There’s a saying in business that companies don’t sell to companies; rather people sell to people. That’s also true when you’re doing a little internal “selling”—trying to get people within your own organization on board with your pet proposal, project or technology.
Whether you’re in IT, running a department within the business, sitting on your company’s Center of Excellence board, or you’re simply a hard worker with big ideas on automation and continuous improvement, you’ll need a few other people to buy into your big idea: Implementing robotic process automation, an easy-to-install, easy to use technology that works with your existing systems to automate mundane tasks and processes all over your company.
In fact, according to Gartner, you’ll need an average of 6.8 people with an average of 3.7 different functions to champion your proposal to deploy RPA. And (also according to Gartner) the average purchase decision takes about 5 months, while the average “no purchase” decision takes nearly as long.
How can you avoid a “no purchase” decision, aka business as usual without the benefit of RPA? Start by getting key people in these four critical roles excited about the possibilities and willing to champion RPA within the company.
- Executive Leadership
While executives may not be down in the weeds building robots in their spare time, they’re vital for getting budget and providing top-down support for your RPA project. You may need to book meetings with the Chief Technology Officer to discuss the software’s capabilities and the Chief Financial Officer to discuss costs and ROI.
- Information Technology
RPA is a relatively simple technology that sits on top of current software. One of the reasons everyone loves RPA is that it doesn’t take months or years to deploy, and savvy businesspeople can build their own robots. That said, IT will still play a role in running the server and overall infrastructure, management of the technology and security governance, as well as have a voice in a Center of Excellence, so make sure you’re not cutting this critical team out in an effort to democratize technology.
- Business and Process Owners
This group of stakeholders will be the easiest to “sell” on RPA—after all, they’re in the trenches every day dealing with slow manual processes. Consider approaching heads of these departments where RPA can transform the way they work:
- Sales & Marketing
- New Accounts
- Finance & Accounting
- Customer Service
- Operations, Legal and Compliance
- Supply Chain
- Human Resources
Ah, the dreaded procurement department, charged with supporting the strategic aims of your organization. Those having to approach procurement to get buy-in on a purchase often complain that the department’s only metric is cost savings, which often results in conflict between the business unit and procurement team.
However, Procurement is experienced in the process of vendor engagement, negotiating and contracting, and reporting. They’ll bring their own ideas of which RPA vendor is the best—or whether RPA is the right solution, or whether you even have the problem you think you have and need to buy a solution at all. Don’t leave them out till the last minute hoping you can win this group over with consensus from the rest of the team. More likely than not, you’ll have to go back to the starting point as they go through the vetting process themselves.