Investing in new technologies and innovative software can bring numerous benefits such as improved processes, greater customer service and a growth in profits. However, the process of initial research through to investment and then implementation is unlikely to be plain sailing. We’ve already addressed the potential resistance that could be faced from employees, but what should you consider when looking to sell the idea of implementing new digital technology to a manager?
If you’re unfamiliar with pitching new working processes to a manager then you may be concerned about how best to articulate the need for digital technology to the very person who will have the budget and authority to give it the go-ahead.
Read below for 9 things you should prepare for to get the manager on side with digital adoption:
Research the technology
Prior to pitching the idea of adopting a new technology to your manager, you should be certain that you’ve undertaken sufficient research. If, for example, you’re interested in adopting a Customer Relationship Management system, you should consider different brands that fall within your budget and meet your needs and future growth potential. Weigh up pros and cons and go prepared with a few realistic options of technology or software packages to present.
Consider the cost and potential costs in the future
The digital technology may be all-singing and all-dancing, but it’s important that you consider the business’ budget and how the initial cost of investment may be offset by future growth. It’s crucial to consider not only the initial cost but whether there will be on-going costs? Will you need to consider paying for add-ons? What could the potential future cost be if the business grows and needs to scale up – or even down?
Arrange a dedicated meeting
Set aside time to talk through your proposed idea with the manager or budget holder. Avoid cornering them when they’re busy or preoccupied with another project as you’re unlikely to get their full attention and buy-in to the idea. Speak to them in a setting where you can both discuss the idea in full and come away with some actions moving forward.
Once the meeting is arranged, ensure you come prepared. Your ideas should all be supported by real (or potential) costs, figures and time scales for adopting the digital technology. Being ill-prepared for the meeting will not give the manager the confidence that you’ve fully consider the process of adopting new technology or the potential impact on the business.
Highlight the benefits
Although it’s important to be realistic, don’t be afraid to think big. Investing in digital technology is all about the benefits it can bring to the business – so make sure your manger knows them! How will the technology support the wider business? How will it help staff? How will it alter daily working processes? What processes will it improve? Could it boost profits? Will it help to attract new customers? These are all key points that will help get the interest and attention of the manager.
Address the potential challenges
The recurring theme is to be realistic in all of the points you discuss. Don’t promise the world because when inevitable challenges arise you may find yourself in the firing line. Think about the potential blocks you may face along the way in both adopting and adapting to the technology. Being prepared for potential issues will indicate to your manager that you’ve consider the wider issues that could be involved – not just the benefits.
Anticipate their concerns
If you know your manager well, you’re likely to have experience with their particular areas of focus, their typical concerns and ambitions for the business. Being prepared for the tricky questions that might be asked will help you to manage their response. Consider how the technology could help support them with their own particular objects or key activities within the business.
Consider the wider company
As well as addressing how individuals, teams and departments can be supported by the new technology, it’s important to consider how this will benefit the entire company. Will you have more capacity to offer support to other teams? Will it streamline the process of sharing information across departments? There’s likely to be a knock-on effect of improving individual processes.
How will the technology meet growth needs in the future?
Although technology might make positive changes in the short term, how will it suit the business in the future? It’s important to consider how future growth might impact the usefulness of the technology. Will it require an update to new software in 3 years? Will the system grow with your business or will it become redundant? It’s important that you’re thinking about the long term benefits and potential of any software.