How do you sell an idea to senior management? If you use slides, what would the content include?

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To sell any idea to sr.Management, i would first do a lot of research work.

then would create a high level Business case document comprising the following:

  1. Have a creative Title – Catch Phrase
  2. Define as-is process – and highlight revenue leaks/pain points (only big ticket items)
  3. Define Goal of the idea – Monetize / increase user engagement / User retention and its alignment to the Organization’s NSM/mission
  4. a short description of what the idea is
  5. Value add that the idea would bring
  6. Show citations and provide sufficient justifications on the ROI
  7. Show high-level break down plan (on incremental approach)
  8. Risk Analysis, Cost Analysis, Impact Analysis, Competitor Analysis
  9. Marketing, Launch and Monitoring/Measurement Plan

Cover Slide w/ catch phrase

Problem Slide – Hook. Present the problem in a clear and concise manner. Create empathy with the senior managers.

Key Findings that support the problem

  • Use data
  • Use user research – existing/untapped
  • Use research- TAM, Competition, Future trends etc.

Goal/objective statement

Proposed Solution – Who are you building for? What are you building?

Market Research on existing solutions/ alternatives

How this supports the current/future company mission

Value Add- Impact that this will have:

  • Business
    • Financial – Rev? Expenses
    • Competitive advantage
    • Effort- Resources required
  • User
    • Customer/user may be different
    • Customer satisfaction

Metrics Key / North Star metric for a product

Summary Backup slides:

  • Marketing
  • Implementation
  • Tech architecture
  • Key Definitions

1st: I would start socializing the problem domain (not the solution) with key stats on what’s the negative impact of the problem with my boss and if I have access to those senior management. I will give it a couple of cycles – over the coffee/lunch conversation to 1:1 settings. This helps get the seeds planted, get some suggestions and questions from them.

2nd: I will create Memo/Slide to define the problem space with key stats. and socialize it with my 2/3 peers (PM/Engineering/UX) and ask for feedback.

3rd: I create solutions slides with estimates on impact/ROI, estimated investment and timeline and my proposal to how we can be frugal in trying the recommended solution. Here I am collaborating with my peers and team members.

Present these to the person who responded best in my 1st step, incorporate their feedback and plan to socialize with others.

4th: if needed I will do a formal presentation to interested party.

5th: complete the formality to kick off the agreed next step from #3

Clarifying question: Do we have any more info on this “idea”? Assuming no.

Who is senior management (Is this your manager, his/her manager or CEO) Assuming skip level manager/Directors

What forum is this in (How much time do we have eg: is this an elevator pitch/30min presentation ok? Assuming presentation is ok

This seems to be a question to generally understand structuring and communication skills.

Here is what my slide would look like:

Our company/org/team goal:

Our product goal and success metric:

Customer problem statement:

Problem deep dive:

Market research: Competitors, Industry practice, regulations if any, Partners if needed

Idea Summary:

1) Description

2) Impact (no. of customers affected)

3) Investment needed (Engineering, design, legal, etc.)

4) ROI

5) Possible launch date and tradeoffs if any

Contribution to our metrics:

Lis of other ideas considered and their pros and cons and why they weren’t considered over this idea

(Some subsections may not be applicable to all products and ideas)

Is the “idea” I’m trying to sell something new or built off an existing service/product we offer?

Interviewer: Let’s assume new.

Assuming it’s a proper sit-down meeting with senior management to go over the proposal, here is what the slide deck would contain.

  1. Introduction/Description of the problem I’m trying to solve: Before proposing a solution, it is important to first identify the problem we’re trying to solve. This section would contain the description of the problem/pain point identified.
  2. Data supporting the problem: Now that I’ve identified the potential problem, how do I know it is indeed a problem? Did I just assume? Or am I just proposing this idea because I want to see it get implemented? There’s no better evidence to support your case than data! Data shows us where and what the problem is. Is it reduction in user retention? Bad user experience? I would add as much relevant data that I can find to justify the first section.
  3. Proposed solution: What is the idea I’m trying to sell? How will I solve the problem?
  4. Market research: Is there anyone in the market that is currently implementing something similar? What do the users say about that “idea”? How has that affected the company?
  5. Company/Business vision/goals: How does this proposed solution align with the company’s goals? Will this add unnecesary work to the people who would potentially work on implementing this? Will we generate revenue? How will this help the business/current customers? Will this help us reach a larger/different customer base?
  6. Impact: How will this impact our current users? How many users will this impact? Our current businesss goals?
  7. Metrics: How do we measure success? What are the metrics that we need to track to measure if this idea is working?
  8. Summary
  9. Implementation(optional): If it’s a technical solution, this might be a good section to add. Can we support this “idea” with out current infrastructure? Do we have the bandwidth?