Building a Business Case for Strategic Planning Software

Learn how to build a business case for strategic planning software. Discover strategies to convince stakeholders of the value and ROI of this investment.
Building a Business Case for Strategic Planning Software
Learn how to build a business case for strategic planning software. Discover strategies to convince stakeholders of the value and ROI of this investment.

How to Build a Business Case for Strategic Planning Software

Quick adaptation and data-backed decision-making have always been essential to business strategy success. However, traditional methods have sometimes been left wanting. Strategic planning software plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between planning and execution in business. Tools like ClearPoint Strategy leverage advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to break down complex data into usable insights. This not only streamlines the planning process but also enhances the implementation of strategies.

The connection between effective strategic planning and business success is undeniable. According to the Journal of Small Business Management, 71% of fast-growing companies have strategic plans, business plans, or similar long-range planning tools. A well-crafted strategy, bolstered by the right software, can significantly differentiate your business in the market, by ensuring decisions are data-driven and actions are aligned with strategic goals, maximizing impact and efficiency.

This blog aims to show you how to create a strong business case for using this software. A solid business case is vital; it helps decision-makers see the clear benefits, possible return on investment (ROI), and how the software aligns with their strategy. Knowing how to convey these points well can lead to easier adoption and better strategy implementation in your organization.

Stakeholders’ Common Objections and Concerns

While adopting a strategic planning software might seem like an obvious choice, convincing stakeholders can often be challenging. When proposing such solutions, you'll typically encounter several common concerns. Effectively addressing these is crucial for ensuring a smooth adoption process.

Cost concerns: The cost is usually the main issue. Stakeholders in budget-sensitive areas like healthcare and local government may view the software as a costly investment. To counter this, focus on the long-term benefits, such as how the software will make operations more efficient, reduce mistakes, and lead to cost savings.

Implementation time: There often needs to be more clarity about how long it will take to set up the software and the potential for disrupting ongoing operations. To alleviate these fears, provide a straightforward and efficient implementation plan demonstrating how the software can be integrated smoothly and quickly. 

The award-winning ClearPoint Customer Success team will be by your side every step of the way, from the kick-off planning and goal setting, to the account setup, to the ongoing support.

Change management: It's common for stakeholders to resist new systems, fearing they might complicate things. Address this by stressing the software's ease of use and the support available during the transition. Point out how it will make strategic planning more straightforward and more effective.

Presenting as a solution: To show the software as a complete solution, pinpoint specific problems or inefficiencies in their current strategic planning. Explain how the software's features will tackle these issues. Use examples or case studies from similar organizations to show the benefits they've seen from using the software.

By clearly addressing their concerns and showing the specific advantages of a strategic planning solution, you can create a convincing argument that meets stakeholders' needs and eases their worries. To address these concerns, it’s important to build an effective business case - let's take a look at how you do that.

Key Components of a Strong Business Case

Now, let's focus on the crucial part: building your business case. While the details will vary based on the stakeholders you're addressing, and you should add any relevant information you find necessary, here are the key elements to include in your business case for strategic planning software:

  • Cost-benefit analysis: Compare the cost of the software with the benefits it offers. Focus on how it can improve efficiency, reduce errors, and save time, which affects your bottom line.
  • ROI calculation: This means looking at how much money the software can save and how it can increase revenue over a certain period. A clear ROI figure is important for showing stakeholders why the investment is worthwhile.
  • Risk assessment: Identify possible issues, like challenges with getting people to use it or integrating the software with current systems and suggest ways to handle these risks.
  • Alignment with strategic goals: Explain how its features will help meet these goals in sectors like healthcare, government, or others.
  • Implementation plan: This should cover the timeline, resources needed, and steps to set up the software, ensuring stakeholders understand what's involved. This is an important step, as 39% of organizational leaders attribute the success of strategic initiatives primarily to effective implementation.
  • Evidence of success: If possible, include evidence of successful use in similar situations. This could be case studies, testimonials, or data showing how effective the software has been elsewhere. Feel free to take a look at some of the customers we have helped at ClearPoint.

By covering these areas, your business case will address the key points of investing in strategic planning software, effectively arguing for its adoption in your organization.

How to Calculate ROI for Strategic Planning Software

As mentioned earlier, determining the ROI for strategic planning software is important for your business case. This calculation serves as an effective method of showing how much money will be saved in the long run and the financial benefits your organization can expect. Here's how to do it:

  • Identify cost savings: First, figure out where the software will cut costs. This might be through shorter strategy meetings, less need for external consultants, or fewer mistakes in planning.
  • Measure efficiency gains: Assess how the software boosts efficiency. This includes faster data processing, quicker report creation, and better tracking of business metrics, all leading to time and cost savings.
  • Calculate revenue enhancements: If relevant, work out how the software might increase income. This could be from aligning strategies more effectively with market opportunities or better resource use.
  • Sum up total costs: Tally all the expenses related to the software, like the purchase cost, setup, training, and ongoing maintenance.
  • Use the ROI formula: Total Benefits − Total Costs ➗Total Costs x 100

Alternatively, use our ROI calculator at ClearPoint ROI Calculator for a more specific calculation. This tool allows you to input your data for a more accurate ROI estimate.

Following these steps will help you calculate the ROI of strategic planning software, giving you a solid financial basis for its implementation in your organization.

How to Quantify the Benefits of Strategic Planning Software

To measure the benefits of strategic planning software, concentrate on specific, measurable results. Track how much time is saved in data analysis and report creation. Observe changes in the speed and accuracy of making informed decisions after the software is in place. 

Look at cost reductions due to less need for outside help and fewer mistakes in operations. Also, check how well the software helps align your organization's strategies with its performance metrics. By evaluating these factors, you can clearly show the real-world benefits that strategic planning software offers your organization.

How to Present Your Case to Stakeholders

So, you've built an impressive business case that's sure to impress your stakeholders, but the job isn't done yet. Less than 33% of senior executives' direct reports clearly understand the connections between corporate priorities, and only 16% of frontline supervisors and team leaders do. Therefore, it's essential to present your case to various departments and communicate the message effectively. 

When discussing the benefits of strategic planning software, it's important to adjust your message for various stakeholder groups:

  • Executives: Concentrate on overall impact. Demonstrate how the software supports the company's strategic objectives and its return on investment. Use graphs or charts to show potential cost reductions, efficiency improvements, and growth opportunities.
  • IT department: Talk about the technical advantages. Explain how the software fits into the existing tech environment, its security features, and integration ease. Provide concrete examples of simple setup and maintenance.
  • End-users: Stress ease of use and direct benefits. Show how the software will make their tasks easier, enhance report accuracy, and improve decision-making. Share stories or testimonials that show its effectiveness in similar situations.
  • Finance team: Give a thorough cost-benefit analysis. Focus on financial details like long-term cost savings, efficiency gains, and how it affects the financial health of the organization.
  • Operations management: Address improvements in operations. Illustrate how the software helps in streamlining workflows, better tracking of performance, and efficient resource management.

Use storytelling to describe instances where the strategic planning tool has successfully addressed similar challenges. This method helps stakeholders picture the software's impact and understand how it can be applied in their area. By speaking to the specific needs and interests of each group, you can create a well-rounded and persuasive argument for the strategic planning software across your organization.

       This system keeps you finding operational efficiencies. Several of these opportunities have resulted in millions of dollars in savings!

Check out our Choctaw Nation case study — a great example of ClearPoint's impact.

Why ClearPoint Strategy is the Best Strategic Planning Software

Here at ClearPoint Strategy, we are a leading choice for strategic planning software, offering tailored features, advanced AI technology, as well as performance metrics and strategic frameworks. Our platform simplifies complex data, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of strategic planning, particularly in vital sectors like healthcare and government. 

With ClearPoint, reaching your strategic goals becomes straightforward. While we understand that some stakeholders may need convincing, we're committed to being a partner in your organization's growth.

Are you interested in mastering your strategic planning? Book a demo with our team of experts and see how we can help drive your strategic success!

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Building a Business Case for Strategic Planning Software

Jake Bannon

Senior Account Executive of Expansion & Soccer Star

Jake works with the sales team to expand and grow current customer accounts to their full potential.