Achieving Purchase Sign Off For A Software Solution

23 January, 2017 Blog, General

Getting Purchase Sign Off For A Software Solution

Achieving management buy-in and formal sign-off is a struggle that most employees face no matter the business sector or size. So to help you get the green light to purchase your chosen software solution we have put together some tips and ideas on how best to prepare and execute your business case justification.

You have identified a need for a software solution, carried out extensive research and found the right solution for your business. But now you face the challenge of getting the budget or sign off to purchase the solution. You are not alone, many people struggle with the same challenge. That’s why we have created a helpful guide to constructing an excellent case and executing the perfect pitch to your management team.

Preparing Your Business Case

First of all, your proposal has to effectively communicate the business value that your recommended solution will provide. So make sure you are thinking about that throughout the creation and development of the proposal.

Include employees from different departments throughout the process. Show them the benefits that implementing this software will provide for them. Make sure that you have included the benefits it will provide to them in your business case.

Everyone working in your business will not receive the same benefits from any software system. So you need to clearly show the different ways that the software will benefit employees throughout the company from an operational, to managerial, to a strategic level. If you are in regular communication with your chosen vendor they should be willing to help you describe the specific benefits of the proposed solution for each employee.

Example:

Let’s say you want to implement an HR management system in your business. You would identify all of the benefits associated with HR Assistants, HR Managers and Senior Management/Directors. The automation of tedious and labour intensive tasks saves time and increases productivity for HR Assistants. The improved visibility of all departmental activity for HR Managers and access to crucial data that can help Senior Management/Directors make better business decisions. There may even be legal or compliance aspects to some software implementations. These are just a few examples of the range of benefits you would include in your table.

Remember that senior management or directors in your business might understand the benefits, but they may not initially see how the benefits exceed the cost. This is why you need to focus on the numbers.

Start by identifying your ‘hard savings’ and ‘soft savings’. Hard savings are your quantifiable savings. Soft savings are harder to measure figures like your saved time and increasing productivity or efficiency. Create a table including all of the hard and soft savings associated with implementing your chosen software solution.

Your Business Case Should Include:

  • Information about the software and the vendor
  • Commercial structures available to suit the purchase process
  • The benefits that software will provide the company and employees
  • The figures: ROI, hard/soft savings, and short/long term savings
  • Timeline showing the stages of the implementation of the software
  • Any risks or alternative solutions

Pitching Your Proposal

Under some circumstances, you may even be required to present your research, findings, and recommendations to senior management this may seem daunting and like an episode of Dragons Den but with the appropriate preparation this should be a straightforward task – emphasis on the “straightforward”. We all know the saying ‘practice makes perfect’. If you only start practising on the day of your presentation, you are less likely to deliver the most engaging and well-executed pitch possible. Having the knowledge and understanding of the subject matter when you are presenting, and during Q&A, gives you confidence, and it will come across to everyone in the room.

Nervous speakers, try to keep yourself calm and collected before your slot. During your pitch stay engaged with the audience, don’t look down or rush through your presentation because it will weaken your message and disengage your audience.

The length of your presentation is crucial. You need to cover all the key points you wish to convey without rushing through or missing anything important. However, you don’t want your pitch to be too long and leave people disinterested and eager for you to finish. When practising, use a co-worker asks them if they found the presentation too long or about right and whether they understood the key points. Remember “straightforward” means presenting simple to comprehend information, benefits, costs and savings so that your management team can make a decision and take your recommendation forward.

Always bring the focus back to the software solution. All of the benefits and figures can be very powerful, but what you are trying to do is justify a software platform in your business to provide all of these benefits and-and answers to problems. So don’t let all of the other elements overshadow your main focus.

When you have finished your presentation, you are likely to get some objections or negative statements. Be prepared for this and try to predict these to have answers prepared in advance.

What are you waiting for? Get started today!

Hopefully, we have provided you with some assistance and inspiration when considering your business challenges and how you may present recommendations internally to get the purchase sign off that you need. Good luck with solving your business challenges!

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