If you are reading this article, it’s safe to assume that you are a Digital Transformation (DX) enthusiast who is in the process of putting together a plan to present to their board members. Every business is undergoing DX hence it seems like an easy task to get buy-in from board members, but surprisingly it is not!
Convincing board members could be tricky due to reporting complexities, past transformation failures, budgetary considerations, lack of visibility, among the others.
Keeping the complexities aside, business leaders are concerned about transformation budget, timelines, profits, time to market, and customer experience. You could smoothly nail your Digital Transformation narrative if it covers the mentioned concerns.
We know to sell anything, for that matter, is a challenging task. The challenge lies in providing concrete solutions to audiences’ problems and not being overly pushy at the same time.
Getting buy-in from management is a challenging task, as cliché as it sounds - nothing is impossible with the right pointers and preparation - your sales pitch will impact your board members.
Few suggestions while meeting your board members:
- Be calm, confident, and concise with your communication
- Bring facts to the table
- Be ready to explain both technical and non-technical aspects of Digital Transformation
An overview of How to sell DX to board members
Importance of Digital Transformation & its Impact
You are advised to start with a bang by talking about why your organization needs Digital Transformation (DX). Keep in mind board members are from diverse backgrounds, and they might miss out on your point if you speak differently from them. Convey why DX matters in the current market scenario with anecdotal and comprehensive references. If they are still not convinced, feel free to talk to us about building a prototype.
Digital Transformation is achieved using a combination of tools, technologies, and processes. Suppose you are driving the transformation for a financial institution, then outline how emerging technologies like digital twins, online banking platforms, AI, ML, and blockchain are disrupting the banking industry and include data to back your claims. The next step is to identify the right technologies that can enhance your existing business model and shape it for the future.
A Deloitte 2020 survey conducted by Deloitte in 2020 predicts that organizations with high DX maturity are witnessing a 45% increase in net revenue growth & 43% in net profit margin.
Restrict Search to Relevant Technologies
There are many technologies to assist you with strategy execution. Restrict the research to your business objectives and relevance with the in-house technology stack.
If your organization is into frequent product releases, then talk about DevOps and how it would help with continuous and rapid delivery. This results in faster time to market and in other words, eliminates the problem of last-mile so your ideas can start generating business value.
Go Beyond Department
Cover every department in your pitch as leaders look at the bigger picture. Every business function needs to embrace DX for driving enough and sustainable opportunities for innovation, and value creation. Thus, taking a piecemeal approach would not work, present a holistic business-centric DX plan.
Try chalking out important departments, talk to relevant people, and discover their pain points. Once you are done with your research, build a Proof-of-Concept to explain how technology would resolve these pain points.
Suppose your Dev teams are churning out features at a fast pace, but your Ops teams are not involved from day 1, hence it would take time for your idea to get to the production stage. In other words, money is left on the table waiting to be realized, also known as the problem of last mile.
Include More People for Support
“Change happens only when the majority speaks in unison.”
Hence, get colleagues on the same page to solidify the sales pitch since a consensus buy-in is much easier to be accepted than a top-down thrust approach.
On the same note- Approach relevant board members to know current business pain points. Doing so would help you in aligning your proposal with the pressing business needs.
Nearly 71% of business leaders believe that a supportive workforce is essential in implementing Digital Transformation strategies. (IndustryWeek)
Such analysis can be beneficial as it allows you to understand why your competitors are successful or learn from their failures. While analyzing their past financial performance, focus on their technology adoption rate and how it has helped their business.
Digital Transformation Planning
Once you are finished raising the concern, cause, and solution to the board, start talking about the implementation process.
Build a Team:
The right set of people can turn your vision and business goals into reality and the keyword here is ‘Team’.
Talk with Digital Transformation Experts:
Talking with experts can help you evaluate key technologies, implementation plan, identify a pilot project to pitch to the board. At Qentelli, we help our clients in creating air-tight business cases by thorough assessments and preparing a customized transformational roadmap.
Focus on Business Outcome
"The truth is profitability drives investment."
Focusing on business outcomes, ROI, and relevant metrics would vastly strengthen your business case. Discussing metrics will help board members visualize the larger picture before investment. It is hard to estimate ROI, especially when you talk about Org-level transformational efforts, but that should not deter you from coming up with a rough ROI estimate.
Here are some important metrics:
It can be maximized when Digital Transformation happens in multiple phases & ensuring the learnings are considered to fine-tune the strategy.
It is important to have a few bold business initiatives for a unique value proposition, and the DX budget should be distributed among those initiatives.
Time To Market:
Currently, features are released at a rapid rate, and businesses failing to do so suffer losses making their future questionable. It is essential to keep the target audiences engaged by constantly analyzing the value generation pace.
These are few examples. Based on your transformation objectives and technologies, you need to come up with relevant metrics and plan to improve them with time.
69% of business leaders feel determining Digital Transformation ROI is an extremely challenging task. (FromDigital)
Be crystal clear on important areas of negotiation and be ready to answer any relevant questions. Don’t expect the board will instantly agree or disagree with your proposal.
In our experience, a collaborative discussion on each aspect of the transformation strategy will strengthen your business case.
Digital Transformation (DX) is crucial for businesses’ survival, especially now. It is difficult to predict the post-COVID market, but one thing is for sure the current constant digital exposure has changed customers’ interaction with businesses forever and their expectations.
Hence, if you think it is time to sell DX to your board members go for it and seal the deal at the earliest!
How Qentelli Could Help?
Qentelli is a service provider that specializes in leading Digital Transformation programs and helping clients realize their Business & Technology vision. Our team of Digital Transformation experts has a combined experience of over 150+ years in shaping business models and enabling them for the future.
Let us talk before your board meeting. Drop us an email at email@example.com