The skill of pitching your boss for funding is necessary for most big projects. You might have an awesome idea but if you can’t get your boss to agree, it’s game over.
Whether you’re asking for funding to develop a cool new app, attend a niche training course, buy new equipment or finance a team-building weekend, you need to pitch it right or the idea will die a quick death.
Tech projects can be especially hard to pitch. You need to know exactly how to explain the advantages of this expensive new platform to your boss.
You might know that in the long-run, going for this innovative new design is a no-brainer. It will transform your company, make life so much easier for your team, streamline your whole business. But if your boss doesn’t understand, forget it.
Your boss might not have any tech knowledge. They might be cynical or even suspicious of your idea.
But you have to win their big budget support.
Learn to sell yourself and your ideas. Convince the people in the decision-making seat that your solution is gold.
Here are the steps you need to take to pitch successfully to your boss and win that budget allocation:
1. Research thoroughly
Before you give a pitch for funding, you need to do your prep. It should be clear how your proposed tech project will address a problem for your team or organization.
Your prep should enable you to answer searching questions. Why the new tech is necessary, what problem does it solve, who it will help on your team and how.
It’s also important to point out how your organization will lose out by not having this tech tool.
For example, perhaps you’re currently suffering in the areas of creativity, productivity, conversions, time, content production, customer targeting. Your new idea could revolutionize the organization by improving one or more of these areas.
Often, a company might lose a lot of time performing basic manual tasks that could be automated. For example, sifting through data manually to segment customers. This is one way a tech marketing automation tool could help.
Don’t forget to consider all areas of the business that will benefit from the new tool. It might help many teams as a knock-on effect.
For example, the new tool can help segment your users for marketing purposes, but it will also boost customer satisfaction, as your users only receive useful information.
It will also reduce time the workers spend on manual tasks, therefore improving the ROI on the money spent employing them.
Another way the automation tool can help is by giving more data on consumer behaviour, allowing for more informed product development in the future. This all leads to a better end product, more sales and more revenue.
2. Bottom line impact
Part of research is knowing your figures, and having concrete examples to back up your proposal. Think about projections, and focus on the potential impact your tech tool will have on the company’s bottom line.
Giving real metrics is a powerful tactic. Data suggests the real opportunity and potential. It gives validity to your idea.
Your new tech idea might give you a 50% increase in clicks, conversions, sales or subscriptions. You might see a 75% increase in organic search traffic, a 70% reduction in time spent on manual tasks, or it might reduce risk by 50%.
Find examples of where your solution has empowered companies and driven tangible change.
This will get your boss’s attention.
Be explicit with your explanation and paint a convincing picture of the impact your idea will have in the long-term on your company’s bottom line.
3. Find a partner
If you plan to partner with a new agency or vendor, you need to research their profile and background so you can showcase them to your boss.
Consider using a platform to help you find the right agency. After all, 70% of tech outsourcing projects fail, so it’s crucial you find the right team to avoid this fate.
Hiring a partner to do the leg work can save you money on the implementation of your project. And your boss’s ears will prick up at this.
If you partner with Indiez, you can be sure of hiring the best software developers in the world to build your product. This is because we only work with the world’s top 1% tech agencies.
By working with Indiez, the hard work is done for you. We hire the right team and manage the whole project from start to finish.
All you need to do is get funding approval from your boss. We then take the strain of planning, hiring and managing.
With a platform like Indiez, you have an expert team ready to help with the implementation. And stellar results are guaranteed.
4. Be budget aware
Before pitching for funding, find out the budget available. Try to get a ballpark figure beforehand so you know what you’re working with.
Even if your boss wants to fund your project, if the money isn’t there, it’s an impossible task.
Your boss’s authority makes a difference here too. They might have a set budget for marketing, technology, team-building, conferences. Or they might have the freedom to exercise discretion over budget decisions.
Test the waters with a ‘shared-budget’ idea. Some companies are open to splitting the cost or a new tool or a project between departments.
Being sensitive to company finances and pitching accordingly makes it more likely your boss will agree to your proposal. It also shows you’ve done your homework, which adds greater authority to your pitch.
5. Keep an open mind
You might be super keen on one particular tech tool. But you always need to have a few options up your sleeve so you can present the alternatives.
By showing awareness of other options, you show your boss you’ve done your research and you are a critical thinker.
It’s easy to get blinkered once you find your perfect tech solution – but you need to exercise balanced judgement to convince your boss your tool should get the funds.
If your favourite tool is the cheapest, it should be easier to highlight its superiority over more expensive but less attractive options.
If your choice is more expensive, make sure to pinpoint why it is worth the extra cash.
You might need to make a pros and cons list. If so, always emphasize the bottom-line impact.
6. Structure your argument
There’s no point having lots of good arguments if your pitch is a mess.
Present your research in a structured way. You need to lay out your case point by point, and explain how each aspect benefits the business.
All this should lead towards your final closing words that drive home why your choice of tool is the best solution.
Remember to include comparisons and explain what areas you have evaluated in your research.
This structured approach should build logically to your conclusion.
Display critical thinking by producing a measured and balanced argument – this will show your boss they can trust you with their budget.
7. Feel the emotion
Even though you’ve presented a water-tight case, if your boss is still on the fence, you need to find another weapon in your arsenal.
The emotional effect of a potential new tool could be key.
Get others involved. If you can show how your idea will solve a joint problem, everyone will get behind it.
If your team is pumped about this new product idea, the atmosphere of anticipation and excitement might be enough to sway the boss’s decision.
The more of a positive buzz there is about your plan, the more of a pull it will have on the purse strings.
8. Pitch in person
It goes without saying, you have to prepare the perfect stage for your pitch.
Always makes sure to give your idea the respect it deserves. No quick emails or snatched messages. Set up a proper meeting in person.
People see in-person pitches as more trustworthy than pitches by other means of communication.
Studies show 10% of communication is what is said, 20% is what we hear, and 70% is what we see. The visual element has huge importance. Present your idea confidently in person and you’re more likely to persuade your boss.
Of course, this in-person approach requires more work. You have to think about how the pitch will run, and exactly what questions you will need to answer off-the-cuff.
But success is always more likely if you discuss the proposition face to face.
9. Prepare for objections
One of the most important things you can do when pitching for funding is to prepare for your boss’s objections.
Think about the areas they will be concerned about and prepare answers that deal with their doubts. Try to have a bullet proof response to every possible misgiving.
Your answers should be clear and to-the-point.
Objections can give you the platform to create a more powerful argument, as long as you have the data to back up your position.
10. Consider scope
One of the main concerns when budget managers are deciding on where to allocate their budget is the scope of a project. With tech projects there is always the concern that costs will escalate. A project could grow and change and require more money. Will the budget cope?
It’s vital to define the scope of a tech project and manage it properly so it doesn't grow. This is why it’s best to work with an experienced tech partner who takes care of scoping the project and managing its development.
When you work with Indiez, we plan and manage every aspect of your project, so you know exactly what you’ll pay and there won’t be any escalating costs. You’ll be in communication with the team throughout the process so there are no surprises.
We define the cost elements in advance, break them down and plan for any potential extras.
This way, if you do need any additional features, the project manager can adjust the work within the agreed budget and make changes as required. Quality and cost efficiency come together naturally. And you’re always in the loop.
Think about it. With this level of expertise at the helm, how can your boss say no?
Find out how Indiez can help you transform your business with awesome tech – and the world’s best 1% tech teams.