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The Art of Approval: Why Organizational Buy-In is Key for Effective Commercial Process Improvements

Corey Schroeder< Corey Schroeder May 6, 2024

Organizational buy-in is a spark for commercial process transformation, but getting approval requires a strategic approach. In this article, Corey Schroeder, Vice President of Product Management at Vendavo, explains why this buy-in is key to commercial process improvements and gives his tips for making your next project a success.  

C-suite buy-in is the cornerstone of any successful commercial process improvement. You need signoff from the right leaders and stakeholders to greenlight a project. But this requires careful planning and execution.  

Approval is critical for two primary reasons:  

  • Change management  
  • Resource allocation 

Without buy-in, your team is at risk of being met with resistance from different stakeholders across your organization. This can cause headaches and costly delays as you work to push your initiative forward. Worse, it could mean inadequate resourcing that derails your project entirely. 

A strategic approach helps ensure your project gets in front of the right eyes and approved by the right stakeholders.  

How to Gain Approval for Effective Commercial Process Improvements 

You need more than just a nod to get your project started. You also have to set the stage for effective execution that aligns with your organization’s goals. 

Luckily, there are some best practices here that can help you leverage buy-in for effective commercial process improvements

  1. Identify decision-makers 
    Who holds the reins of approval? Typically, the individuals or teams most impacted by any proposed changes. Engage with leadership or stakeholders who oversee the resources and costs associated with your project – and do this early in the process to avoid ambiguity. This paves the way for smoother negotiations and approvals. 

  1. Socialize your project 
    How can you socialize the project among key stakeholders? Communicate the inherent value, clarify the benefits, and align it with your organization’s goals. This strategic alignment helps remove barriers and build a collaborative environment. 
  1. Strategize with pilot programs and incremental wins 
    Pilot programs serve as proof of concept. They demonstrate viability and potential benefits in a controlled, manageable environment. This showcases your project’s merits, builds confidence among stakeholders, and increases the likelihood of broader organizational buy-in. 
  1. Quantify value and financial impact 
    Leadership and decision-makers need to understand clear financial benefits before they can approve a plan. Being able to show the tangible, quantifiable financial impact helps in securing resources by demonstrating potential returns. 
  1. Manage conflicting priorities 
    A strategic focus on the groups that will benefit most can streamline approval. Targeting these groups first allows you to demonstrate value and success on a smaller scale, which can then be leveraged to gain broader organizational support. 
  1. Be optimistic 
    Avoid overly conservative estimates and downplaying potential benefits. Instead, present robust, optimistic outcomes paired with a realistic assessment of risks. This paves the way for honest discussions about the project’s potential and challenges (plus reduces the chance naysayers can undermine its objectives). 
  1. Communicate effectively with all parties 
    Engage internal experts and influencers who can advocate for the project. These champions can help in aligning other key stakeholders and decision-makers around your project, enhancing the chances of approval. 

Avoiding Potential Pitfalls in Organizational Approval 

As you move toward organizational buy-in for your project, you’ll likely encounter a little resistance along the way. Here are some key challenges to watch for, plus solutions to ensure they don’t derail your progress: 

Mastering the Art of Approval 

You need to understand the commercial process, stakeholder interests, and the project’s value to gain organizational approval.  

Taking a proactive approach in identifying key decision-makers, socializing projects, and clearly articulating the financial and strategic benefits is crucial. It helps ensure your team gets that necessary buy-in to implement commercial process improvements. 

And those improvements will put your organization on the path toward greater efficiency, growth, and profitability.  

Ready to take your organization’s growth and profitability to the next level? Reach out today to speak with a Vendavo expert about how our full suite of commercial excellence and revenue optimization solutions can help.