07: Selling the CIGO Role

Overview

One of the largest challenge CIGOs face today is selling the need for both a broad information governance program and the existence of a CIGO role to lead those efforts. There have been a lot of attempts to implement IG and related domains in the past that have faltered or failed to deliver value to the organization. With current pressures to keep down costs and drive revenue growth, IG can be a tough sell in non-regulated industries where strict information governance is not accepted as the cost of doing business.

That makes the elevator pitch a critical skill for every CIGO to possess. It is the opportunity to demonstrate to other leaders how the CIGO can make their jobs easier and the business more successful.

Crafting the Elevator Pitch

The first step is knowing the audience for the pitch. Every person has different pain points that are central to their position. Reducing risk, driving revenue, reducing cost, insuring compliance, or increasing productivity, every position has something integral to their role that keeps them up at night. The first step in crafting any pitch is to identify the goals of each role and think of something that they will gain from a strong IG program. This initial hook needs to be emotional and relate IG to positive outcomes. This is a way to have IG be positively viewed in that leader’s mind.

Once positive gains have been identified, mention some pains. Shared frustrations resonate and people are always looking for an ally that understands their pain. It shows understanding of some of the challenges they may face in trying to achieve their business gains.

The pitch should be short and to the point. It should not make them feel like they are being forced into anything. The goal is simply to get a follow-up conversation. The only buy-in being sought is for more time to explore common IG ground. The CIGO exists to understand and solve problems and the pitch should do nothing to change that perception.

Example Elevator Pitches

These are meant to illustrate the above approach. They are not meant to be used explicitly as every organization is unique. Pitches should be crafted to reflect the speaking style of the CIGO. They should be natural and not forced. That means practice and preparation.

CEO Pitch

Hello Susan. I was wondering if you have half a minute for me to bounce a couple ideas off of you to see if it is worth talking in more depth later.

<Wait for permission.>

Thank you. I’ve been working with a lot of the executives here and while many are doing well, they are looking to change how they do things in order to improve their productivity levels for the next fiscal year. The feel that with improved insight into their information they can make smarter decisions, allowing them to respond to the rapidly shifting market. Some executives are not as lucky and they get frustrated getting what they consider basic information that is stored across multiple systems. They are looking for a way to simply be more efficient and focus on execution and not looking for things that should be simple.

I’m not sure where you fall in that spectrum but if you are interested, I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned and discuss what you need in more depth.

<If yes>

Great. Should I just reach out to Hal to schedule some time?

<If no>

That makes sense. Is there anyone you would recommend I should talk to that I may be able to assist?

CFO Pitch

Hello Javier. I was wondering if you have half a minute for me to bounce a couple ideas off of you to see if it is worth talking in more depth later.

<Wait for permission.>

Thank you. I’ve been talking to a lot of the executives lately and while many are doing well, they are looking to improve how they do things in order to increase their productivity levels for the next fiscal year. The feel that with increased efficiency they could reduce their operational costs while enabling them to launch a new product line. Some executives are not as lucky and they are frustrated trying to get their job done with old systems that they feel stuck using. They are looking for a way to solve their problems but they are having trouble justifying the investment.

I’m not sure what challenges you’ve run across but if you are interested, I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned and discuss what can be done to help in more depth.

<If yes>

Great. Should I just reach out to Sally to schedule some time?

<If no>

That makes sense. Is there anyone you would recommend I should talk to that I may be able to assist?

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