So, you want to filter in marketing automation (MA) into your marketing toolbox. You have attended the demonstrations; you have read and analyzed case studies, and now you have scheduled a meeting with your boss to suggest implementing ma software. But how do you justify your proposed expenditure on ma when resources are already so tight? In this article, we will provide you with tricks, tips, and keys to make your meeting with your superior fruitful.
Approach Your Boss with Numbers and Facts, Not Emotions
Today, marketers are faced with fewer resources and high quotas. Although you might be a little overwhelmed, don’t run into your superior’s office screaming, “I do not know how we’re going to achieve these targets without ma!” Your superior will not receive your theatrics well. Instead, remain level-headed and professional, do your homework and confront your superior with a logical proposal based on stats and facts.
Present a rock-solid business case.
Your boss will ask to know why funds should be channeled towards marketing automation while there are numerous projects competing for the same funds. Be ready to fire back solid case studies and benchmarks illustrating the merits of ma. With the large adoption of ma users, it is easy to pull this kind of information from user groups and online communities. Just do a little research to find examples that are relevant to your niche and business model, and add them to your proposal.
It will also pay if you can give the ROI (expected return on investment) from ma. To achieve this, run a quick time study to find out the number of hours that will be freed by automation. If you do not have the time, skills, or resources to figure this out, most MA vendors will readily help you.
Be transparent with your boss, and discuss potential risks that ma poses, not only rewards. For instance, explain the number of hours you and your team expect to invest in training, setup, and deployment. Seeing the big picture will give your boss something to think about.
Explain How KPI and Goals will be affected
Most likely, your targets for 2020 were significantly increased. Make sure to include those raised figures in your proposal and explain to your boss how ma will enable you to attain them. If you are confident enough, throw in some extended targets you will attain after your onboard marketing automation. It will also help if you can estimate the effect of ma 1-3 years ahead. If you lack these skills, an MBA intern can help, or hire a freelance consultant for several hours.
Also, look for additional features that ma will bring. For instance, it will allow you to track several new goals and KPIs such as re-engaged leads and website behavior; enlist the help of your ma vendor to identify changes to existing goals and new ones – note that they work with customers like you on a daily basis, and they understand impacts of automating marketing efforts.
Be Prepared to Handle Objections.
The common objections to the adoption of ma revolve round business distractions and costs of implementation, training staff, and continuous support. You superior will ask to know;
· The number of hours that will be diverted from your current tasks as you gear up and launch the software
· Whether you will require inputs from other divisions
· The time it will take to implement, train your team, and when you will start cashing in on the benefits you highlighted.
· The type of on-going support marketing automation requires, and whether there are any hidden costs, such as maintenance and consulting hours.
· Again, ensure you have the figures and facts to address these objections.
Provide Your Boss With Tools to Sell It to His/Her Boss.
Unless you report to the CMO or CEO, your boss will have to seek approval from his boss. Award your boss some tools to make this happen. Use the format that rules in your business; word document, email, or PowerPoint, and keep your proposal short and straight to the point.
Offer a concise overview ma, most C-level bosses have heard the about MA but they likely do not understand what it means. Make a numbered list of what your firm will gain by adopting the technology. Make sure to emphasize the benefits to the firm, not on your team and workload. Summarize the case studies you have found and ROI improvements to be realized from the implementation of ma.
Lastly, timing is always king. Just like your research to find out the right time to pitch to a lead, figure out the right time to present your marketing automation proposal to your boss.