Selling the idea of mobile to senior execs

I was asked recently “How do you sell the idea of mobile to senior executives so they ‘get it’?”  Good question!  My experiences with mobile have shown me there are four questions you need to be answer when you need to promote the idea of mobile with senior managers and show the benefits a good mobile experience can bring.  They are:

Who are your stakeholders?

You know you need to gain sponsorship and support for your ideas with mobile.  But who are the right senior executives to be your key stakeholders?  You need to identify the senior people who:

  • Will be affected most by your ideas for mobile
  • Will be most influential in your ideas being adopted

They may not be the most obvious person so think carefully about who you need to build a relationship with so they understand what you want to do and what their role will be.

Without their ‘buy-in’ your ideas for mobile will go nowhere fast and, sadly for you, will probably just stay as ideas.

What is your strategy?

Have a proposal you can use as a basis for any conversation with  your stakeholders.  This needs to be some form of a strategy that sets out:

  • What you are aiming to do e.g. reduce time taken to solve problems
  • Why you believe this is needed e.g. improved productivity
  • What the scope of your strategy is e.g. apps, collaborating tools, governance
  • What are your priorities e.g first phase connectivity, second phase apps development
  • When will it be implemented e.g. 3 months for phase 1

You need to have this ready to show people and be able to answer questions about how it affects your organisation, stakeholders, and people who need to use mobiles or need to be more mobile in how they work.

What are the benefits?

You need to show what the likely benefits of people using mobiles and being more mobile can bring to your organisation.  Any benefits that show on the bottom line will be taken more seriously.  You need to consider:

  • Reduced office space needed as people work more from different places e.g. home, local hub, while travelling
  • Increased productivity as people don’t have to wait until they are using a PC in an office to act on requests or ask for help
  • Reduced travel costs as people share online, on calls, on video using their mobiles any work problems they need help with
  • More engaged people with flexibility to balance their personal life with work commitments and reduce stress

Some of these are obvious savings but can be harder to prove.  Your approach needs to show how you would measure these as well as indicate the benefits that can be made.

How will you implement it?

Make sure you have thought through how you can going to turn your idea for mobile into reality.  Don’t be so aspirational that senior execs can see it could be unrealistic and lose it and your credibility.  But it needs to inspire people by showing it can be done and justify their sponsorship by:

  • Getting approval and funding for it
  • Deciding who will lead the project and accept who makes the decisions
  • Having regular reviews of progress made
  • Identifying resources available to make it happen

Don’t fall over at the last hurdle by not having a plan showing how you can implement your idea for mobile.  It may show a lack of confidence in your abilities to make this happen.

You can find more information about mobile or contact me for advice.

6 responses to “Selling the idea of mobile to senior execs

  1. Hi Mark – just to clarify, in this article you use the word ‘mobile’ in the context of ‘digital workplace’ or ‘telecommuting’ not ‘mobile phone’ or ‘mobile device’? Is this right? If this is the case, do you see a difference in the concepts of ‘mobile’ v ‘digital workplace’? Or are they the same?

  2. Hi Mark – just to clarify, in this article you are using the word ‘mobile’ in the same way as ‘digital workplace’ or ‘telecommuting’? Not ‘mobile device’ or ‘mobile phone’? Is this right?

    If this is the case, do you see a difference in the term ‘mobile’ and ‘digital workplace’? Or can these terms be used interchangeably?

  3. Hi Andrew,

    I am using the term ‘mobile’ as in the mobile device used, the online tools available, the change in behaviour and working practices. The widest sense of the term.

    I don’t see the terms as mutually exclusive but overlapping a great deal. I focused on how mobile is a key factor in using a digital workplace by many people rather than the apps and content, IT infrastructure, etc.

    Maybe the term we should use is ‘digital working’? What do you think?


  4. Thanks for this – I have demand from execs for mobile (as in wanting people to have mobile access and work from anywhere), but often wonder if there’s strategic thought behind it or just a sort of “digital envy” because it’s touted as an important trend.

    This gives me a a framework to ask the right questions.

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