Convincing stakeholders on the need to use new systems is not always an easy task, especially if the old systems are still working. Why fix it if it ain’t broken right?
Well, right. But you also know that staying competitive in any market means innovating before your competitors do. And that it’s not enough to fix what’s broken – you also need to invest in “the new”.
So how do you ensure that they buy the idea?
You first need to demonstrate how you’ll end up saving on cost and then its return on investment.
Stakeholders are a tough bunch. You’ll need to have some pretty solid answers for these questions:
- What challenges is the business facing and what will automation and integration solve?
- Why should the company invest in these systems?
- How much will it cost?
- What are the automation and integration benefits to the company?
- What risks do they pose?
Let’s answer these for you, shall we?
What Is Automation and Integration and How Does it Help the Business?
We are living in an age where the customer is defining the messages and actions that the marketing team should execute. Data is needed to capture every stage of the buying cycle. Having this data allows marketers to provide customers with relevant and personal experiences and messaging.
To succeed in this, you need a system that helps you acquire data and manage it right. A good automation platform will integrate with other business components, create automated workflows that incorporate various apps, is user-friendly and designed for all business users.
Benefits of automation and integration:
- Efficiency. No more need for manual data entry and human errors.
- The business can carry out multiple functions simultaneously.
- Increased productivity. It reduces the need for manual tasks and employees can work from anywhere.
- Ensures business agility. The company becomes agile enough to anticipate marketplace shifts. They can also reshape their priorities depending on the market movements.
- Integrating systems leads to dramatic increases in ROI. Integration reduces business costs, reduces personnel, and increases revenue.
- It also increases customer satisfaction and improves the overall efficiency and quality of business processes.
- With automation and integration, the company does not have to rely on multiple software user licenses. They can also access multiple applications from one platform.
- Drives innovation and improved ways of working.
- Enhances competitiveness.
How to Convince Stakeholders to Invest in Automation and Integration
Getting stakeholder buy-in for automation and integration requires a step-by-step process.
1. Justify the Automation and Integration Need
Identify immediate pain points and challenges with the current processes. Find out what needs to be addressed. Are the steps too many? Is the cost too high? Does the process take too long?
Involve various departments to identify their pain points. This will drive a high adoption rate from employees by helping them understand why the change is necessary. Note down their requirements, key points, problems, solutions needed, and potential pitfalls.
Consider customer pain points, too. You can gain these insights from customer reviews and market research. Find out what additional features customers need and what they are saying about the price, support, and ease of use.
Once you have identified the pain points, it’s now time to build a business case for automation to present to the stakeholders.
2. Present a Cost Breakdown
Give a full breakdown of how much the adoption will cost and how long till the platform can be fully operational. At this point, present different options and state why you’ve chosen one over the other(s). The automation or integration platforms you choose should be in sync with the company goals.
The cost of implementation will include the cost of licensing, infrastructure, implementation, and maintenance. The best automation platforms are cloud-based.
They reduce the cost since the company will only need to pay a monthly fee. This will help them avoid infrastructure cost, extra capital investments, licensing, and security costs. Define how implementation will lead to financial benefits in terms of cost reduction and efficiency.
3. Outline Benefits
The benefits will justify the cost to the stakeholders. Describe the actual cost of implementation and financial benefits of implementing. Use the benefits mentioned above to explain how automation is the right solution to these challenges and how it will ultimately improve ROI through:
- Improved efficiency
- Mobile accessibility
- Reduced production or processing cost
- Eliminating duplicate entries and payments etc.
4. Define Risks
Every technology has its risks. List all risks and demonstrate how easy it will be to deal with said risks should they occur.
While at it, you should also highlight risks the company will be exposed to should it delay with the implementation.
To convince stakeholders to invest in automation and integration, show them how it will lead to a high return on investment. Craft a business case that includes all relevant information and that helps the business achieve its goals in an efficient manner.