10 Tips for Getting IT Budget from the C-Suite

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Brittany Brown      

Picture this: You’re on the hunt for a new solution to help your IT team save precious time and money. You understand the benefits, you’ve done your research, and you know which vendors are on the top of your list. But there’s still one massive hurdle that you need to leap over before you can make the purchase – executive approval.

Getting executive buy-in on purchases can often be more difficult than finding the right product. IT faces numerous challenges when trying to implement a new solution:

  1. Executives are hesitant with new spend (especially if it can’t be tied to increasing revenue).
    Obtaining budget for IT services can be one of the most challenging obstacles, with many organizations hesitating on solutions that don’t have an immediate ROI. This means that getting approval for solutions that reduce risk or help future-proof the organization can be exponentially more difficult than solutions that contribute to core business functions and add revenue.
  2. Not every executive is technical.
    Sometimes you’ll need approval from different departments, and these executives may not have the same robust technical knowledge. This knowledge gap can lead to difficulty in communication during your pitch.
  3. Executive buy-in requires solid metrics and social proof.
    Rather than speaking from anecdotal experience, you’ll need to provide a number of stats and metrics to support the purchase. Gathering those figures and third-party validation is obviously understandable, but it can be a chore.
  4. Finding time to meet can be a struggle.
    Often, executives have a stacked schedule with very little open time to meet about your purchase. This also means that once you do find the time to meet with executives, presentations must be efficient and to the point.

To combat these challenges, we’ve put together a few tips to help you make your business case and get the executive buy-in you need to move forward.

  1. Time your pitch correctly.
    There are certain times of year that are more conducive for asking for budget than others. A great time to ask for approval for a new solution is during the budget planning process. By integrating this spend into the budget for the following year, it’s easier to account for the spend, especially if you’re able to demonstrate a need. If you’re unable to fit it into a yearly budget discussion or if it’s an urgent need, it’s best to avoid busy times of the year such as end-of-month, end-of-quarter, or holidays.
  2. Identify organizational issues.
    Highlighting the issues that your network is struggling with is a great way to showcase why you need the new solution in the first place. Anecdotal evidence is a good place to start, but to make a better case, include statistics that showcase how certain issues are having a negative impact or how this improvement could positively impact business operations. Frame these issues in a way that they’ll recognize.
  3. Get specific with your requests.
    Be as clear as possible with your requirements and provide a clear action plan for this new solution. This plan might include next steps after purchase, involved teams, an implementation process, budget allocation, and more. Specificity will lend credibility to the investment.
  4. Showcase ROI with detailed stats and figures.
    To drive the point home with executives, it’s important to come to the team with comprehensive ROI numbers. These numbers could encompass anything from direct impacts to revenue to indirect impacts such as productivity. A good vendor can also help you get the stats you need to make your case.
  5. Connect issues and solutions back to company objectives.
    By tying your issues and potential solutions back to your company’s objectives, you can more easily validate the value of this new solution. Show the impact of this purchase outside of the IT organization. How can Sales, Marketing, Engineering, etc. benefit from this investment?
  6. Identify your allies.
    It’s important to have allies from across the organization that can support your pitch. These people can help support your business case by demonstrating how they are impacted by the venture. Allies can also have helpful data such as user metrics or revenue impact that you can use to help bolster your case.
  7. Create a presentation plan.
    Once you’ve laid out the issues, gathered ROI metrics, and alignment it all to business objectives it’s time to build out your presentation plan. Does the presentation require a deck? Do you need to provide data in spreadsheets? When can you meet with the executives? Creating a cohesive presentation plan will ensure that all is executed smoothly.
  8. Shape your case to each stakeholder.
    First, ensure that you’re working with the correct stakeholders. Next, take into consideration the position each backer holds. Each executive will have a different point of view on the investment. The way you sell to the CIO will be a different discussion than the one you have with the CFO. Think about each stakeholder’s priorities when you create your presentation.
  9. Set up check-ins with the executive team after purchase.
    Finally, the deal is done and you’re able to work with the vendor to implement their solution in your space. But the work is not yet over with the executive team. It’s important to be proactive and set up regular meetings. Not only is this a great tool to keep them in them updated on progress but will also help you address issues before they become urgent.
  10. Understand potential pushback and know how to respond.
    Getting pushback from executives is almost a guarantee when it comes to securing executive buy-in on new solutions. The key to handling this pushback is to know what concerns executives might have and plan to have an answer.

The executive buy-in process can be challenging, but with these tips and a little bit of perseverance, we hope the next one will be a breeze.

And if you’re interested in NinjaOne and are trying to make your own business case, check out our “Making the Case for Unified IT Operations” Toolkit! This toolkit is complete with two executive briefs, a readiness checklist, a presentation deck, and a handy ROI calculator to help show the impact that NinjaOne can have in your organization.

5 Bite-Sized Ways to Improve Your Business Every Week

NinjaOne Newsletter

Join fellow growth-minded MSPs and feed your business with new tips and tutorials delivered straight to your inbox.

Don't miss any promotions, free tools, events & webinars and product updates. Subscribe to receive the NinjaOne Newsletter.