How to sell your cloud HRMS project to senior management
If you’re responsible for finding and purchasing a new cloud HRMS for your organization, the chances are the final decision won’t be yours. However cursory, some kind of senior management sign-off will be necessary; which puts you in the position of having to sell whatever you find to someone else; possibly a someone else who finds HRMS software of only passing interest. In other words, you’re like any other salesperson: you need the right product, that meets the right needs, and you need an attention-grabbing pitch.
Know who you are selling to
It may be a HR director, possibly even your own direct manager, or it may be a seemingly randomly chosen member of the business’s c-suite. Maybe they happen to the relevant budget holder and their concerns are purely financial. Or maybe their department is full of people using HR services and you’re pitching to what’s effectively a senior client or customer.
Whoever it is, research them; find out what matters to them and their people. For example, the HR director may be happy to hear about reports and analytics that will present a more strategic position for HR at the top table. The budget holder may be focused on value for money and return on investment. The senior ‘customer’ will probably want to hear how a new HRMS will enhance HR service provision.
Know what you are selling
Alongside the various functions, a cloud HRMS offers certain potential advantages by virtue of how it’s deployed; for example:
- Your people have 24/7, anytime, anywhere access to employee self-service
- Cloud HRMS tends to be ideal for a BYOD organization
- Responsibility for data recovery and continuity of service in the event of ‘disaster’ lies mostly with the provider
- Pricing is usually on a subscription basis, effectively being ‘pay as you go’
- Maintenance and upgrades offer minimal disruption to services
The approach: formal vs informal
When it comes to signing off on significant purchases, you’ll have your protocols and formalities - every organization does. And you should follow them, of course. But you should also look for opportunities to supplement the regular process and maybe even ease it along a little, with less formal communication and networking. The key is to engage early with your key stakeholders, before you begin looking at specific systems. Talk to people who have influence over the final decision and ask questions, establish their needs and concerns, and when the time comes, ensure your pitch meets those needs and addresses those concerns.
Another tactic is to find an executive sponsor, preferably someone at the same level of seniority as the decision-maker who is enthused about the possibilities offered by more sophisticated HR automation. Keep them updated, invite them to meetings, engage their help and in return, they’ll seek out their own informal opportunities to talk up both you and your project. And that can’t hurt.
Finally, Do the work. On this there are no short cuts. You need to know what your organization needs, find a system that delivers that, and more, and at a reasonable price, and is likely to grow with the business, meeting not only today’s needs but tomorrow’s too. Simple!
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