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How to Sell Lean Software to Your C-Suite – 5 Proven Steps

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Are you thinking of investing in continuous improvement software but unsure how to sell lean to your executive team? Perhaps you already recognize the benefits of digital tools or have used lean software at a previous company, but don’t know how to convince the C-suite execs that it’s a sound investment. Introducing the right digital platform can fast track lean transformation and increase the bottom line, so in theory, it shouldn’t be hard to get buy-in from the top. But some senior leaders struggle to understand the concept of lean management or fail to make the link with practical outcomes. They may have concerns about the investment required and worry that it won’t deliver a positive ROI. So, how can you help your bosses to see that it will improve the sales cycle, boost productivity, and eliminate waste? In this article, we walk you through how to sell lean to your C-suite by highlighting the organizational benefits that they’ll care about.



Selling Lean to the C-Suite

In order to know how to sell lean software to your bosses, it’s important to understand their priorities. They don’t care about the features of a tool and how it can make a task easier. Automated alerts, central document storage, and mobile app integration aren’t going to get them excited. What they care about is delivering on organizational objectives. So, if you can align the software’s benefits with their goals, then you are much more likely to get their buy-in. Here are four key areas that lean software can help with and C-suite executives will be impressed by.



5 Proven Steps to Sell Lean to the C-Suite

  1. How Lean Supports Their Business Strategy
  2. Lean Software Increases Revenue
  3. Tracking & KPI Measurement
  4. Improving Culture and Engagement
  5. Start Today – Practical Steps

1. How Lean Supports Their Business Strategy

Defining and implementing a business strategy is the number one priority for most C-suite executives. It’s their job to ensure that organizational objectives are achieved and that the company doesn’t get distracted by activities that don’t contribute. If you are unsure about how to sell lean software to your company, then start by explaining how it will support the wider business strategy.


The principles of lean thinking will usually dovetail nicely with overarching company objectives. No matter which industry you operate in, most organizations will strive to increase profitability and maintain investor relations. There are a number of ways to do this that lean software can help with. Increasing efficiency, decreasing waste, boosting productivity, and reducing costs will all contribute to a healthier bottom line. Lean transformation tools can support all of these elements so it’s vital to communicate this to your C-suite members.


2. Lean Software Increases Revenue

The majority of companies will also strive to increase revenue while improving profitability. It’s a tricky balance to maintain as many businesses decrease prices to sell more, which then hits their margins. But C-suite executives are usually judged on revenue performance as well as profitability so explaining how lean selling increases revenue is a persuasive approach.


  • Boost rep productivity – adopting a lean approach helps sales organizations to focus on revenue-generating activities and cut those tasks that don’t contribute to sales.
  • Command higher prices – the lean philosophy encourages companies to deliver more value to the customer which in turn allows sales professionals to command higher prices and increase revenue.
  • Streamline sales processes – lean principles include the documentation of processes and mapping the value stream so that the sales cycle becomes more streamlined and effective.
  • Adapt to market demands – lean concepts also teach companies to proactively seek out feedback from customers so that they can better meet their requirements and gain a competitive advantage.


Knowing how to sell lean to your company bosses involves articulating these points so that they understand how it will impact sales revenue.


3. Tracking & KPI Measurement

Every department will have its own tools of the trade. Whether that is a CRM database for sales professionals or helpdesk software for customer support, they have a platform to help them execute activities and measure progress. But higher-level managers and C-suite members often lack these types of reporting tools – they rely more heavily on Excel spreadsheets, written reports, and emails. Yet these aren’t an efficient measurement tool for anyone. They don’t provide real-time data or instant access for C-level executives and preparing them can be a laborious admin task for junior managers. Lean software provides a much more effective way of tracking progress, measuring KPIs, and running instant reports.


When you’re looking at different types of lean manufacturing software, it’s important to choose one that has built-in tracking capabilities. This gives you and your bosses greater visibility into how lean transformation projects are progressing and whether they’re on track to meet goals. Many platforms provide seamless end-to-end integration for planning, project implementation, and measurement so that leaders can get a holistic view. It’s also easy to spot anomalies or issues early before they develop into bigger problems. It’s a fantastic tool for improving communication and promoting understanding between different levels of the management hierarchy (as well as different departments). Best of all, it provides a built-in measurement tool for calculating the ROI of lean activities so you can easily justify any spend on software or user license.


4. Improving Culture and Engagement

Employee engagement is something that many companies struggle with and it usually falls to the C-suite to solve it. Business leaders know that engaged staff are more productive in their work and take fewer sick days each year, both of which contribute to better results. Developing an engaged team can create an unparalleled competitive advantage that super-charges companies into industry leaders. CEOs know the importance of engagement but many find it difficult to pinpoint actionable steps to improve it. Thankfully, lean software is a proven tool for increasing this area and developing a culture of innovation. If you’re thinking about how to sell lean to your managers, then these are important points to convey.


The philosophy of lean encourages companies to invite feedback and ideas from their employees. It also promotes a process where employees take responsibility themselves for implementing them and driving change. When the staff sees that their suggestions are valued, they immediately feel more engaged in the organization. As they are given accountability for executing their idea, it gives them a greater sense of purpose in their work and determination to make it a success. As other peers see the efforts of these employees coming into fruition, they too become more engaged and begin to suggest other ideas. This creates a culture of continuous improvement throughout the organization and drives greater engagement across the workforce.


5. Start Today – Practical StepsHow To Sell Lean – 5  Top Tips

Now we have discussed the talking points to cover with the C-suite, it’s time to look at a few practical tips. These are general guidelines for what to include in any pitch or presentation that you make to senior executives. They’ll help you to craft a persuasive argument that addresses potential concerns from the outset.


  1. Demonstrate how it will impact the organization as a whole
  2. Align your points with C-suite objectives and priorities
  3. Use tangible examples and case studies
  4. Calculate and share the potential return on investment
  5. Suggest a pilot test if you’re unable to get full commitment


Following these tips on how to sell lean will help you to present a compelling and thorough software recommendation to the C-level executives in your company. When used in combination with the points previously covered, they’ll enable you to address all the key aspects and gain that all-important buy-in.


Selling lean to your senior management team is about aligning your arguments with their priorities. Explaining how lean management can contribute to organizational objectives is key to your success. Demonstrate how it can help them achieve company goals related to profitability, revenue, or operational efficiency. Talk about the ways that it can benefit the sales process and contribute to the bottom line. Walk them through the reporting and KPI measurement benefits so they can see how it will make their management roles easier. Then explain how lean transformation will also impact employee engagement and company culture for the better. By addressing all of these points, they soon see that a lean management solution can help them achieve organizational goals and maintain positive investor relations.


Your Digital Lean Implementation Tool

Rever is all about sharing and reusing, doing and tracking. Continuous improvement becomes a hundred times easier with our innovative digital platform. Using Rever’s dashboard, you can monitor the performances of your teams, the summary of their impact, and easily identify the people making the biggest difference at your company.


Rever Cycle is our version of the PDCA methodology and guides your teams on the exact steps to follow to execute their own ideas. It allows them to capture the entire process, from identifying a problem to experimenting and implementing a solution. They can use it to capture the before and after with pictures, notes and drawings, making their ideas a reality in no time. The time of your team is too valuable to be wasted in handmade drawings and complex explanations.


At Rever, we believe that anybody can be a knowledge worker and thrive. What makes us human is the capacity to grow our intellect and will, and to use them for good. We observe, especially at work, that most people are asked to stop thinking and do as they are told. We want to change that. We enable people to achieve their full creative potential.


Are you interested in learning more or getting some tailored advice on how to sell lean to senior managers? Then get a demo today with one of our friendly lean management experts.


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