In this guide, we will take a look at some of the things to focus on when pitching marketing automation tools to your CFO. Not too long ago, we shared some tips on selling marketing automation to both your sales team and your CEO. When it comes to the head of finance, there are a number of factors that will be considered in order for automation tools to be adopted. The things that are most important for the majority of CFOs include the following:
- Profitable year on year growth
- Operating and capital expenses
- Return on investment
- Risk management
With that in mind, the biggest deciding factor for any CFO when it comes to software adoption is how it will ultimately affect the bottom line. Controlling company costs is the main concern for any finance head. Needless to say, risks are not taken lightly. Data and case studies are required to show clear the clear ROI that is offered by marketing automation tools.
Considering the November 2012 study done by Gleanster showing that 70% of top companies showed that investment in marketing automation tools led to positive ROI in the first year of adoption, there is certainly a case for the value of automation. By focusing on how automation offers the ability to generate reports that can provide visibility into marketing ROI, you will be able to begin the conversation on how marketing automation tools can help your company.
A January 2013 Gleanster survey meanwhile focused on the biggest challenges in automation adoption. One of the biggest challenges is a lack of senior management support, while a lack of funding was also a major challenge. As such, having your CFO on board will go a long way in helping to implement automation from the top down.To get things started, let's take a look at some of the biggest advantages of automation, experienced from a numbers point of view:
- Marketing automation increases sales productivity by 14.5% while reducing marketing overheads by 12.2%. - Nucleus
- Nurtured leads produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities on average compared to non-nurtured leads. - Demand Gen
- Targeted emails sent through automation tools generate 18 times more revenue than non-targeted email blasts. - Salesforce
- Companies using automation have seen an increase of sales revenues by 34% on average. - Pardot
- 64% of businesses saw benefits of automation within the first six months implementation. - Regalix
How to get your CFO's buy-in for adopting Marketing Automation
How do you show your CFO that marketing automation tools can offer genuine value to your company? For starters, you can focus on the following benefits that relate directly to the bottom line.
Marketing automation tools offer the ability to automate communications based on customer behaviour, demographics and interest, across various channels. This in turn takes your email marketing efforts from unfocused blasts that may or may not reach the right people at the right time, to highly targeted messages that are more likely to result in increased conversion. This in turn also helps to fine-tune your sales funnels, making them more targeted.
Marketing and sales alignment
Another benefit is that automation tools offer one single system that enables you to align your marketing and sales effort effectively and simply. Thanks to reporting features and visibility, you will be able to determine the volume and quality of leads within your funnel, whether through sales or marketing. This in turn truly improves your lead generation process.
Lead management and segmentation
On the topic of leads, automation also allows you to nurture leads at all stages of their cycle, in a way that increases your conversion rates, drives engagement and ultimately drives more sales across the board. You also have the benefit of central reporting, with a single interface that can be used to manage your omnichannel marketing efforts and reporting.
In terms of that all important bottom line, a major benefit of automation tools lies in the ability to save costs. Marketing and sales teams will be able to track day to day costs, while further savings can be enjoyed through targeted messages that reach customers at the right stage of their lead cycle. You will also save costs in the form of employee salaries that will no longer be wasted on tasks that can be automated instead, multiple technology licences, and time and money wastage on cold sales leads that do not convert.
Shorter sales close cycle
That takes us to our next point. Most good automation tools allow you to fine tune your sales funnels to the point that it becomes faster to close sales. By reducing the close cycle by improving your message and segmenting your lists in a way that offers more value to leads, you can see a notable difference in margins. Considering that the average sales person spends a large chunk of time on admin and a smaller amount with clients, this in turn allows sales teams to put their time to better use, reducing admin, improving lead funnels and generally making the close cycle as simple as possible.
Decreased training time
Likewise, you can also free up time spent on training. For most companies, the amount of time that is required to train a new sales person can take months, or even years. This process becomes even more challenging when sales reps to do not have access to lead information when taking over new accounts. What makes marketing automation tools so useful is that they offer a central, easy to use tool that tracks leads in an accountable, visible way.
Improved sales cycle
You will also be able to create a far more effective sales funnel that tracks potential leads throughout their life cycle. This enables sales and marketing teams to quality leads and make decisions that are based on which leads are more likely to convert. When sales teams pursue high value leads that appear to be warm, only to realise that they are lukewarm at best, time and resources are wasted. When sales teams can easily identify warm leads and focus their time and effort on these leads, the sales cycle is greatly improved.
Finally, the most effective way to show your CFO just how effective marketing automation tools can be, it is always a good idea to have case studies It is best to focus on businesses in your specific industry that have used marketing automation successfully. Luckily, with automation being adopted at a high rate, it is easier than you think to find examples. Try doing a search, or speak to your prospective automation software supplier to find out whether they have case studies that are relevant to your industry. Some of the metrics to consider showing in case studies include the following:
- Increase in revenue
- Increase in campaign response rates
- Increase in sales quota achievement
- Increase in average deal size
- Increase in the time to execute campaigns
- Increase in conversion ratios
- Number of leads resulting in a sale.
If you would like further assistance in pitching automation to your CFO, get in touch today. Here at Grapevine, we offer marketing automation tools that are designed to help you get the most from your marketing efforts.