With all this talk of Big Data, companies implementing it for their business intelligence software have an advantage. However, skepticism isn’t all that far behind. Fortunately, one can get a basic idea of what CEOs might be thinking when they’re considering the advantages of big data. Forbes magazine published last month about 5 big data questions that CEOs must ask but now you can also use these questions to prepare an appropriate response:
“CEOs are starting to wonder if big data is for real and if it can deliver a significant competitive edge to their businesses. It’s critical to qualify the risks and rewards upfront, because big data can get expensive fast.”
From the questions in the article, you can already formulate a response or at least know what to expect when pursuing a CEO as a possible lead for business intelligence.
1. Keep the benefits simple.
Simple doesn’t necessarily mean insignificant. It means that despite all the big numbers and advanced, technical details, you should only demonstrate how it can actually help. Show direct links between your big data features and the advantages of the information it can provide. Make it easy to understand. Remember, CEOs are only human and there are limits to how much information they can take. And from the first question, one can also conclude that there’s only so much they will find relevant to what they want for their business. (In this case, they need to know if all that information can give them an idea on what decisions to make.)
2. Be upfront with the costs.
“The cost of building and integrating the big data stack, including staff, can easily run into the millions for a large enterprise.”
If you can, try to keep this from happening. Some might find it petty but a CEO has every right to know how much money a big data project is going to cost their business. Once you’ve set an appointment and are meeting with your intended decision maker, be honest with the cost even if they didn’t ask for it immediately. It’s better to stun them with a price that’s a lot higher than they expected instead of dishonestly claiming it is lower when the end result is still as expensive.
3. Show how to measure the results.
In relation to #1, you need to demonstrate how this will translate into results. Remember, don’t bombard them with too many details. You still have to keep things simple enough for them to understand. Inform them of what they will need in order to analyze the information and illustrate how it impacts the business.
4. Give an accurate measure of how long results take to come in.
Again, honesty is the best policy. You can fine-tune your software to process as fast as possible but that should only give you more reason to give an accurate measure of its speed. Knowing that speed will not just affect their decision to acquire. It will affect the way they time its use in the even that they do accept your software solution.
These answers can apply anywhere in the sales process (from the early marketing stage to when you’re finally attempting to close the deal). It’s just a matter of making it compact. Simplify these answers for your lead generator but slowly expand upon them should a prospect take more interest. To summarize, you have to make the process easy to understand from a CEOs perspective and keep honesty in mind at all times.