5 Keys To Sell IT Projects To The Business Effectively - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
DevOps // Project Management
News
10/4/2016
07:06 AM
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Lean Analytics for 2018
Nov 27, 2017
Alistair Croll, Author of Lean Analytics joins AllAnalytics radio Nov. 27, find out more. ...Read More>>

5 Keys To Sell IT Projects To The Business Effectively

Before you can build an IT project, you have to get funding and support from the business side of your organization. Here are five tips that can help you get your plans green-lit by the executive committee.
Previous
1 of 6
Next

(Image: Yuri_Arcurs/iStockPhoto)

(Image: Yuri_Arcurs/iStockPhoto)

Business IT is part of the business. That means that, in virtually every case, IT must justify significant expenses (and entire budgets) to the overall business. If you want to be effective in getting the budget you need, you're going to have to, at some point, do something that most technology-focused people hate to do: You're going to have to sell.

You're going to have to sell the IT story to the rest of the business. But the good news is that no one knows the IT story better than you do. The challenge is telling that story in a clear, convincing way.

Now, I'm not talking doing anything unsavory, underhanded, or unethical. Any association you have between this kind of internal sales and the old stereotype of a used-car operation should be severed now. No, this is the kind of selling that every professional has to do in order to work within an organization. If you must do something, you might as well do it right.

[See 9 Ways IT Can Ruin Its Relationship With the Business.]

The heart of persuasion is storytelling -- in this case, storytelling with a very specific purpose. You don't only want your audience to sit back at the end and congratulate you on telling a good story.

You want them to take a particular set of actions based on the story. That means that it has to be effective at more than entertaining people. It has to convey information, provide a basis for decision, and lead the listener to the conclusion that the decision you want is the very best (and possibly the only logical) choice.

I'll say, in all modesty, that I have some experience in the storytelling business. I also have some experience in getting people to purchase expensive services -- in the language of sales, I've "carried a bag."

Having worked in my share of startups, don't get me started on the whole "wringing money out of the executive committee" thing. Let's just say that I've told plenty of stories with purpose, and I'm willing to share the results of that experience here.

You'll notice that there are a lot of "sales" words and techniques that aren't here. You won't find me talking about closing or setting people up. When it comes to internal sales, I think it's all about the story.

If you can build a story around your facts, then you stand a much better chance of having a decision go your way. You must have a basis in facts -- but that's not enough. You have to present the facts properly to get the result you want.

So here are my five keys for presenting your story in a way that will get the response you need. I'd love to hear about your keys for doing the same thing. How do you tell your IT story? Is there a key that works for you? Let me know -- the InformationWeek community needs your tips for success.

Curtis Franklin Jr. is executive editor for technical content at InformationWeek. In this role he oversees product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he acts as executive producer for InformationWeek Radio and Interop Radio where he works with ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 6
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
ramkry
100%
0%
ramkry,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/18/2016 | 7:27:53 AM
Aligning IT with Business
IT is only the enabler of business processes and as such the business owns the IT which enables and supports it. IT projects must align with the business priorities and objectives and as such preparing a project roadmap makes good sense. Roadmaps indicates business leadership on a timely manner, the schedule of the various IT projects that will be implemented for the year.

Identifying the current challenges of the business environment and how IT can bridge those gaps can be a good way in effectively selling the IT projects.

Cheers, Ramkumar

 
Infographic: The State of DevOps in 2017
Infographic: The State of DevOps in 2017
Is DevOps helping organizations reduce costs and time-to-market for software releases? What's getting in the way of DevOps adoption? Find out in this InformationWeek and Interop ITX infographic on the state of DevOps in 2017.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll