You’ve found the ‘right’ software for all that ails your organisation but your boss is less than convinced. Why does this happen? The solution you’ve found does everything you need it to and then some, and most importantly it would solve a massive business problem you, and maybe even your boss, face every day.
Whilst doesn’t seem to make any sense, it happens all the time. In fact, a situation like this is probably happening somewhere in your company right now. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to convince your boss you need a price tracking solution.
1. Focus on the Benefit
Let’s face it, we are all driven by self-interest – you do it, your boss does it. As such, this needs to be the starting point when you are trying to recommend that your organisation takes on a new software solution.
These benefits can be categorised as intangible (i.e. feeling-driven benefits) and tangible (i.e. cost or efficiency-driven benefits). In the case of intangible benefits, the approach would be to uncover how your boss feels about your current price tracking solution.
Maybe they feel the current solution is working, or maybe they are quietly frustrated by the limitations of the solution in place. Either way, uncovering their feelings on the matter will help you to uncover the pain points you will need to touch when trying to convince the organisation to make a change.
In terms of the tangible benefits, the approach is data-driven. For example, how much time is currently wasted tracking prices? This could be due to data compatibility issues or maybe the entire process is archaic altogether. Regardless, the tangible benefits are backed up by the numbers and, if you’ve done your homework, the cost of the new price tracking solution will be outweighed by the benefits.
One thing to keep in mind with the tangible benefits is that sometimes the measurements will be indirect. If this is the case, then you’ll need to focus on the labour savings and how this will allow the organisation to pay for the solution over time.
However, there is one more thing you need to keep in mind when focusing on the benefits – they don’t sell themselves. Instead, you will need to convince your boss that identified benefits are important and will meet their concerns or problem areas.
Failure to do this will leave you in a situation where your boss might understand the benefits and even agree that the proposed solution could help but they are unwilling to sign off on the change due to other issues – i.e. budget, decision-making, or integration.
As you can see these objections are largely based on fear and therefore you will need to get your boss to become a champion for the change if you ever want to see it happen.
2. Motivate Your Boss
When it comes to selling, it’s not enough to pay attention to the benefits. Sure, they are important but you need to get people to act and this means getting them motivated. As such, you’ll need to get the rational and emotional sides of their brain pull in the same direction.
At this point, you might be thinking that you aren’t a salesperson. Well, the reality is that we all sell at one time or another. Maybe it is when you were interviewing for your current job, or it could be convincing your toddler to eat their veggies. The point is that there are times when we need to go into sales mode and this is one of them.
You want to know most people will resist change. Now, this is not because they don’t want things to be better, rather they are afraid (even at an unconscious level) of the unknown. In fact, one thing you might hear is “what will happen if things go wrong”?
After all, the solution is supposed to provide the actionable insights that you aren’t getting today. But what if the problem is not the lack of insight but rather the quality of the data the organisation is feeding into the solution? While this objection might be driven by prior experience, it might also be driven by fear (yet again) and as such, you will need to have a plan to address this.
In the end, motivating your boss requires finding an equilibrium between the emotional and rational. From there, your boss will be able to convince him or herself that this is the right thing to do. This is what you want to happen, as once they convince themselves this is a good idea, they will be willing to go to battle for you.
One last thing to keep in mind – Keep It Simple, Stupid. You’re busy, your boss is busy; there is no reason to over complicate the process. Deliver the vision of a better world in easy to understand terms as this will make it easier for your boss to get behind the idea.
Whilst this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared, it does mean that you need to deliver the message in terms that a 6-year-old can understand. By doing so, you will be more likely to convince your boss you need a price tracking solution.
Don’t Be Afraid Yourself!
Do your research, build your business case and go for gold. Price tracking solutions have an immense benefit to businesses and provide a competitive advantage that can only be obtained through automation and machine learning technologies. Your boss will be thanking you sooner rather than later.