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How to Combat Pushback from Higher-Ups

I’ve had the opportunity to chat with tons of prospective clients over the last year in my sales role. All quickly catching or casting the vision of where their teams can be with the right mix of eLearning, excitedly talking about corporate initiatives and ready to move to the next step until... they can’t give the final go-ahead.

Most clients I talk with quickly move through the demo, discovery, and proposal review sessions with ease, only to be confronted with one of the following push backs from higher-ups:

“We don’t have the budget for this right now”

Today, 46 percent of companies are more likely to have the C-suite hold ownership of learning budgets than HR or business heads. This means you have to come prepared with your A game to make the case as to why this should be in the budget.

Show them how eLearning:

While you know there is a business case to add this project to the budget this year, the reality is that it may get tabled. If it does get pushed, make a game plan to get it into next year’s budget by revisiting it at the beginning of Q4.

You never know… sometimes there is leftover budget at the end of the year, and if you make your case compelling enough, your project might just get the go-ahead!

“How is this training going to help?”

I’ve heard this question a lot.

To combat this, show the higher-ups how this piece of training is going to be different and more effective for their bottom line. Being able to connect the dots and show how reps will be able to close more deals because of improved product knowledge and soft skill development you helped facilitate will help managers see the ROI.

You can do this by presenting research, stats, and examples from successful companies that align with your initiative to make the case for why this is the piece of training needed to improve the bottom line.

“We’ve always done training this way…”

I’m a firm believer that just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the only (or even the right) way.

As an example, take a look at your current audience. Many organizations are seeing a huge increase in the number of millennial workers within their organizations. Cool. So what? Consider the fact that 87 percent of millennials say their phone never leaves their side, day or night.

That’s pretty powerful when you consider the impact a mobile learning strategy could have in reaching millennials. You could be delivering content to them on their preferred device and fostering a culture of continuous learning.

By doing so you help them reclaim their time by moving away from the traditional, in-class, “drinking from a firehose” method of training, which 90 percent of learners often forget within one week anyway...

If this sounds like your organization, then I say you have a pretty compelling case to make some changes over the next year.

While I can’t promise your manager or CEO will hand you a blank check after making the case for improved training, the above points will certainly aid your arguments. Explaining the what, how, and why shows that you’ve done your homework and are truly invested in bettering your organization’s training culture.

Want to see what top notch learning looks like?

See how we helped Lenovo build a millennial-friendly learning app.

See Lenovo Sync Now!

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