How to Use Your Software ROI to Justify Future Technology Purchases

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Report on software time-savings and revenue growth or demonstrate new abilities.

After a successful implementation, it’s important to gauge exactly how new software is impacting your business to learn which aspects are most effective at solving business challenges. If this value is clearly defined, it’s easier to get buy-in for future technology.

We reached out to professionals who were able to find the best methods to clearly demonstrate the benefits of new software. Below are three tips to help you find out how your new system moves the needle.

Show how software can save time

It’s easy to immediately think of revenue and profit growth as the end result of new software, but it’s more useful to understand the chain of benefits that lead you there. Time is money, so look for ways that the new technology frees you and your employees up to spend more time on high-value work.

Robert Theofanis is an estate planning attorney and law firm owner in California who creates substantial 80 to 100 page reports for his clients. To help streamline this process, he began using document-assembly software to help automate the task and said it allows him to increase his profit margin without overcharging clients.

“Without the software, I’d basically have to cut-and-paste from old plans and then spend a significant amount of time checking for errors and typos,” he says. “I’d estimate that the software allows me to complete a plan in 25% to 30% of the time that cut-and-paste would take.”

How to capture this ROI: Automation through software is the most common benefit companies report, and you can easily show that daily tasks take less time using software.

  1. Gather average completion times for three to five time-consuming tasks.
  2. After implementing new software, track those tasks for the next month.
  3. Find the difference between average completion time for each task between both methods, and multiply by 100 to get a percentage: (Average time) – (average time with new software) / (100) = (% of time saved)

Show how software creates new business opportunities

As we mentioned above, businesses often adopt new software to speed up common tasks. What they often find when evaluating options is completely new functionality they never even knew existed.

So while you can quickly do the math to show how much time users have saved, it can be more difficult conveying the positive impact of a new process you’ve just discovered. For example, maybe you’ve introduced automated email marketing—what factors can you use to demonstrate its value to the business?

Reuben Yonatan is the founder and CEO of GetVoIP, a resource for business phone services. After adopting new email marketing software, he could show the return on investment (ROI) through increased email readership and the resulting revenue.

“The more our email list grew, the more our readership expanded. In turn, we were able to funnel more clients to our affiliate partners,” he says. “Since affiliate marketing is our primary source of revenue, we experienced a considerable increase in revenue.”

But that only told half the story, so he made sure to highlight new capabilities the software introduced to drive more advanced projects and reveal opportunities for new products, services, and revenue streams. For Yonatan, this included the new ability to launch targeted email campaigns, track and retarget customers, and customize email templates to boost engagement.

How to capture this ROI: Make sure to highlight the benefit of new functionality your business gained with new software. For example, did the system allow you to introduce a new revenue stream?

A new project management system could allow businesses to:

  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Track work for employees more accurately
  • Generate statistics to spot trends in project completion

Then, for each new capability, you can report on the metrics that show success, such as a boost in email open rates or revenue from retargeted customers.

Show how software unlocks the value of data

A major advantage of using software is the ability to extract useful data for regular tasks, find trends, and address them. Without software and the data it offers, you’re essentially flying blind.

The anxiety around “big data” has disappeared with the growth of affordable, easy-to-use systems designed to help you dissect your business data quickly, often augmented with machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI).

In fact, by 2021, Gartner predicts companies that enable augmented data analytics will see ROI three times faster than those who manually fumble through data spreadsheets. No matter the size of your business, leveraging analytics is necessary to thrive today.

John Nicholson, principal consultant with UX research agency Marketade.com, says his team uses Google Ads to drum up leads and sales, but in the past had struggled to track conversions accurately to help optimize new advertising campaigns. So his company integrated their Google Ads account with the marketing automation system Salesforce, which connects the specific ad and keyword that drives each lead or sales opportunity.

“This has allowed us to be much more efficient with our ad spend, spending more on the keywords and ads that drive the best-performing clicks and leads,” Nicholson says.

How to capture this ROI: Modern systems typically offer standard report templates, but you’ll get better insights from data if you tailor reports to highlight your most important metrics. For example, something to highlight would be if an integration led to nearly 800% ROI and drove 85% more revenue than before.

Revenue is the obvious metric, but to double down on producing ROI for data analytics, call out the new opportunities it has revealed—for example, a big reason analytics is so crucial is that it gives you the ability to measure the ROI of everything else your company uses.

Utilize multiple ways to prove ROI

The best way to show the value of software depends on your business goals and the challenge you want to solve with technology. Clear increases in metrics are always effective, but it’s also important to demonstrate the new capabilities the software enables, such as the ability to generate and leverage data.

If you plan to adopt new technology, you can use these factors to help justify the investment by:

  • Showing exactly how existing technology saves time, money, or drives new opportunities.
  • Demonstrating the ability to measure ROI and value for existing and upcoming technology.

When you can show the benefits of new technology in these compelling ways, it’s easier to get buy-in from your team for future software investments. Keep in mind that the ROI of new software relies on employees using it correctly—we’ve collected a few tips you can follow to get users onboarded effectively.

Looking for Business Continuity software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Business Continuity software solutions.

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About the Author

Taylor Short

Taylor Short

Taylor Short is a Senior Content Analyst at Capterra, covering technology and changing trends in the hotel industry, property, and maintenance management. He conducts primary research with both consumers and business owners to publish market reports and video content. His work has been cited in dozens of notable publications, including The Washington Post, Lodging Magazine, Facility Management Magazine, and Facility Executive Magazine. After earning a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of North Texas, he worked as a reporter covering city governments, businesses, schools, and police for newspapers in Dallas, Austin, and other regional markets. Taylor has also freelanced for Reuters News Agency and tutored students in English and writing at Austin Community College.

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