Collaboration software transforms the way we work together and share information. Today, many organizations are leveraging those solutions and tools to promote efficient communication and innovation across the enterprise. As these companies promote social software initiatives, proving the value of collaboration software can be a challenge when trying to get buy-in from decision makers or line of business leaders.
As we’ve covered in a previous post, in order to prove the value of collaboration tools, it is crucial to first measure it. Utilizing a consistent measurement framework is key to capture the relevant data needed to properly evaluate the solution and influence the buy-in decision. This framework can provide important insights into the actual usage of collaboration tools, how they are influencing both the individual user and organizational culture, and how ROI is being generated.
One of the most effective ways to gain acceptance and get decision makers on board with your proposed collaboration solution is with real, quantitative numbers, coupled with the softer, qualitative benefits that are a bit harder to prove.
Return on Investment
Showing decision makers real numbers on ROI and increased revenue is crucial, as it is typically the most direct path to solution approval. It is important to be aware that ROI is not measured purely in profits, as there are soft benefits as well. Both must be clearly addressed when selling leadership on your collaboration software solution.
ROI Metrics to consider:
- Reduced travel time and costs
- Increased employee adoption and engagement
- Increased sales and revenue
- Increase of new ideas and improved processes
- Decrease in Shadow IT solutions across the enterprise
Sales and Marketing Enablement
Sales and marketing enablement has a direct line to increased revenue. It should come as no surprise, that when your most effective sales people can easily share their best practices, insights, and wins across the sales organization, any gains in effectiveness among lower performers translate directly to increased revenue. Soft benefits in sales and marketing enablement include better employee morale, stronger commitment to company culture, and rapid rate of adoption and engagement.
Engagement is key. Investing in the best collaboration platform on the market will be a waste of time and money if your organization fails to adopt it and engage with it. Promoting the wrong solution will diminish your credibility and likelihood of buy-in when you evangelize a major investment that never gets used. Conducting a 90-day pilot program in a specific department can be a great method to determine if it meets operational needs and requirements. In that timeframe, it should be obvious whether a proposed solution is the right or wrong fit for your organization.
In summary, carefully consider your collaboration solution options before proposing your solution to decision makers, weighing capabilities against your company’s particular needs and culture. Find a solution and make the case for how it will be implemented and used, the results it will produce, and your pilot program strategy. As stakeholders and influencers within an organization begin to realize the real business value of the software, acceptance and promotion will begin to spread organically, ultimately leading to the buy-in from decision makers.
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