Summary:Often, the first question we receive from our customers is ‘What does an intranet cost?’ We get it, ‘non-essential’ software takes effort to show management the real ROI. You have budgets to follow, and a boss to report to. In this blog post, we give you some insight into what 5 years of Intranet Sales experience will teach you when researching getting an intranet.
You’ve heard it time and time again – employees grumbling in frustration as they struggle to find that document or form; sending emails to their colleagues asking if they know where it might be. When they eventually do find it, to avoid the same hassle in future they save it to their desktop.
Unknown to them, 2 months later that resource is updated on the file share while they continue to refer to the outdated copy on their desktop. The email notifying them of the update buried among the other hundreds of all staff “important emails” left unread. Depending on the type of document this could mean minor, or significant consequences for your organization and more than likely, your customers.
Eventually, employee frustrations and grumbles get louder, until the breaking point where one of two things happen: management hears these frustrations and prioritizes seeking out a solution to resolve these pains, or… worst case scenario… your most effective, stellar, top notch employees realize that their skills are being wasted digging through file shares and searching through emails for the information they need and they seek employment elsewhere, taking all their knowledge with them.
The Initial Hunt – Seeking Intranet Cost
Whether your boss assigns you the project of sorting through the vast jungle of available intranet solutions, or you take it upon yourself to seek out a solution to address these constant grumbles, your first question is probably something similar to “What is this going to cost us?” And with that, you go Googling, searching for “intranet quotes” or “intranet pricing”.
Some intranet websites make their pricing easy to find – the cost is displayed front and center, one click from the homepage. Others are a bit more difficult, keeping costs gated “behind the scenes”, so-to-speak, requiring you to take a call from that dreaded “sales agent” before receiving your pricing details.
Stumbling upon these sites, you’re probably thinking something similar to:
- “Ugh. Slimy, smooth talking-keep-me-on-the-phone-forever sales agents? No thank you”.
- “No pricing on the website? Must be super expensive”.
So, you grab pricing from the sites that are most transparent and you avoid those that try to push a real person on you. “Another phone call? Ugh. Leave me alone”. You get what you need from a few various sites and from there decide whether it’s worth pursuing the intranet project further and spending the time to evaluate solutions to present to upper management.
You say to yourself “If the number is way above anything they would consider for a non-critical business software I’m not going to waste my time talking to sales people and sitting through numerous hour-long demos”.
This approach is rational and intuitive, and throughout my 5 years working with intranet customers I have found that it is one of the most common methods of initial intranet research. Put simply, the process goes:
Step 1) Search the web to find an overall rough cost of implementing an intranet
Step 2) Determine if the budget will allow for the expense, and then
Step 3) Make a decision whether or not to proceed with evaluating solutions or turf the project and make do with what is currently in place
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The Best Practice Alternative to Seeking Intranet Cost First
The problem with this intuitive to-the-point approach is that you went looking for a solution based on a few (or sometimes a single) pain-point.
Seeking to price, you are therefore basing product value on whether it will resolve only this one pain point. When an intranet has the potential to solve much more than that!
So how do you know what else an intranet could do for you? Through working with an experienced Client Services rep.
By asking the right questions, an experienced rep will be able to paint a clear picture of your business. They can then take that knowledge and apply it to their experience working with other organizations to suggest the key features in the product most helpful to your needs, and walk through these benefits with you on a personalized intranet demo.
Calculating Intranet ROI
Not only can your Client Services Rep help to uncover additional benefits and costs savings, but they should also be able to help you put together a business case to justify the project to your team and help to calculate extensive intranet ROI.
For example, you know that employees spend way too much time searching for information. How do you present that as a tangible cost for the organization?
Take the average employee salary (for example, $30/hr), and the amount of time per day wasted locating resources and information, filling out internal request forms, approving internal requests, finding employee contact details, etc (let’s say 5 minutes, conservatively). Divide 60 minutes by 5mins = 12. Divide $30/hr by 12 = 2.5. Times 2.5 by the number of working days each year (approx. 261) = $652.50. That is $652.50 paid to every employee each year to find the information they need to do their job.
For a company size of 200 employees that is $130,500US spent on wasted time costs each year.
You can also calculate intranet ROI based on reduced employee turnover, time savings through automated approval workflows, time savings on intranet admin updates, reduced internal emails, costs of printing paper, and much more.
So… How Much Does an Intranet Cost?
After that, if you still want to know the price first, we will give it to you. We’re not the sort to pull slimy sales moves like replying to your very direct question of “What does it cost?” with a long-winded story about our company history and how many customers we have while avoiding the question altogether.
However, I do highly recommend holding off on discussing cost until after the demo. Not because the cost is high, because it isn’t. In fact, we actually offer the lowest cost when compared to other solutions with similar feature sets. This is simply because our license is a one-time fee, we never charge for growth, and customers have been using their intranets for an average of 7 years. Instead, holding off on asking for price until you’ve seen the benefits and cost saving potential of a solution, will give you a much clearer picture of its value.
Interested in how an intranet could help your organization save time? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to schedule a demo.