When selling this software to management, it’s important to communicate your points from their perspective. Recognise that your concerns and theirs are different so you need to tailor your pitch to cater to them. Executives don’t have a lot of time to spare so it is best to be succinct and focus your arguments for maximum impact. Respect their limited time by distilling major points and statistical support down to the most noteworthy elements— instead of providing a case study, create a summary version with key takeaways and how to apply them to your own organisation.
Management is concerned with a more macro view of organisational health, which actually lends itself well to an investment that will be successful in the long-term but will require significant commitment in the meantime. Explain that success will not be immediate but assure your management team that over time this paradigm shift will be critical for growth and success.
Argue based on need. Focus on areas of weakness like inefficient lead management or missed retargeting opportunities by explaining how marketing automation software can help each situation. Highlight capabilities that are beyond what your existing email marketing platform is capable of, such as behavioural tracking and advanced nurture campaigns. If you emphasise struggles specific to your business it will be clear you have done your research and your goals align with those of the organisation. You want your pitch to resonate with management the same way you want your marketing messaging to resonate with prospects.
Advocate for an inbound philosophy
Marketing automation software is a platform of tools that were designed to facilitate and support an inbound approach to marketing. Marketing automation is the best tool for an inbound marketing approach because the set of features within each platform was developed to facilitate specific inbound marketing tasks, such as offering the most relevant content to an online visitor or filtering low priority leads into an email nurture campaign instead of sending them to sales. If your management team doesn’t already believe in inbound marketing, you may not be ready for marketing automation yet. It’s worth advocating for this approach before purchasing any new marketing software.
Easing the transition
Even though adoption of marketing automation is a long-term process, there are ways to even out the learning curve. You might find management to be more receptive if you offer a phased launch plan for the software that emphasises faster and more effective training methods. Many organisations begin their implementation with the email marketing feature, learn the additional capabilities of it and become proficient with that before moving on the rest of the tools within the platform. Starting where you’re already somewhat familiar can boost morale and demonstrate value more quickly.
If you put together a launch plan, consider the many options available to find the best balance of time and budget. Most platforms offer some form of onboarding after the initial purchase, some offer customised training at an additional cost and agency partners can be used to outsource skillsets for some project-based consulting and expertise. Extra help and strategic support during the implementation process can mean quicker success because it helps you make the right decisions the first time around. Sell the value of leaning on the knowledge base of others with experience because it will be much cheaper than guessing as you go and postponing your success with the technology by doing so.
Marketing automation isn’t automatic marketing, but it can be set up to automate repetitive or predictable processes. These automated workflows make your marketing and sales teams more efficient by freeing them up to focus on more strategic tasks like persona development and campaign creation. These automated processes also simplify the process of filtering out low quality leads, so time is spent more efficiently and efforts are geared toward leads with the highest potential value. You should explain to management that marketing automation drives and optimises organisational efficiency through better lead management and automated workflows.
Accurately monitor KPIs/performance
Many members of the executive team are evaluated based on overall organisational performance. This contributes to their macro perspective and acknowledging this in your pitch can help increase your chance of success. To cater to this mindset, you can discuss the reporting and analytics features within the software- as well as the novel ability to track and respond to behaviour. With the ability to automatically track customer activity, valuable insights are easier than ever to find. You’ll often read the phrase “ROI of marketing”, which is a reference to the software’s ability to accurately monitor previously untrackable marketing efforts. This, when coupled with predictive analytics that are more accurate than ever before, is a recipe for management buy-in.
If you’d like assistance in effectively preparing and implementing marketing automation technology, contact us.