How to pitch project management software: A complete guide

Caeleigh MacNeil contributor headshotCaeleigh MacNeil17 января 2023 г.7 мин. на чтение
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Summary

Convincing company leaders to adopt a new tool can be tough, especially when resources are limited. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to craft an effective pitch that speaks to what leaders care about most: value added, and measurable results.

If you’ve been researching project management software, you probably know how it can increase efficiency, improve collaboration, and free your team to focus on high-value work. But while it’s easy to see a tool’s potential for yourself, convincing leadership can be tricky—especially when company resources are limited. 

Business leaders are naturally wary of investing in new software. It’s up to them to make the best decisions for the business as a whole, so they want to make sure every purchase drives measurable results. In this article, we’ll help you articulate the value of project management software—so you can bring business leaders on board not just as reluctant stakeholders, but as fully bought-in partners. 

Pitching project management software is tough, but worth it

A well-crafted pitch gets you more than approval to start using project management software. It also convinces leadership that the tool can measurably improve the business as whole—so they’re fully invested in bringing the new software on board. The more buy-in you can get from senior stakeholders up-front, the easier it will be to roll the tool out later on. When stakeholders are fully on board, they can help pave the way for digital transformation and cross-team adoption down the road. 

To get started, here are five major things to think about when preparing your project management pitch—plus specific tips to seal the deal.

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Focus on what’s top of mind for company leaders 

As a team leader, you understand business processes like the back of your hand, flaws and all. But improvement opportunities that seem glaring to you are often less obvious to executives, because they’re not directly involved in your day-to-day work. It’s not that they don’t care—quite the opposite. Company leaders want to equip your team to succeed, but they look at purchase decisions through a business-specific lens. 

Before preparing your elevator pitch, consider what company leaders care about. Put yourself in their shoes. How will purchasing new software boost performance—and profit margins—for the entire business?

Here are five things to focus on that address the concerns of team, department, or company leaders. 

1. Return on investment (ROI)

quotation mark
We get five times more done per person than companies 10 times bigger than us and relatively stress-free.”
Brett Gurewitz, CEO of Epitaph Records

If you can demonstrate how new software will help your company’s bottom line, you’re much more likely to get leadership on board. Calculate how much time your team spends on repetitive and manual tasks—plus how many hours you could save with the new software. Do some external research, too. You can often find independent reports that quantify time savings from different project management tools, like this report from Nucleus Research

Key messaging point: 

  • Project management software includes built-in automations to eliminate unnecessary work—freeing team members to focus on revenue-driving projects. 

2. Security

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Any company that has multiple security certifications and shows that they’re taking security seriously means a lot to us.”
Carley McGee, Senior IT Project and Programs Manager at Outreach

With cyberattacks papering the news, company leaders are increasingly focused on data security. They want to ensure company information stays private, even when employees work in different locations and time zones. According to Michael Oberlainder, Chief Information Security Officer at LogMeIn, “Cybersecurity is not going away. You cannot ignore it, shortcut it, or underfund it.” 

That means when pitching project management software, security is a must-have feature. Do your research, and make sure the tool meets your IT team’s required security standards

Key messaging point: 

  • This project management tool prioritizes security features and has multiple security certifications, so we can trust it to keep our data safe. 

3. Cross-team use cases

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We needed to centralize our work into one platform tool because each team was using different tools, which led to miscommunication and inefficiencies.”
Stephen Danner, Director of Development at Stand.earth

Company leaders are often wary of adding new software because they’re afraid it will be used narrowly for a specific team—adding to application sprawl and making it harder to collaborate and share information cross-functionally. That’s why when pitching a new tool, it’s important to demonstrate a broad range of use cases. This new tool will help your team, sure—but also show how the platform is flexible enough to use across different departments. The more use cases a tool has, the more enticing it will be to company leadership. 

When making your pitch, show how project management software can be used broadly to improve cross-team collaboration. Here’s how: 

  • Illustrate how the platform can be used for different teams like marketing, operations, IT, and more. 

  • Demonstrate how the tool can improve teamwork and streamline cross-team workflows—like campaign and project planning, work request tracking, or strategic planning. See if the platform offers pre-made templates to help your team set up cross-functional processes quickly. 

  • If the platform offers integrations, be sure to highlight those. Different teams use different tools—for data analysis, designs, email automation, lead tracking, and more. Leaders want project management software that can function with your existing tech stack, without adding extra work or disrupting processes that are already working. 

Key messaging point: 

  • This tool will connect teams and reduce application sprawl—not add more confusion.

4. Ease of adoption

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We didn’t have a dedicated resource to enable the team to use a tool, so we wanted to find something easy to learn—or even one that people were already using.”
Joël St-Pierre, Manager, Project Management Office, Autodesk

Company leaders don’t want to pay for a tool employees won’t use. If software isn’t intuitive, teams won’t adopt it—meaning the initial investment in the tool will be wasted. To assuage these fears, be sure to specifically address ease of adoption during your pitch. Here are some ways to do this: 

  • Watch product demos or schedule a session with the tool’s sales team beforehand, so you can see exactly how the software works, how intuitive it is to use, and how it can solve specific pain points.

  • If you talk to the software sales team, ask what role IT needs to play in adopting the new tool. If the software is easier to adopt, IT teams can spend less time on busywork and more time strategically planning how to get the most out of the tool. Then in your pitch, demonstrate how teams can easily get started with the tool on their own—without creating extra work for your IT team. 

  • Check if anyone at your company is already using a version of the software. This happens more than you might think, especially if the tool has a basic version. If employees are already adopting the software on their own, chances are it will be easy to roll out across teams. As a bonus, this also means adopting the tool won’t be adding to your company’s existing tech stack—you’ll just expand its current usage. 

Key messaging point: 

  • Project management software is intuitive and easy to use, so we don’t have to dedicate extra resources to help teams get started. 

5. Information tracking

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As Zoom grew, we wanted a standard view of everything going on so we could prioritize work and make business decisions. We needed visibility, accountability, consistency in how work gets done, and knowledge sharing across teams.”
Ariel Chavan, Head of Security Product and Program Management, Zoom

Company leaders want to know what’s going on, so they can make informed decisions for their teams. They also want employees to have the same clarity, because getting everyone on the same page is essential for effective collaboration. But achieving clarity is hard, especially when the average knowledge worker switches between 10 apps 25 times per day. With information scattered in different places, it’s hard to track what’s happening, how projects are performing, and who’s accountable for what. 

Here’s where your pitch comes in. Project management software solves this problem by creating a single system of record for all work. It centralizes company information, so employees—and leaders—can find what they need. 

Key messaging point: 

  • Project management software provides a single system of record for all work, so you—and your team—know what’s happening, how projects are performing, and who’s responsible for what. 

Nucleus Research: Cut project time in half

Learn how Asana helps organizations reduce costs and improve efficiencies

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Give your pitch an edge

Great pitches always have an edge—something that makes them stand out. You want your audience to have an “aha” moment, when they can clearly see how the software will benefit the company, or how it can be applied to critical business processes.

Try these strategies to give your pitch extra sticking power: 

1. Get other teams or departments on your side

quotation mark
During evaluation, it was important for us to test the product and learn internally to see if people liked it. Getting one person who likes it to say, ‘This is a great tool’ is key to getting everyone else to buy into it.”
Michelle Runch, Lead Marketing, Media, and Creative Operations for the LA Rams

This, more than anything, will demonstrate how you can apply project management software across teams. Before you pitch to company leaders, speak to stakeholders on other teams and departments and get them on your side. If you can demonstrate a broad interest in adopting the tool, you can convince your audience that cross-team use cases—and improved business workflows—are actually possible. 

Key messaging point: 

  • Multiple teams and stakeholders are invested in this tool, so it can—and will be—adopted for different use cases across the company. 

2. Bring a visual demo

No pitch is complete without an engaging visual element. A real-life demo helps your audience visualize the tool’s functionality, how intuitive it is to use, and how it can be applied to specific business use cases. Ask the software sales team to attend your presentation and demo the tool in real time. Or, bring a pre-made video if you’re not working with a sales team member.

During the demo, highlight key features that make the project management software stand out, like: 

Key messaging point: 

  • This project management tool has intuitive, useful features that we can apply to specific business use cases. 

3. Share success stories

Leaders want a project management solution that’s trusted throughout their industry. One of the best ways to demonstrate credibility is by sharing customer success stories—ideally, stories from similar and well-known businesses. Check out the software’s website to see if they highlight any prominent customers. Bonus points if you can find success stories that quantify how much time and effort companies saved by adopting the tool. 

To build even more trust, check if the software has won any awards. See what analyst companies like Forrester, Gartner, and IDC have to say about the tool. 

Key messaging point: 

  • This tool is trusted throughout our industry and gets high marks from analysts. 

Anticipate common questions

A pitch isn’t one-sided. Rather, it’s a conversation between you and your leadership team. In addition to preparing talking points, you should also anticipate the questions leaders will ask and prepare your answers in advance. 

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some FAQs to prep for when pitching project management software: 

  • How much does it cost? Are there different pricing options?

  • What specific business needs does this platform solve?

  • How will we get started? 

  • How time-consuming is the initial setup?

  • What type of external support is available to help with the rollout? Are there professional services, webinars, and other how-to resources we can use? 

  • What internal resources do we need to roll this out? 

  • What happens if the tool doesn’t work the way we expect? 

  • How much time will it save? 

  • Does this platform work for Agile project management?

  • Do other companies use this tool? How is it working for them? 

  • Who is responsible for change management as we roll this platform out? 

  • Who is responsible for training employees to use the tool? 

Digital transformation, from the bottom up

By clearly demonstrating the value of project management software, you can bring company leaders on board and start planting the seeds of digital transformation. And with a well-crafted pitch, you can get more than just a green light—you can also turn leaders from reluctant stakeholders to fully bought-in partners. 

Nucleus Research: Cut project time in half

Learn how Asana helps organizations reduce costs and improve efficiencies

Nucleus research cta banner image

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