How to Make the Most Compelling Case for CSR Software: Part 2 of 3
Building the content of your pitch
What you'll learn:
- How to use surveys and other tools to better know your employees
- How to find and apply benchmarks to appeal to your leaders
- Key metrics and indicators to understand your business
- How to apply data to tell and sell your story and show you know your industry
In Part 1 of our three-part series, you learned to answer the question “Why CSR Software?”
In Part 2, we’ll take you through the process of building the content for your pitch to leaders, aka, the decision makers. The more you know about your audiences (employees, executives and your business) — and the overall CSR landscape — the more your case will resonate and the more effective it will be.
It’s true, you’re selling. Think of a recent purchase where you bought something you had no idea you needed. You felt this “lawn mower” was made for you and the pitch was speaking directly to you. It’s because the advertiser had gathered all kinds of valuable information about you and tailored their messaging using that information. You’re now the salesperson, your customer is your company and your product? CSR software.
Let’s explore the types of information you’ll need to make a pitch for CSR software that moves you closer to that “Yes.”
Is there a recent employee engagement survey you can reference? Its results will give you accurate insights into areas for improvement.
To dig deeper into areas like the causes or nonprofits your employees support, and the activities they’d like to participate in, conduct your own survey. You could also organize a focus group or individual interviews.
Work with your HR team for support to see what’s available and what’s possible.
Your Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and other special interest groups can be a great source for quantitative and qualitative data on your people. Group types, activities and membership demographics can all provide valuable insight that can inform your CSR strategy.
You’ve likely heard of the term “love language.” If you’re speaking to leaders, benchmarks are theirs.
Here are some examples of specific CSR benchmarks: Competitor X offers each employee $5000/year in donation matching, $15 in donation currency for each volunteer hour and commits $100,000/year to grants.
How you frame your benchmarks will depend on the leader’s decision-making style. Risk averse leaders need to know what they could lose by not taking action. Opportunist leaders want to be ahead, or at least on par, with the benchmark. If you’re presenting to a larger team, it’s best to frame your benchmarks both ways.
Find opportunities or pain points
What’s top of mind that could tie into your pitch? For example, a recent employee engagement survey with lackluster results, a new CEO or board member, etc.
For a well-informed pitch, find answers to these questions:
- What are the business goals? Ensure your pitch reflects them. If leadership is looking to address low employee engagement, for example, you know CSR can help so compile the data to prove it. Head back to Part 1: Articulating your why, for CSR stats that pack a punch.
- What’s going on in the business that could affect how your pitch is received? Have there been layoffs or budget cuts? These factors can lower employee engagement and the budget for new software. As CSR is proven to boost engagement and CSR software dramatically reduces admin time, you can position software as a worthwhile investment.
- What’s your company’s budget cycle? Knowing your company’s fiscal year will help you time your pitch just before budget decisions are being made, usually two quarters in advance.
- What obstacles and objections are you likely to face? Think of risks and address them proactively.
Here are a few common ones:
- Cost is typically the biggest objection when it comes to investing in any type of software. Leveraging the stats throughout this article will certainly show the potential bottom line benefits to your business. Benevity can also help you calculate ROI specific to your company when you request a demo.
- Competing priorities can be a reason that executives are reluctant to invest so you’ll need to position CSR software as a top tier priority. Illustrate your case with before and afters from other companies and data that shows what your “after” could look like.
- Leadership can have concerns over security and reputational risks. Reassure them that charity vetting and data security will be deciding factors when it comes to selecting a vendors.
Tell the story
Throwing a bunch of data points on the screen to see what sticks is a tactic you’ll want to avoid. Instead, put it all into context. Decision makers likely won’t have the depth of knowledge you do, so start from the beginning:
Sell the story
If you think back to that advertising example earlier, it wasn’t the lawnmower’s horsepower that sold you on it, but rather, the outcome from that horsepower: “Cut your lawn mowing time in half so you can enjoy a lazy Sunday.” The 5-star reviews from other customers, the before-and-afters and all the other evidence that demonstrated how life would be better if you had that lawnmower.
Position CSR software like that lawnmower.
Illustrate the value of CSR software with case studies (before-and-afters), testimonials (5-star reviews), and other data that speaks directly to the decision maker’s challenges and opportunities. Show them how the business would be better if you had CSR software.
Benevity Impact Labs publishes CSR and corporate purpose industry reports that feature data, research, trends and insights designed to help companies maximize their impact.
If you’re looking for CSR case studies, check out Benevity’s client case studies for real-world examples that show the value of CSR in action. You’re sure to find a few from companies that speak to your specific challenges and opportunities.
Taking the time to locate, assemble and organize relevant content to inform your pitch for CSR software will give you the confidence to rally advocates and deliver an effective presentation to leaders.