Last Updated on November 19, 2018 by Ruchir Shastri
As the technical expert in your company, it may often fall on you to recommend various technological upgrades to your leadership team. However, do you find that your pitches often fall on seemingly deaf ears? It can be difficult to garner support from the CEO without an appropriate approach to introduce recommended change.
Too often, we get bogged down in the technological capabilities and neglect the big picture. While the features and benefits are important, it’s up to you to paint the full picture of the impact your recommendations will have on your company and its employees.
Here are the keys to a successful pitch to your CEO:
Understanding CEO Priorities
The first step to selling key technical features to your leadership team is to understand that their priorities differ from yours. While you may be focused on the features and benefits of a new technology or service, the CEO is often more interested in the strategic aspects of a potential change.
CEOs are often focused on two categories – growth opportunities and risk avoidance. So, for example, autoscaling with a product like ScalElastic Cloud would represent an opportunity to grow and scale for your company. On the other hand, presenting a scenario in which technical features would help avoid downtime or technical issues, would appeal to the risk avoidance factor.
Going into a meeting with that perspective, you’ll be prepared to listen and understand which will enable you to sell the features that mean the most to your CEO.
Present the Bottom Line
Knowing how your CEO makes business decisions, you can sell the features that are important to both of you by focusing on the bottom line. Recognize that you are the technical expert while they typically focus on the big picture – revenue and profit. To that end, present the impact that the technical features will have on the business as a whole.
Ask yourself how your recommendations will impact each department of your company. Presenting those larger implications will not only help your CEO understand the impacts of your recommendations, but will also help other members of the leadership team advocate on your behalf.
Once you’ve identified how your recommendations will affect the bottom line, dig a bit deeper. When presenting to the CEO, connect the dots for them to describe the far-reaching effects of your proposed change. How does this change impact your company in the long-term?
Showcase the vision for your team as well as the company as a whole and use the technology as the building blocks to achieve that vision. You could describe how individuals will work differently in the future. Describe how they will spend more time on value-add vs. non-value-add activities.