Whiteboard Wednesday Episode 9: Selling ITAM to the boss on one sheet of A4
Whiteboard Wednesday is me, a whiteboard and learning about all things IT Asset Management (ITAM), every Wednesday!
This week, how do I sell the proposition of ITAM to my boss, the C-suite, on one sheet of A4?
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Selling ITAM to the boss on one sheet of A4
Who is my C-Suite
If you had one sheet of A4 in order to pitch the idea of ITAM to your senior management team or your C-suite, how would you do that? So, we talk of C-suite, C level, C stands for chief. So, if it’s CEO, CIO, CTO, CFO, and so on and so forth, that’s the board. But let’s not get caught up with names. All that matters is we need to speak to somebody who’s got authority and power, and by authority and power, I mean, they have a budget to help you fund your ITAM practice, and they have significant influence in order to make that happen.
What should be on your A4
The Olympian, Ben Hunt Davis, has spoken of the single-minded focus of his team, in order to win the gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, this was for rowing. And they simply asked the question of their team every day, will it make the boat go faster? Because they had that single-minded focus. Shall we practice today our rowing technique? Yes, because that will make the boat go faster. Should we go to the pub tonight? No, because that’s not going to make the boat go faster. So, what should be on your one sheet of A4? On the A4 should be, how does ITAM make your C-suite’s boat go faster? So, wherever they are focused, wherever they’re heading, wherever their target is, ITAM needs to help them get there. That’s how you should position it. So, we’ve spoken about the five business benefits of ITAM in a previous video, we then need to look at the C-suite where they’re heading, where their focus is, and on the A4 should be this bit here. What is it that we can do to support them on their journey, that’s what should be on the pitch. It’s not to say that you can’t deliver these other areas, but in terms of pitching it, especially, I would urge you to focus on exactly how it’s going to help them in their journey.
How to present it
Other quick tips for your plan, one, make it iterative. So, show some results quickly, so I’m going to need this money to sign things up. And then I’m going to show the immediate results in the first quarter, second quarter, wherever it might be, but make it iterative so they can see results quickly. Brevity is on one sheet of A4, we don’t want a tiny text; it needs to be short and punchy. Be careful with the language. We don’t want to be talking sequel server licensing gobbledygook, we want to be speaking clear, business language. Businesses, especially C-suite want to hear, is it going to help us sell more? Is it going to help us spend less? Or is it going to make us more competitive? So, if in doubt, pick one of those three and focus on business language. And the final point is just to keep it upbeat. You are doing a positive thing here. Yes, it’s governance, yes, it’s avoiding risk but it’s a step in the right direction. It’s a really positive and proactive thing to do and keep it upbeat. They hear enough of doom-mongering, let’s keep it positive and upbeat.
About Martin Thompson
Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.
He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.
Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).
When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.
Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.