Ran Mullins By Ran Mullins • November 16, 2021

Why You Need to Sell Marketing Automation Internally

As a B2B technology marketer, you know that marketing automation platforms can power up your marketing department by making many tasks less time-consuming, easier and more efficient. So it's no wonder that companies that adopt automation see a 10% or more bump in revenue in six to nine months’ time, according to HubSpot.  

Revenue is important, no doubt. But even before revenues, you have marketing KPIs that indicate your marketing strategies are working. You need to know how the marketing automation you implement today will impact those, so you can show upper management the value of automation right out of the gate. They need to see that return or their investment, and you have to be able to show it.

Here’s how to make the business case for a marketing automation platform that will save time, increase efficiency, and boost revenue.   

1. Clearly Outline Your Marketing Automation Goals

Determine your specific goals and problems that you need to solve. Growing traffic? Attracting more sales-qualified leads? Increasing conversion rates? Outline your marketing goals and objectives and show how you’d use the marketing automation platform’s specific features to deliver results.

These goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound), such as "increase conversion rates 25% year-over-year" as opposed to just "improve conversion rates.”

Don't Forget About Marketing KPIs

Take a look at every one of your marketing KPIs and evaluate how marketing automation will help you develop a B2B technology marketing strategy that allows you to more effectively meet those objectives. 

For example, you need to generate more sales qualified leads. To do that, you have marketing KPIs related to social media and website content. This engagement leads to conversion and generates a magnet that creates more awareness among your target audience. 

2. Do Your Research

Compile statistics on the effectiveness of the marketing automation platform you’re considering and look for case studies specific to your industry to bolster your case. Reviews, testimonials and case studies are key pieces of content for your own B2B prospects once they reach the consideration stage. It’s no different for decision-makers at your own company.

Assess the needs of each team and how they fit into the organization. What roles do they play and where can automation improve their productivity, work together, and quality of work?

Know the Numbers

Here's some cold hard data to get you started on your research. An extensive Nucleus Research study found that integrating marketing automation:

  • Increased staff productivity by 1.5 to 6.9%
  • Reduced administrative overhead by 1.5 to 5.2%
  • Increased sales productivity by 1.6 to 6.4%

A Marketo report further found:

  • 45% increase in sales qualified leads coming out of the marketing department
  • 22% increase in time sales team actually spends selling vs. dealing with leads that weren't really ready for sales
  • 66% greater growth

3. Explain How Prospect Data & Analytics Will Improve

Provide a thorough breakdown of where customer and campaign data is currently coming from and how the platform will improve both data quality and analytics. Point out that what makes marketing automation platforms so powerful is that their different functions and features work together as one.

Today's marketing automation uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Those aren't fads, just like Big Data wasn't just a buzzword five years ago. 

Automation doesn't just allow humans to work more efficiently by taking over repetitive, monotonous tasks. It can analyze more data faster and adapt automatically to what that data is telling it, even down to an individual customer level for maximum impact.

This is more data and granular messaging than any human could manage in a lifetime. Automation helps your people work smarter.

And marketing automation can do it consistently. It delivers the right message to the right person at the right time. 

If you’re currently using a suite of different tools for marketing activities such as blogging, landing pages, email marketing, and social media, a marketing automation platform — particularly an all-in-one solution like HubSpot — will streamline processes and reporting and provide a much more holistic view of the customer journey.

While most marketing tools can give you basic analytics like views, clicks, opens, and downloads, marketing automation platforms can show you a much deeper level of detail on each prospect — how they arrived at your website, what content they engaged with, their company name and revenue and even their social media profiles.

After you assign values to various actions that prospects take on your website, automation platforms can also automate lead scoring, so your marketing and sales teams are on the same page about when sales should reach out to a lead — or not.  

You can also drill deep into website analytics to see individual contacts and companies by traffic source, so you can focus your marketing campaigns on the traffic sources that bring in the most traffic, leads and customers.

4. Evaluate Components & Benefits of the Technology

For example, let's say you're making a case for those sitting around the C-suite table that you need better tools to track website visitor behavior. You need to better understand what elements of your more complex content are working to meet your B2B technology marketing KPIs and what aren't.

To make a business case, you must prioritize the features that will influence B2B marketing KPIs the most and lead with those priorities.

5. Show How It Will Help Keep Customers Engaged

The Internet is a busy place. Having a website and posting a few times a week on social media are no longer enough to engage. But it's not practical to use the people power it would require to engage your audience in the way they need to be engaged in the current B2B technology environment.

Making the business case for a marketing automation platform isn't solely about marketing. You don't have a business without customers, and it's also important to show how adopting this technology will improve the customer experience.

HubSpot, for example, is deploying a whole new approach to improving the customer experience and getting engaged customers actively involved in the sales process through its Service Hub. It includes a live chat, support tickets, and a customer feedback tool that helps you build new marketing campaigns based on your biggest promoters.

Its new Operations Hub is uniting sales, marketing and service teams through data and automation, helping them deliver a more consistent customer experience.

A marketing platform that can solve existing problems and provide solutions to problems your company might not have realized it had will make your business case even stronger.

6. List All Sources of Data

If you're not using more advanced automation tools, chances are data is collected and housed everywhere. The scattered nature makes it impossible to see the whole picture or understand a single B2B technology customer's Buyer's Journey

The powerful automation tools of today bring this data together under one roof and include marketing integrations that help you pull and consolidate data from all sources. 

7. Write Out a Budget and Milestones

Use what you've learned as you're developing a plan to make the case to upper management to create a budget and milestones. Regardless of how user-friendly a tool is, it's not just a matter of switching over. You'll need to establish new processes, train employees, and evaluate how people adapt to new tools to ensure you're getting the most out of them. 

This is a transition with a timeline. C-suite execs mustn't leave the table with unreasonable expectations. You're a smart marketer. Manage those expectations.

8. Calculate ROI Projections

Do a before and after. What is your current customer acquisition cost (CAC)? What is the current marketing ROI? How will automation help you reduce this cost and drive up ROI?

Use data-driven estimates to establish how automation will increase your ROI. Because in the end, B2B marketing ROI is what matters.

A Focus Research study found:

  • 12% of companies increase ROI in month one
  • 32% increase ROI in 2-12 months
  • 24% increase ROI after one year

9. Assess the Risks

Be prepared to manage objections like a pro salesperson. Evaluate risks in advance, plan how you'll communicate those to C-suite execs, and ease any concerns they may have. 

10. Get Your Sales Team on Board

Their buy-in matters.

Marketing automation isn’t just for marketing. Before pitching the C-suite, talk to your sales team and show them how the platform will help them save time and close more deals. With a marketing automation platform such as HubSpot, for example, they’ll be able to:

  • See how prospects are interacting with your website, emails, social media posts and other content in real-time
  • Create and automate emails that send personalized messages to leads at just the right time 
  • Use predictive lead scoring to prioritize outreach based on a prospect’s likelihood to convert into a customer
  • Set up and manage sales pipelines and use automated workflows to rotate leads, create new deals, create and assign tasks and more

Need to show hard numbers on the effectiveness of marketing automation to help make your case? Take your pick of these statistics.

Ultimately, you need to convince leadership that the short-term and long-term benefits of changing processes and working with the new martech will make the risks and challenges worth it. When making your case, make sure you provide plenty of metrics and research, along with feedback from your team members and other departments.

Need to make the case to C-suite? Show them this case study where we helped one B2B technology company integrate automation with some impressive results.Rbookend2

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