The ultimate goal of marketing automation is to simplify your life as a marketer, simple as that. But what about when it’s not simple? Let’s face it … sometimes we make the mistake of investing in shiny, new technology that just ends up adding to our everyday frustrations. And when this happens and things are just not getting easier, it’s ok to admit defeat and start over.
Here’s the good news – even if it didn’t make your life easier, you’ve learned a lot since implementing your first marketing automation platform and now you’re better able to evaluate the functions your organization needs to be successful. However, making the switch and starting over isn’t a decision you make overnight. If you’re having any doubts in your current solution, here are some key triggers that signify your current solution just isn’t right (and how to secure buy-in from the C-Suite when it’s time to make the switch).
5 Key Triggers that Signify Switching Marketing Automation Systems is the Right Decision
- Your current vendor is not offering the support you need. The problem may not even be with the solution, but with the vendor as a whole. You need access to training, best practices and most importantly a support team that is there to help when things go wrong and you’re not getting that from your current vendor.
- Difficult to learn. You’ve had your solution for a while now but you’re just not getting it. With so much technology available, you don’t have time to spend months learning yet another new tool. And once you finally become somewhat of a power tool, do you have the time to spend training the rest of your marketing team?
- You aren’t achieving the goals you thought you could by purchasing your current tool. It’s hard to see your goals not being reached month after month and still watch your competitors achieving results with other systems.
- The costs of your tools, or services are rising. You are paying more each month and showing less ROI for it. Although the upfront cost might be more than you’d like, you believe you’ll be saving both time and money in the long run by switching.
- Your team is frustrated with their current tool. Are you worried your team’s current frustration could affect their productivity and morale? If you’re concerned already, then you should probably trust your gut. A solution that empowers them to be better marketers will boost those efforts instead.
4 Ways to Secure Buy-In from the C-Suite
Making the switch from a marketing automation technology that just isn’t right for your business to a new system with the features, functionality and support you need to boost ROI may sound like an easy and obvious fix to you. But what about the C-Suite? With less visibility into your marketing technology efforts, your CEO and CFO may not be on the same page. It’s likely that they think switching won’t solve the problem, or that you can just make do with your current solution.
So do you convince your executives that this investment is the right one?
- Do your research and plan each conversation with a goal in mind. Don’t just go in asking for a new system. Do the research beforehand and prepare specific marketing automation options to present. It’s important to find the halfway point when presenting to executives – you don’t want to be overly prepared and try to accomplish too much at one time, but you also don’t want to just hand over the reigns and ask the executives what they want to talk about. Find a middle ground.
- Tie the investment to a company initiative. Is your organization in the process of updating your CRM or ERP solution? If so, now is the time to bring up a marketing automation switch with your CEO or CFO. When you combine company initiatives, your company may be able to reduce costs in a few ways – rolling out the new systems together, implementing them all at one time and saving time on educating new users.
- Get the CEO and CFO involved in the decision process. Although you have options to present at the start, it’s important to keep in mind that one of the main reason purchase requests get rejected is because not all of the right decision makers were involved throughout the process. They were only brought in at the end. Involving them from the beginning makes them a major influencer in the decision-making process and minimizes objections later down the road.
- Share success stories. Round up case studies from businesses like yours using the same platform or choosing to switch their marketing automation solutions and present them to the CEO and CFO. You can also encourage them to speak to customer references by setting up a phone call or coffee chat if they’re local and get a first hand look at peers that made a successful transition.
It’s important to be confident with your decision. Using these four simple tips when selling the C-suite on scrapping the old system and starting fresh will keep you in control of the conversation while still greatly improving your chances of getting buy-in for the solution you need.