-step tactical strategy, we might just succeed.
Let’s explore the common obstacles we can encounter when we want to present new processes to upper-level leadership who need some help convincing that change is a good thing.
Let’s explore the ways we can sell ideas up the chain of command.
Your success at selling your idea to decision-makers depends on several factors. Things like company culture and whether or not the execs have a personal stake in making an organizational change will determine if they will bite. To engage upper-level execs, you need to make sure its clear that there is a problem, and that there is, in fact, a solution. Showing the importance of implementing change could start with stats: 20% of organizations who use process automation report at least 15% cost savings. Stats and figures will prepare you and show your CIO how the organization will benefit from implementing a new tool.
You need to focus on the positives and also bring up the downside of not adopting the new system. You can cover things like opportunity cost and losing competitive advantage. To succeed, you need to do more than discuss how wonderful the solution is; you need to show the benefits of it to the organization.
Consider yourself lucky if you only need approval from one person. Most organizations have multiple decision-makers. Building consensus among them to get approval is not easy. Approaching middle management and convincing them could help. By gaining support from people from other parts of the organization, you can show a wider appeal. If you engage and persuade allies, you can increase your chances of persuading the decision-makers. A larger pool of people who will vouch for your idea could enable you to gain support with execs.
Approaching the topic of ROI for the idea
A study by Gartner Executive Programs reveals that business process automation explicitly meets the return-to- growth objectives of top companies worldwide. Return of Investment from a solution that can improve productivity and process is often not easy to quantify, but it does exist. Focus on how the system’s automation process can increase productivity and efficiency by eliminating manual work, and how the workflows increase productivity.
How to avoid mistakes when pitching a solution
First, put some thought into how you’re going to suggest a change. You will be more successful if come up with the pitch that will show how the solution will impact ROI. Familiarize yourself with your audience and ensure the pitch will be relevant to them.
Finally, avoid emotional responses if you see that it’s not going in your direction. Be passionate, but don’t come across as anxious. Be sensitive so that no one gets defensive. Be clear about why the new system will meet organizational needs, and find a better approach than making disparaging remarks about what’s in place now.