You may have thought creating your software product and company was the hard part. But now you’re faced with a new challenge — how to sell it.
You know your software is a key driver of growth, but your prospects don’t understand their return on investment. You have to show them. You must convince your prospects that your software can change their business for the better.
The solution? Write a strong business case.
In this article, we’re going to discuss how writing a strong business case can help you show your prospects how your software will impact their bottom line and justify the costs.
What Is A Business Case?
Let’s start with the basics.
A business case is essentially what it sounds like — it’s a formal document that argues the case for your business. It clearly defines the business’s (your prospect’s) problem and how your software can provide the solution.
The business case will outline the costs, benefits, risks, and plan. A strong business case gives your prospect a clear scope of the project and its deliverables, allowing you to stay aligned on the problem and solution.
It’s your chance to highlight the benefits of your software by showing your prospect’s stakeholders what it can do for their productivity and revenue. You’ll show how their current software (or lack thereof) isn’t working and what yours can do to solve the problem.
When approved, the business case will serve as a formal approval for things like budget, scope, and resource allocation. You’ll have a clearly defined roadmap for your working relationship already in place.
How A Business Case Helps You Sell Your Software
As you can see, a business case allows you to show rather than tell. Your website surely does a great job of outlining what it is that your software does, but a business case is a formal pitch to your prospects.
It’s personalized, which helps you engage your prospect and form a more intimate connection. A successful business case skips the fluff and gets right into the results.
It will answer questions like:
- What is the problem your software can solve for your customer?
- How can your software solve your customer’s problem?
- Who will be involved in the project?
- How will your software impact their business productivity and revenue?
- Why can your customer not afford to NOT implement your software?
If you’ve answered these questions (and more), it will show your prospect that you’ve taken the time to get to know them and their unique problems. You’ll be aligned on the problem and solution —- showcasing that you’ve thoroughly analyzed their situation and come up with a compelling, creative solution.
And perhaps most importantly, you’ll formalize the budget (cost) of implementation and a guide through the lifecycle of the project that both sides can reference at any time.
Without a business case, you may not establish any clearly-defined goals with your customer. This makes success a challenge, because if it has not been defined, how do you measure it? And without a business case, you may not get full buy-in from the stakeholders of your prospect.
The company may even later challenge you on growing costs and you’ll have no formal agreement in place to justify them. You won’t have any definition of “success” for the impact of your software. Your relationship may crumble.
Sound important enough yet?
Your Business Case Might Include Things Like…
Without getting into the full nitty-gritty, here’s what a business case should generally include.
- An executive summary — this is where you’ll address those questions listed above, outline the problem and solution, and define the goals of the project.
- Description of the solution — here you’ll break down how your software will solve their business problem and achieve your defined goals.
- Summarize the benefits of your software — Of course, the main impact will be sales growth, but be sure to highlight any other tangible benefits of your software, such as time saved, ease of use and implementation, and any other trickle-down benefits such as improved collaboration or customer engagement.
- Define your timeline — put deadlines in place for each milestone along the way to give your customer a clearly-defined roadmap to follow and track your progress.
- Accountability — show who’s working on what, with names. This conveys trust and shows who is responsible for each role.
- Break down the costs — it’s time to outline the budget for implementation. Show the total investment and all of the costs that add up to that create total. Then, make your calculation on their return on investment.
Once you’ve run your business case through the members of your internal team who will be working on the project, you’re ready to submit it to your customer!
Why You Need Agile Software Escrow As Part Of Your Business Case
One incredibly important tool to always include in your software product business case is software escrow.
Software escrow is a third party that backs up and stores your software’s programming code and client data. It protects all parties involved in the software license agreement. Providing software escrow will show your customer that you take their security seriously. It’s a back-up in case of any kind of service interruptions or disaster and guarantees your level of service.
With an agile third-party escrow agent like PRAXIS, your code and client data will be safe and secure through all of the software updates that are bound to come through. Most traditional escrow methods can’t keep up, but PRAXIS invented automated escrow, meaning your software escrow deposit will evolve along with your products.
Automated software escrow that connects directly to your source code archival system gives you and your customer’s unparalleled peace of mind. You can build your software escrow with PRAXIS directly into your business case and give your prospects the option of being a beneficiary to the escrow.
It’s another level of service and security that will make your target customers feel good about working with you and implementing your software.
As you can see, a business case, complete with agile, automated software escrow, is a powerful sales tool you can use to show your prospect’s why they should implement your software. You’ll outline all of your software’s benefits and show how you can solve their specific problem.
A business case is the best way your software company can showcase your product and service and allow your customers to see their return on investment. When everything is laid out and aligns with their goals, they’ll be much more likely to give you their business.