How to Get Your CFO to Approve SaaS

Every once in a while the planets align and you happen upon a new SaaS product that’s sure to solve your department’s greatest challenges, boost team efficiency and contribute to a healthier bottom line. From its flawless interface to it’s ultra-clean UX, each new feature draws you deeper in love. Before you know it, you’re sporting the product logo on a T-shirt and telling all your friends.

There’s just one thing standing between you and the heaps of praise you’ll receive for helping your team triple productivity with this robust and innovative software: approval from the C-suite.

Many a grand plan has been shattered inside the corner office, but plenty of new contracts have been given life, too. The fate of your special SaaS find all depends on your next few steps. (No pressure.)

Here are three things you can do to increase the likelihood your CFO will sign off:

1. Keep the Pitch Short and Sweet

The average human attention span is now somewhere around eight seconds, but we’re willing to wager the attention span of a typical CFO is even shorter. At any given moment, this person has about ten billion items on his or her plate and the decision to invest in this new SaaS product is just one of dozens of decisions they’ll make over the next few hours.

That’s why you need to keep your pitch simple and concise. Don’t waste time rattling off fancy features or delving into technical information. Your CFO’s top two objectives are likely growth and profitability, so speak to both. Your ultimate goal is to show how the SaaS product’s value outweighs its cost — and preferably in three minutes or less.

2. Focus on Numbers

When it comes to the C-suite, every decision boils down to numbers. Before you approach the CFO to sign off on new technology, prepare the following:

  • Projected ROI
  • Short-term savings benefits
  • Product cost broken down quarterly and annually

Be sure to consider how the product will save time and other valuable business resources, and create financial estimates for those, too. For example, if you’re pitching a new IT monitoring and ticketing system, explain how it will decrease employee downtime or reduce the risk of a cyber attack.

3. Find Opportunities for Savings Elsewhere in the Budget

Instead of asking for a budget increase to cover the cost of your new SaaS solution, come to the table with a list of items you can cut to make room.

But how do you know which technology can be slashed — especially when it comes to software used by other departments?

The best way to identify where your company is wasting money on software is by reviewing SaaS utilization data. Consider not only how many people log into each tool, but also delve into frequency and type of use. For example, if only a small fraction of the company is actively using a product, it may make sense to renegotiate the contract for a smaller number of users.

The more places you find to save, the more likely you’ll be to earn sign-off on your new SaaS solution.

Earning Approval for New SaaS

Achieving the coveted sign-off for new software can be challenging — especially if your organization is already keeping a close eye on the margins. But by boiling down your pitch to the basics, focusing on ROI and presenting opportunities for savings in other areas, there’s a good chance you’ll get the SaaS product you’ve been salivating over and can start proving its value to the rest of the company.

Ready to calculate SaaS utilization and see where you can save? Learn how to quickly reduce SaaS spend now.