10 Ways to Win Over Your CFO

10 Ways to Win Over Your CFO

Assess Your CFO's RoleAssess Your CFO’s Role

Depending upon your company’s maturity, he’s either a builder (hired within the first five years), an enabler (hired after the first five years) or protector (post-IPO or after a decision to remain private).

Be Prepared to Defend Past IT PurchasesBe Prepared to Defend Past IT Purchases

Do research. Read analysts’ reports. Talk to peers. Demonstrate how tech decisions led to business-serving initiatives.

Focus on Buying Without SellingFocus on Buying Without Selling

Like anyone else, CFOs like to buy good things. But don’t get too hyped by overselling here. Stick to what’s proven and documentable.

Understand the Essence of FinanceUnderstand the Essence of Finance

A CFO is primarily concerned with an IT acquisition’s impact on cash flow versus earnings, allocation of resources and timing. You need to figure out how the last part will impact the first two.

Make ROI Stories RelevantMake ROI Stories Relevant

Find ones within your industry which demonstrate how the tech acquisition in question helped companies solve “real” problems.

Dig Into the DetailsDig Into the Details

You’ll have to answer lots of sharp questions: Is this new tech or is it replacing something old? If the latter, why is it outdated? Is this a one, three or five year investment? License or subscription?

Always Remember That CFOs Love to WinAlways Remember That CFOs Love to Win

So ask for more than you need, so you have room to give something up.

Set an Appealing Time Frame for Pay BackSet an Appealing Time Frame for Pay Back

Hint: Anything beyond three years is not soon enough.

Know When Not to Bring Up an IT RequestKnow When Not to Bring Up an IT Request

Never at the end of a quarter, because that’s when the CFO is squaring books while helping sales close deals. And not during any board-meeting week.

Know When to Bring Up an IT RequestKnow When to Bring Up an IT Request

The sweet spot of IT-acquisition pitch timing: Sometime during Q3, when funds are often uncommitted.

Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty is a contributor to CIO Insight. He covers topics such as IT leadership, IT strategy, collaboration, and IT for businesses.

Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Daily Tech Insider for top news, trends, and analysis.

Latest Articles