How to Get C-Suite Buy-in for What You Want in the Budget
Pitching ideas to the C-Suite can be daunting for a facility manager. Facilities management isn’t a dramatic revenue generator that can entice immediate profits. However, when done right, good facilities management is a cost-saver that’s crucial to an organization’s bottom line.
Let’s take a look at how you might present an idea for software that can save your department time and energy. Imagine you’re having difficulties receiving and managing maintenance requests from employees, and you’re wasting more time organizing them than actually working on them. You want an office request management tool to help you streamline your process—to spend less time managing requests and more time fulfilling them. Here's how you can get the C-Suite to buy in.
Pinpoint the problem
Members of the C-Suite are busy people, so you’ll need to get to the point quickly. The problem you’re facing might have many complex facets, but you’ll need to get it down to one or two sentences. Communicate your problem in one easy statement—for example, “Facilities management is spending more time trying to organize work orders than working on them, which is wasting several hours per week.”
You’ll need to document the problem with evidence. To secure software that helps you manage work orders, bring supporting documentation based on workplace analytics. Track how your facilities management team is spending their time for a week, and then present the data. You’ll want to show for example that in a recent 40-hour week, 16 hours were spent organizing and managing work requests. Whatever the case, you need to have intuitive, meaningful real-time reports to support your case.
Present your solution
This is the most important part of your presentation. Don’t be afraid to be specific. In fact, the more specific you are, the more likely you are to get the results you’re looking for. Come in swinging and sell your solution on how it fixes the problem that you first laid out. Your pain point is that you’re spending too much time organizing work orders.
Show how a request manager could cut in half the amount of time spent on managing requests.
This could include having better performance tracking tools, simplified request forms, or using your phone to streamline requests on the go. Whatever the case, provide them with as much information as you can.
Don’t let them forget about you
You will need to follow up immediately. Keep in mind that information is solidified in different ways for different people, and you might be dealing with a decision maker who needs to see it in writing to understand it. Compose a concise but thorough email that outlines the problem again and effectively sells the solution. End your email with a very specific call to action, request permission to expend funds from your budget or leave the direct link to where the software can be purchased. Make it crystal clear what you’re asking for and make it as easy as possible for them to make it happen.
Approaching C-Suite level employees about a request can often feel like an intimidating proposition. But the more prepared and confident you are, the more likely you are to get what you’re asking for. Remember that this is ultimately about your company’s success and your participation in that. When you present money and time-saving solutions in compelling ways, you become the kind of leader that the C-Suite looks on as proactive and essential.
For more insights into creating compelling arguments as a facilities manager, check out Making the Business Case for an Office Upgrade.
Photos: Shutterstock / UfaBizPhot, Shutterstock / Jacob Lund, Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images