You clicked on this article, so you already know why digital transformation is vital for your organization’s short and long-term success. But does your leadership understand its value? Higher up staff have a unique perspective on your organization and what it needs to run smoothly. As a result, you want to serve a reality check without stepping on anyone’s toes.
Your pitch needs the right blend of persuasion and respect to win them over as digital champions. Even more, you need to understand their mindset and motivations, which will help you come to an agreement easier than if you bombard them with your rationale.
Let’s dive into 5 ways you can strike this balance to sell your vision to secure digital transformation leadership approval.
How to Get Buy-In for Digital Transformation
1. Emphasize Both Change and Continuity
Change is scary for anyone, especially higher ups, who take great pride in your organization, its history, strategic positions, branding, and customer base. They may have even helped to build the solutions or processes you’re trying to transform. As a result, focusing solely on the change that your digital strategy will bring isn’t enough. You need to demonstrate how it will support brand continuity.
Show your leadership that you value your organization’s legacy and want to move it forward. Explain how your proposed change will continue the improvement of past efforts, not erase or replace them. To help them visualize this intention, highlight examples of other organizations who have strengthened their existing brands and found success through digital transformation.
2. Start from Ground Zero
Executives are busy, so there’s a good chance your audience knows little to nothing about your digital transformation efforts. Assume nothing and cover all your bases. Make sure they’re up to speed on:
- The high-level “why” behind your digital transformation
- The specific problems your strategy will solve
- Your strategic plan, short and long term
Without these critical base level insights, your arguments and data may fail to resonate no matter how well researched and personalized they are.
3. Understand Your Audience’s Currencies
To get digital transformation leadership approval, you need to identify how to speak to their concerns, values, and desires, also known as their “currency.” A stakeholder’s currency is the benefits of transformation that will be most appealing to them. Some key touchpoints you won’t want to miss are:
- Answer the question “How will it make my life easier?” as directly as possible for each stakeholder
- Specify how your digital transformation vision supports your corporate values and mission
- Explain how your digital transformation’s estimated outcomes will help execute long and short-term corporate goals
- Anticipate and address any reservations, fears, or questions they’re likely to have
- Study up on the topics they will be most interested in and come prepared with in-depth knowledge on them. These heavy hitters will depend on your initiative, but implementation budget and timeline estimates as well as potential savings are common across the board.
You can further personalize your message considering whether they have a technical background or not. Non-technical staff, for example, are often more concerned with outcomes than functionalities and technical details. Those details can come later, after they’re on board. More technical-leaning leaders, however, likely want to know it all, from the specific tools to how they work.
4. Demonstrate Estimated ROI
Executives are used to being pulled in every direction, but numbers may be able to capture their attention. Present the insights and data you collected while creating your digital transformation strategy roadmap. This data will help you demonstrate how current systems and processes are eating away at valuable time, money, and company reputation.
5. Bring Backup
Your stakeholders are likely motivated by the opinions of expert figures they trust. They also want to feel confident that they’re investing in a highly impactful, promising initiative. As a result, recruiting experienced senior-level team members as sponsors can further bolster your messaging. This individual should be well acquainted with your project and able to answer questions and vouch for your arguments during the pitch.
Get Your Transformation Off the Ground Running
Getting digital transformation leadership approval isn’t just necessary to get your initiative off the ground, but it will make the ups and downs of your journey easier, too. When you eventually hit bumps in the road, you’ll have an executive in your corner with the influence to sign off on necessary updates and course corrections. Plus, building enthusiasm for the changes at hand can go a long way in building a change-positive culture that embraces innovation.
The Guide to Building a Business Case for Digital Transformation
Use this guide to building a business case to get the ball rolling with some key starter questions.
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