SAM – Gaining Senior Management Buy-in

SAM – Gaining Senior Management Buy-in: As part of your role in IT, you may have been handed the mantle of “Software Asset Manager” in an attempt to drive away a software vendor; or perhaps the Finance Director read a magazine article concerning rampant IT overspend and felt that “someone in IT should sort this out”.  Whatever the case may be, upon further research you might well find that this is not merely an IT issue, and as such you need to appeal to a wider audience within your company to ensure your Software Asset Management program gains traction – and more importantly, results.

Getting buy-in from Senior Management will always be a challenge, but some tips and tricks from standard presentation methodologies should help overcome some of the trickier aspects of securing buy-in when giving a presentation:

Know your audience:

Try and remember that these people are not (necessarily) IT Directors; as such do your best to keep the presentation as non-technical as possible

Keep it brief:

Typically a secretary will determine how much time you do have to present; keep your message punchy and to the point

Try not to be “doom and gloom”:

Focusing on the negative or relatively poor position of the company’s Software Asset Management position will not in itself win the board over.  As the old saying goes “don’t give me problems, give me solutions”.  If you can highlight shortfalls don’t be afraid to counter with how a Software Asset Management solution will attempt to fix such problems.

Present to the Board, not to the Screen:

It’s ok to glance at the screen to get a prompt as to what you should be talking about, but you should be the focus of the presentation – not flashy graphics or spinning text.

Bullet Points should not be more than once sentence long

DO NOT put your entire script on PowerPoint slides and then read from them.  If you get into that groove your audience will read the slide faster than you will and then lose interest in what you have to say.  Your bullet point should make a point, and then be reinforced by what you have to say.

Try not to be too animated:

Wild hand gestures and numerous nods, winks and jokes have the potential to unsettle people – be engaging, but try not to be a stand-up.  In terms of voice-tone, try to think how news presenters read the news; their voices are modulated, never monotone.

Maintain eye contact:

Periodically glance about the room and look at the people you are presenting to – equally, don’t go to the other extreme and start a staring competition!  You don’t want to creep out your audience.

SAM – Gaining Senior Management Buy-in

You have come to the Board/Senior Management to gain their endorsement for a Software Asset Management Program – make sure you have a slide that specifically asks for that.

For those who need further help, a default presentation is available in the whitepapers section of this website for you to adapt (Link – Please see the “SAM Starter File” for details).

I hope you find these pointers useful.

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