How To Sell Marketing Automation Internally
Sometimes, your Executive team won’t immediately see the value of a marketing automation investment.
In order to convince them, you must position your case for marketing automation based on the problems that your overall business has now, and how that impacts each decision maker – their challenges and objectives.
Otherwise, your organisation won’t see your case as a high priority.
It’s not easy convincing the C-Suite to invest in marketing as many think of the department as a cost centre, not a revenue-driving department.
So here are 5 tips to help you on your way…
Five Tips for Selling Marketing Automation Internally
Tip 1. Understand management’s objectives and challenges
Understanding their collective and individual goals and pain points will help you present a case that meets their needs.
Here are some of the likely concerns for each of the major roles:
- Drive customer intimacy
- Measure and prove marketing ROI
- Build alignment with Sales
- Improve Marketing credibility in the organization
- Manage and leverage growing complexity of changing buyer behaviors, channels and technologies.
- Grow revenue and “making the number”
- Manage costs, meet shareholder expectations for profitability
- Attract and retain talent
- Innovate and out-execute the competition
- Build and align the organization, enhancing collaboration
- Manage risk
Head of Sales
- Make quota
- Get an accurate forecast
- Beat the competition
- Expand market share
- Make customers successful
- Develop the team
- Manage expenses
- Contain risk
- Enable profitable growth
- Plan for the future
- Make investments that support the business
- Manage security and risk
- Innovate and evolve infrastructure for the future—from mobile, social, SaaS, etc.
- Control costs
Tip 2. Create a financial case that lines up with their objectives
The key is to work backwards from the main objectives that your executive team holds dear. If revenue is the main objective, make your case based on revenue.
When discussing marketing automation’s ROI potential, nothing is more convincing than cold, hard data.
For instance, 76% of companies see a return on investment within 12 months, the majority of these in less than 6.
Tip 3. Be prepared
Make sure you incorporate the advice of the leading marketing automation experts in order to make sure you have the right positioning.
We have included some information on the three core benefits of marketing automation to get you started…
There are three core benefits to marketing automation:
1. Save money and time
2. Measure and optimize marketing investments
3. Faster revenue growth
Save Money and Time
Build your business case for marketing automation on its ability to save you time and money is the best way to get CFO sign off. Here are three bulletproof ways it does just that:
Less Human Resources
Modern inbound marketing strategy requires you to interact with customers in a modern way.
Say you want the ability to follow up on marketing emails by sending different reply’s to those who responded and those who didn’t, without marketing automation this means a lot of overhead in terms of hiring humans to work manually. By investing in the technology to automate these processes, companies are able to reduce the campaign management budget by up to 80%.
Instead of outsourcing things like landing pages to expensive design firms, marketing automation technology gives the ability build marketing campaigns in-house. Not only does this save money, but it also saves time and makes a company more agile.
Simplifying Approval and Compliance
Marketing automation saves time and money by simplifying approval and compliance processes. Especially for large companies or those in highly regulated industries, sending a marketing campaign might require many levels of sign-off. Marketing automation simplifies and standardises this process.
Here are some stats to back this up…
Here are some of Nucleus Research’s findings on the effectiveness of marketing automation:
By instituting marketing automation capabilities, companies can expect to achieve an increase in marketing staff productivity between 1.5 and 6.9 percent. The biggest boost, of course, will come to companies transitioning from a labor-intense manual marketing system.
Enabling marketing automation can reduce administrative overhead to a savings of 3.4 percent (on average), with most companies saving between 1.5 and 5.2 percent.
Sales productivity can be expected to increase by an average of 4 percent, with two-thirds of companies experiencing sales force productivity gains between 1.6 and 6.4 percent.
Measure and Optimize Marketing Investments
In today’s world Marketing professionals are under immense pressure to justify significant investments. Marketing automation brings all your data into a single actionable set of reports and helps you to optimise your marketing investments in four major ways:
Measure and test
The ability to run A/B tests helps your company to learn what works over time, allowing you to optimise your marketing efforts.
Prove program ROI
Marketing automation allows you to see which marketing campaigns are directly affecting revenue. As a result you can spend your money where it’s proven to work best.
A system of record
Marketing automation provides the system of record for all your marketing information.
Marketing automation will help you understand how leads are moving through.
Faster Revenue Growth
Marketing automation drives revenue by helping you:
- Focus on the right customers.
- Develop relationships before they are ready to make a purchase.
- Engage at the right time.
- Scale personalized interactions with each customer.
The most mature users of marketing automation achieve 32% greater revenue than average companies—and a whopping 79% more than the least mature companies.
Tip 4. Discuss, don’t present
Start by asking questions that seek to understand what they are looking to achieve. Then transition by saying, “If I could show you how to meet those objectives efficiently and effectively, would you be interested in learning more?”
Tip 5. Have a proposed implementation plan
Have your high level plan ready, an overview of the next steps, timeframes, and required resources.
No matter which executive you want to convince, make sure to manage expectations about the time to value and effort required. Don’t overpromise and under-deliver. Marketing automation is not something you just turn on and see instant results. Getting value takes time and effort and your peers will appreciate and respect your pragmatic, level-headed approach.