Selling Maintenance Software to your Executive Team

Posted under Blog by Kristin Smith, Content Marketing Specialist

Maintenance is a challenge. It is even more difficult when your organization is putting pressure on your team to reduce costs, while still increasing asset uptime.

As a maintenance technician, you know the challenges of your job better than anyone. You know there are gaps in your processes; Gaps that often can be filled with software solutions.

One common challenge for maintenance teams is getting the products you need to do your job better and more efficiently. Maintenance is seen as a cost center, so it can be extremely difficult to convince an organization to invest in their maintenance teams.

In order to obtain the products you need, you first have to convince your executive team that the product is worth the investment in money, time and resources. The question is, HOW?!

Focus on the Areas Executives Care About

Every position in a company is evaluated by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). As a maintenance team, you are being evaluated based on statistics related to uptime, asset failures, and more.

Executives also have a set of KPIs for which they are evaluated on. Some are related to the performance of the team below them (i.e. the VP of Sales is evaluated on sales statistics like lead creation, opportunities, and closed deals). Others, however, are related to the overall performance of the company. Executives are evaluated on company statistics such as revenue, profit, thought leadership, and more.

In order to sell the maintenance product you want to your executive team, you have to convince them that they care about what you are selling. To do this, you have to focus on the areas that they believe are important.

When you present the product in a manner that is important to your audience, you will increase your chances of successfully selling them on the solution.

So now the question arises, what do executives care about?

Money, Money, Money

Arguably, the area executives care about most is money; revenue, profit margins, expenses, etc. It is likely that when you present them with the solution you want to purchase, the first question they will ask is how much it costs.

Convincing an executive team to spend money on maintenance software is a much easier process when you know the Return on Investment (ROI) of the software for which you are presenting.

In order to prove ROI, you first have to prove there is a problem and then you must prove that the software you are presenting offers a solution to this problem.

For example…

If you are interested in a maintenance planning and scheduling solution, you will need to present what that problem is and how a scheduling software will solve it.

It is very likely that your CEO and your executive team don’t fully understand the maintenance space, and as a result, don’t understand the challenges you and your team face on a daily basis. So, you have to ask yourself, “why would they be open to applying budget to a solution for a problem they don’t know exists?”

When presenting a scheduling solution, you will need to begin with the problem that exists. The problem could be related to a common maintenance problem such as hands-on productive wrench time of a typical maintenance technician, or it could be a specific issue without your maintenance organization.

Once you have established that a problem exists, you can focus on how the software will resolve this issue and how it will impact the organization’s overall bottom line. A planning and scheduling solution would increase your productive wrench time by a substantial amount, making your team more efficient, increasing asset uptime, reducing unplanned downtime and ultimately saving on both direct (i.e. technician time) and indirect (i.e. lost production time) maintenance costs.

Company Longevity and Competition

A less tangible, but also an important area of concern for executive teams has to do with company health and competition.

Executives care about company success and being top rated in their industry. They are more likely to buy into the solution you are presenting if they believe the solution will help with the longevity of their company or that it will give them a competitive advantage. This is where you are appealing to their emotional side.

Painting a picture of what the future holds, and how the software you are proposing can help the company get there, can elicit an emotional response when posed correctly.

For example…

Maintenance is quickly moving towards a more predictive mindset. Concepts and technologies like IIoT are driving the maintenance industry to evaluate their processes and activities. Everyone is talking about it, and it is likely to have a large impact on the way business runs in the next few years.

An IIoT solution has the propensity to provoke an emotional response from your executive team when presented in the right way.

Focusing on how the IIoT solution can positively impact the organization in the long run and how has the potential to set your company ahead of your competition can insight enthusiasm about the solution you are proposing.

Benefits

From your research into the software you are hoping to purchase, you probably have a list of benefits and ways the software will make your life better and more efficient. As discussed above, your executive team will likely only care about these benefits in the areas which impact them.

Rather than presenting every possible benefit in the hopes of proving how amazing the tool is, present only the benefits which apply most to the area’s executives are concerned with.

For example…

Mobile solutions for maintenance have a magnitude of benefits for maintenance teams and their ability to effectively execute on their tasks. Executive teams may be interested in only a few aspects of these benefits though, such as how a mobile solution can increase technician productivity and improve maintenance processes, thereby optimizing overall maintenance organizations and reducing costs.  

Going Forward…

Selling a software you want to your executive team is no easy task. When you put yourself into their shoes and consider their interests above your own, you have a greater probability of success.

To learn more about how VIZIYA helps maintenance teams and to discuss the ROI on our WorkAlign® Suite, contact one of our reps now:

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