Percussion Software's CFO uncovers the questions your CFO will ask you when you start planning budget for a new CMS. Learn what to expect.

Need Budget for a CMS? Questions Your CFO Will Ask You

Thu May 23, 2013

As CFO of Percussion Software, I personally review every purchase in our company. This experience gave me an idea for this blog post. I want to take a step further back and uncover the thinking and process organizations go through when making the business case for a Web Content Management System.

The hardest and most important part to this process is getting a budget in place. To prepare, it helps to peer inside the mind of the CFO and understand how that person is thinking about spending money. Your CFO is thinking about the following:

  • What is the problem you are trying to solve?
  • How does this solution help us achieve our company goals?
  • What is the value of the solution?
  • How will you measure success?
  • How much does the solution cost?

Here are some tips to help you answer each of the above questions:

  • Think about your budget as an investment, and that the value you gain from the new solution as your returns
  • Write down clear and concise business case for the solution
  • Find how much time you have specifically lost trying to update or make changes to your website.
  • Prepare a set of metrics that show the value of the solution (for example, increased web site traffic)
  • Compare these metrics to your competitors or another benchmark, where possible
  • Create a clear picture of the hard and soft dollars needed

From the above list, you can create concrete examples of how this new CMS is going to help the business. The below are some examples, depending on what is relevant for your case:

  • Efficiency:
  • Determine how many people work on the web site and how much time they collectively spend; with that data, calculate the dollars spent
  • Estimate how much time you can save with an easy-to-use CMS that allows for rapid content and website updates
  • Calculate a time and dollars savings
  • Web traffic:
  • Start with your current traffic analytics
  • Create a hypothesis on how much you can increase traffic with a new web site, more relevant and timely content, rapid updates, or other value you achieve from a new CMS
  • Show how that increase in traffic helps drive other key business metrics, such as lead generation, sales, etc.
  • Lead generation or conversion:
  • Similar to #3, start with current lead metrics
  • Estimate the improvements to lead generation or conversion based on a better website and better content management tool
  • Depict your findings on a marketing or sales funnel, which would show how the changes and improvements can ultimately lead to an increase in sales

Once you have completed the above steps, take the time to write out a working business case for your CFO. If you come to the table with answers to all of the above questions your CFO will ask you, you will be ahead of the game and far down the road to selecting a better solution for you.

Are there any other questions you would like add to the list? We would love to hear from you, please post them in the comments sections below.

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