A while ago, I wrote about selling by sitting on the other side of the table. Other Side post
Let us drill down to the IT executive and the increasing pressure from the company’s executive team for all technology investments to be aligned to explicit business strategies. Companies are demanding that IT only ask for money for projects it can prove have a return on investment that positively impacts the bottom-line or other specific and stated goals.
Could you connect the dots for your IT prospect, which they, in turn, can justify to their internal audience?
- Understand what the company’s goals and plans are. Example: Lower electricity consumption and energy costs in all data centres.
- How is the goal calculated? Example: the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is reviewing the company’s annual million dollar utility bill.
- How does change management work at the customer’s company? Example: Are metrics presented by IT to the finance committee automatically accepted or are outside agents utilized? Could you present your research metrics or is there another gauge that is needed?
- Communicate and plot your process and capabilities. Reach an agreement before you set out to create a business case. It is important to have both an assurance from your audience and to include senior members of the IT team to work with yours. The technology team members assigned to work with you should have the trust of the group’s foremost senior manager. This process identifies your product or service’s value and its alignment to company goals and needs, but also outlines the type of time and money required from the customer. Example: A 15% reduction in utility bills includes a 20% reduction in number of physical servers translating into a total saving of $500,000 over two years. The cost for the service: $300,000 financed over two years.
Document, document, document in order to justify. More importantly, keep everyone on both sides notified and have the customer’s own conclusions included.
The joint working project is another opportunity to educate, sell and transfer knowledge between the two companies.