When looking to introduce a new Innovation or Idea Management program, one of the most frequent challenges can be building out and selling the business case to decision makers within a firm. Objections from these individuals can be numerous, but we at Ideawake understand the root of these objections and have outlined the explanation you need to overcome them and ease leaders’ concerns.
This post will outline the 7 most common objections our clients have faced and provide a link to another post that will further explain the objection and how to overcome it. With this information you’ll be able to establish a solid business case for your Idea Management program and assure decision makers that it’s a worthwhile investment.
Here are the 7 most common objections to Idea Management software from a decision maker’s perspective:
1. “I can’t see the Return on Investment from Idea Management Software”
It can be difficult to convince decision makers to make an investment that won’t be a direct source of new revenue, even if there’s a tangible connection between the investment and a new revenue source. At Ideawake we know that measurable ROI is a key benefit of Idea Management software and that you can illustrate this to decision makers once they understand the less-visible components of IM software that contribute to ROI. Read more about these components here: The ‘Numbers” Behind Your Innovation Efforts
2. “Idea Management software costs too much”
While Idea Management software can appear to be a significant investment on the surface, in actuality it’s a relatively inexpensive tool to create business-altering innovation to your company. Like our last objection, showing decision makers the positive financial return from Idea Management software comes down to explaining the metrics that will contribute to revenue indirectly. Learn the different types of metrics with examples here: 4 ROI Metrics for Idea Management Software
3. “Our company is too small to benefit from Idea Management”
The word crowdsourcing can conjure up the image of huge multinational corporations trying to reach an enormous workforce to find “hidden-gem” ideas. While this may be the case for companies incorrectly trying to perform Idea Management using basic tools like Excel, it is absolutely not the case for an innovation program run with proper Idea Management software. We at Ideawake find that companies all the way down to around 200 employees see benefit from Idea Management. Learn how smaller companies get positive ROI here: Is My Company Too Small to Get ROI from Idea Management Software?
4. “We can do the same thing using basic tools like Excel”
As mentioned in objection 3, some decision makers believe that basic software like Excel or even physical tools like a suggestion box can serve as a platform for an innovation program. Simply put, this is not the case. Tools like Excel not only lack many capabilities of Idea Management software, they also tend to be more complex for end users given that they lack the simple, easy-to-understand interface of dedicated Idea Management software. You can gain a better understanding of these differences here: 3 Reasons Email and Excel are Not Efficient Idea Management Platforms
5. “IT says that we can build our own software”
Oftentimes, the suggestion of utilizing outside software can cause an internal development team to balk. IT departments are confident in their skills, in this case a little overconfident. While not detracting from the talented IT professionals, at Ideawake we know that the costs associated with building your own software from scratch, time and manpower specifically, will outweigh the benefit of doing so. Read about the barriers to building your own Idea Management software here: 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Build Your Own Idea Management Software
6. “We can just repurpose a tool we’ve already invested in for something else”
Decision makers rightly look to repurpose tools and save their company costs whenever possible, and it makes sense that they may want to do so for an innovation program. However, common tools that companies try to do this with, like Sharepoint, simply cannot match the power and ease-of-use that Idea Management software has. Learn why repurposed tools will leave you with an ineffective program here: 5 Reasons Sharepoint Won’t Work for Your Idea Management Program
7. “Our employees won’t participate in the program”
Perhaps in the past, your company has tried a suggestion box, or sent out an email to employees asking for them to share ideas, only to be met with the sounds of crickets. This sort of a response leaves a lasting impression on decision makers, leading them to believe that employees simply won’t engage with any function outside of their primary role. The issue here is that when those initial attempts weren’t promoted properly in the first place, what chance did they have to engage employees? Beyond just building the best software to crowdsource ideas, we also focus on how to ensure employees are properly introduced to and encouraged to use the platform as well. Read more about the impact of program promotion here: Best Promotional Strategies to Maximize Employee Engagement with an Idea Management Platform
This information, gathered from Ideawake’s innovation experts and our collective experience, should allow you to overcome common objections from decision makers and start harnessing the power of Idea Management software.