5 Leadership Upgrades for Imperfect Leaders

Most executives are relentlessly focused on finding the next source of revenue, but there’s a good argument for having an exit plan at even the earliest stages of your firm’s growth. Someday, you’re going to want to get out, cash out, retire, or reinvest your profits elsewhere. At the same time, you might like to leave a legacy behind for your next generation of leaders or another firm to acquire and continue to evolve. Successful businesses create “goodwill” and real-world value for their employees, their customers, and their communities, but building a firm depends on the steady guidance of its principals and their ability to lead teams of highly skilled teams.  Poor leadership will kill the best of intentions and minimize the value and goodwill of the most profitable, growing firm.

Effective leadership, which is always important in the management of your business, might seem like an elusive resource that doesn’t factor well into calculating the value of your business as an asset when its time to make a deal. But exceptional leadership is one of the variables that savvy investors look for when it comes to making an offer and diagnosing the health of an acquisition.

A poorly led company might look good on the P&L but it might be hiding symptoms of the disease and instability in an organization that will cost an investor additional resources to right the problems, thus reducing the offering price, or might cause them to steer clear of the acquisition entirely. The connection between sound leadership qualities and your bottom-line are widely accepted, but they can also be a little abstract, or even blurry when you start to think about how to put them into practice.

You Might be an Imperfect Leader

Your temperament or your personality, or even your training, might be at odds with your technical or day-to-day management expertise. You might be too passive or too aggressive, or even too passive aggressive to get out of your own way. Interpersonal characteristics are hard to change because the ingredient of “character” is somewhat intangible.

If you’re struggling or at least motivated to build a sustainable, profitable business that you can sell one day, effective leadership doesn’t have to be a unicorn. You can apply the following 5 actionable leadership upgrades to your business and put yourself on the path towards a big return.

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Plan to Replace Yourself

A business worth acquiring can be acquired without necessarily keeping the owner around. Investors want to steer the organization new directions without needing to re-engineer the management in a sudden leadership vacuum or retain the existing owner for an extended period. The costs to keep your services don’t change the sale price. They simply limit your options and keep you from moving forward. Replacing yourself is a measure of your ability to build a competent team and to empower others to create value in your absence. Remember, an investor is acquiring your talent as much as they are acquiring your customers, your portfolio, and your profits.

Develop a Listening Practice

Listening is the most important ingredient in understanding, and the most overlooked requirement is the practice of asking for feedback. Sometimes we don’t like what others have to say about us or our business. Asking your employees gives you the opportunity to demonstrate compassion and empathy for their perceptions and it helps stimulate trust and a culture of feedback. As a practice, you need your team to be actively seeking feedback from customers, because it is their journey and their perceptions that drive the purchasing and the branding process. It’s important to meet your customers where they are and when they need you so that you can build a relevant and preferred brand. Better customer insights can lead to better products, better customer service, and bigger profits.

Building a competitive asset requires looking at your business from the outside-in, through the lens of your customers’ perceptions. Use surveys and interviews to gather observable feedback and document insights about the experiences and motivations of your clients. Leverage this direct “listening and observation” research as a filter to guide your strategies. From an investor’s perspective, a business that consistently listens to customers and then incorporates their feedback into useful intelligence is a more reliable bet.

Use Transparency to Create an Ownership Culture

Don’t keep your team in the dark about where you’re business is headed or your current progress. Let your team share in the organization’s goals and the challenges so that they can take ownership of the obstacles and celebrate the accomplishments. Transparency comes with a few requirements – it demands that you are willing to set specific time-based performance goals and then select the metrics required to measure your progress. Developing a financial dashboard of KPIs can help educate your team about the mechanics of your business and clarify how performance is measured. Businesses are often valued, though a little crudely, by a multiple of their revenues or profits. You may not be able to improve the multiple for your industry, but you can surely improve the profits by starting years in advance with clear goals and transparent communication for your team.

Solve Tomorrow’s Problems

Now that you’ve implemented an active listening practice, you’ll be in a good position to anticipate the challenges your customers will face in the future. That’s what your customers are looking for, someone who understands their business and who can solve problems and provide solutions to emerging challenges. To do so, you’ll need some insights and some momentum to address what’s on the horizon. A decade ago, your clients were having different conversations in communities than they are today. Now they’ve scattered. Imagine having the foresight to envision where to find them? Be your best customer and stay ahead of your competition by treating your business with the same focus on innovation.

Stop Failing and Start Optimizing

Your business is an engine that doesn’t always run smoothly. It comes with a lot of moving parts, and you are going to lose momentum if you shut it down every time you have a misfire. Failure is what happens when you catastrophize every misstep or mistake. Instead, prepare for the unexpected by accepting that you are leading and managing in a dynamic environment. From a practical perspective, you need to select a handful of manageable objectives and variables and let data drive the changes that you make. Be clear about your goal. As you collect useful, measurable information about your progress, make small changes to course correct with the engine running. Persevere and repeat.

How to Create Great Content for Inbound Success

Ultimately, your website is not about your business; it’s about your prospects and customers – the questions that they’re asking and the problems that they need solved. Your website’s job is not to be your virtual business card or digital portfolio; its function is to show to your audience that you understand their challenges and that your business is equipped and knowledgeable enough to help them reach their goals. The way that you demonstrate this is through your original content.

For many of you, the words ‘content’ or ‘content marketing’ may apply singularly to blogging, but blog posts are only one element of an effective content strategy. Every single thing on your site contains content — from the overall messaging and product or service pages, to landing pages, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, infographics and, yes, blog articles.

With all of these different content varieties, it can be easy to get caught up in the details of content production and lose sight of the objectives and overall strategy. Follow these guidelines to maximize your content’s efficiency and effectiveness.

Great Content Begins with Clear Objectives

Before even beginning to think about creating content, it’s important to do some goal-setting. Decide what it is you want to accomplish with your content strategy — more visits, more leads, more sales,… all of the above? That’s all well and good, but it’s important here to be specific. In fact, it’s crucial that you set SMART goals:

  • Specific – Resist the temptation to lean safely toward ambiguity. “More leads” is not a goal, but “increase leads by 25% within 90 days” is. Forget goals like “social impressions” and “brand awareness,” as these do not directly affect your business performance. The more detailed you are, the more effective your goal-tracking and data analysis will be.
  • Measureable – Setting goals with real numerical values is the key to having goals you can actually measure. Break your goals down into regular, smaller goals to keep your team on track — for instance, you should have several benchmarks set within a 90-day lead generation campaign in order to assess your progress and reach your overall goal. Ignore the fluff and stick to the cold hard data when evaluating performance.
  • Attainable – Your goals should challenge your team, while still being within reach. Don’t overdo it here. Overpromising and underperforming will result in all parties being dissatisfied.
  • Realistic – If you don’t have the time, resources, or mental bandwidth to effectively reach your goals, then the goals need to be adjusted to something more realistic. Know your limits (while still reaching for the stars, of course!).
  • Time-based – Give yourself a deadline and adhere to it. Having a hard stop date before you begin will result in stronger focus and better results.

Once you have your SMART goals set, you’ll be able to dive into your strategic content creation.

Effective Content is Persona-Driven

The first step in creating successful content is determining who you’re creating the content for. These are your buyer personas — semi-fictional, composite characters that embody the various needs, goals and challenges of your real and potential customers. Buyer personas are developed through research such as industry trends, observations, and, most importantly, interviews with your real customers.

Your personas represent your ideal customers, and they serve as the foundation for all your Inbound Marketing efforts. These are the people you want buying your products or services, and these are the people you want searching out, finding and consuming your original content.

Use the insights gained from your buyer personas to tailor relevant, valuable content specifically around your customers’ wants, needs, questions and problems:

  1. Create a master keyword list of your persona’s most searched terms.
  2. Choose 3-5 long-tail keywords that have the most potential for relevant content creation and audience engagement.
  3. Identify which type(s) of content your persona prefers to consume (i.e. eBooks, infographics, podcasts, brief or in-depth blog posts, etc.).

And that’s essentially it — your master keyword list serves as the building-block for your master content and topic lists, and the most-likely-to-be-consumed-formats help you decide which types of content to prioritize. Now you’re ready to start creating tailor-made content for you buyer personas.

Create Content that is Valuable to Your Customers

That’s right — we’re going to go over persona-driven content in even more detail, because creating something of value is critical to generating results. Valuable, relevant content is what search engines are looking for, but, more importantly, it’s what your customers are looking for. Give them something special; give them something that they’re not getting anywhere else.

Take that keyword list and dig deep. Focus on content that is educational, helpful, inspirational and/or entertaining. Create content that engages on all levels of your niche.

Keep Your Messaging Clear and Compelling

Writing cute, clever or enigmatic copy has its place, and this ain’t it. Don’t let the power of your message get lost in an over-complicated delivery. Regardless of whether you’re creating a product page, Call-To-Action or a title for a blog post, strive to write clear, engaging and persuasive content.

Engage in a Full-Funnel Content Strategy

Increasing website traffic is generally a positive thing, but it’s absolutely worthless if you don’t effectively engage with the visitors once they’re there. What good are visitors if your website fails to capture any leads, right?  For a content strategy to work — and I mean really work — you’ve got to have valuable content at each stage of the Buyer’s Journey.

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When great content is doing its work, it’s reaching its goals. When great content works together at each level of your sales and marketing funnel, a beautiful thing happens — your site and its content effectively and intuitively guides them down the funnel and through each stage of their Buyer’s Journey. This is Inbound Marketing at it’s finest — strangers become visitors; visitors become leads; leads become customers; customers become advocates.

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Increase Organic Traffic at the Top of the Funnel

The Top of the Funnel (TOFU) corresponds directly with the Awareness Stage of the Buyer’s Journey. Your potential customer is experiencing symptoms to his problem, and likely doesn’t know how to begin solving it. He’ll begin by searching for resources to expand his knowledge of the situation, and we want him to find your content in his search. TOFU content includes:

Blogging – Regular blog posts are the “bread and butter” of your Inbound content strategy. This is due not only to their frequency (usually a minimum of 2 posts per week), but in large part to their versatility. Inspirational or educational, 400-word posts or 1000+ words — it all depends on the persona you’re making these for and the goals you’re striving to hit.

Site Pages & SEO – This includes optimizing each site page around one long-tail keyword. For instance, if your signage manufacturing company primarily works with the healthcare industry, a site page optimized for “wayfinding signage” will help you show up in search results for that term.

Social Media – You may not think tweeting would be considered part of your content strategy, but it most definitely is. Engage with your customers and prospective customers on the social channels they most frequent. Share and post relevant content that interests your buyers, regardless of whether or not it originated from your website. However, be sure to consistently share your own content, as well!

Generate Leads in the Middle of the Funnel

Once you’ve got people coming to your site, you need to convert them from visitor to lead. The Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) corresponds with the Consideration Stage of the Buyer’s Journey, where your prospect is starting to look at solutions for her problem. MOFU content is of a much higher value than TOFU content and typically centers around a gated content offer where the visitor is willing to submit her contact information in exchange for a valuable piece of content.

Gated Content – This can be an eBook, guide, checklist, whitepaper, template — anything in-depth or helpful enough for a visitor to be willing to fill out a brief form to get it.

Calls-To-Action (CTA) – This is the value proposition for your content offer — eye-catching and effective — clearly worded in such a way that people are compelled to act.

Landing Pages – The page the CTA takes you to, with more information on the content offered, as well as the opportunity to download the content upon completion of a form.

Forms – Required on every landing page. The amount of information requested on the form should be inline with the perceived value of the content offered. The minimum amount of information should be name and email address.

Nurture Leads at the Bottom of the Funnel

Don’t stop with leads — use even more amazing content to nurture those leads into sales. By still providing touch points at the Decision Stage of the Buyer’s Journey, you’ll be able to continue nurturing your leads while qualifying them for your sales team.

Thank You Pages – This is the page the contact is taken to after completing the form on the landing page, and the it’s first opportunity to nurture your lead. It is an excellent chance to include an additional CTA for the next stage of the Buyer’s Journey.

Email Marketing – A visitor becomes a lead when he provides his email address, and what better way to continue engagement after content delivery than through follow-up emails. Through segmentation and automation, emails can offer the lead additional blogs or downloadables related to the completed offer. Additionally, the lead should also begin receiving regular email newsletters containing relevant blog posts and CTAs. The more the lead recognizes your business as understanding and being able to solve his problem, the closer you’ll be to a sale.

Case Studies – The difference between a lead and a sale could be lack of familiarity. Case studies are real-world examples of your abilities to perform. Prove to them that you’re not all talk by showing them your exemplary track record.

Pricing Page – Displaying pricing on your website can be either a tool or an obstacle. Make sure it’s the former by structuring the page to clearly address the benefits gained by choosing your solution.
Infographics – Simple, visual, and easily shared and consumed, helpful infographics can illustrate everything from your business’ process to the advantages of your particular solution.

Remember that inbound marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s all about building a relationship with your prospective buyers. No one piece of content is likely to explode into instant success, but all of your content working together — when created around clear objectives to provide real help to your targeted customers — will ultimately lead to an effective inbound program. Stick to it, be consistent, and above all, be valuable.

How to Speed up Your Inbound Marketing Engine

There’s not much debate about the potential success of an effective inbound marketing program. The methodology, once a revolutionary marketing approach, is now recognized as a practical, evolutionary response to changes in behavior. Most notably, customers are empowered to drive the majority of the buying process and conduct their own research before ever contacting a potential solution provider. By 2020, customers will drive 85% of their brand relationships without talking to a human – click to tweet this fact – (Gartner Research).

Making the Switch to Inbound Marketing

Most companies are making the shift to inbound marketing rather than building an inbound engine from the ground-up with the start of your business. This requires a fundamental shift in how you build relationships with customers and drive sales – and there’s nothing that inspires fear and resistance like change, especially when your previous efforts have been reasonable enough to pay the salaries and keep the lights on. Getting buy-in from the C-Suite for inbound marketing inevitably requires an understanding of the potential return-on-investment, the functional changes required, and timing. Timing Can be a Big Obstacle

Let’s face it, we live in a world where the virtues of delayed-gratification are nonexistent. Inbound marketing is like a locomotive, and you’re going to need to damper the some of the early-stage expectations of higher-ups by encouraging them to think about this fundamental shift as a marathon, and by focusing on the right metrics to consistently gather data as you are building your program. If your website has steady traffic from your target audiences, then you’re going to see results faster as you can focus your efforts on converting them to leads, but if your visit figures are down in the dumps; everyone is going to need a little patience. It takes a little time to get an inbound marketing program started, but once moving, it’s hard to stop.

However, there are a few sure-fire tactics that you can add to your inbound arsenal to speed things up and amplify your results.

Influencers Strategies

One of the most effective means of accelerating your inbound marketing strategy is by amplifying your content through influencers who already have an audience with the target personas you wish to reach. Influencers come in a variety of format: the thought-leaders in your category, or journalists in professional publication, or even bloggers or other content channel owners. They’re people, not channels or transactions; and that means that the principles that govern normal human relationship-building are just as important as building a healthy influencer strategy. You’ll need to participate in the conversation, and try to help. Relationships take time to build. Influencers, Public Relations, and Earned media – they aren’t exactly free. Time is the greatest resource that you’ll need to invest in.

Content Topics: Guest articles, interviews, social shares, editorial articles, and reviews.

Define Audiences: Leverage your buyer personas to define your target audience, the communities that they participate in, and the key problems that you wish to solve.

Discover Influencers: Identify influencers through social profiles, blogs, industry publications, LinkedIn groups, and other niche communities that your personas are engaged with.

Monitor Conversations: Set up social searches and monitor feeds for conversations related to your content and solutions to your persona’s problems.

Build Relationships: Reach out to potential influencers and ask about their objectives and how you might help them build authority with their audiences. Be prepared with potential topics to suggest.

Growth Driven Design

The traditional model for website design and development is broken. The problem lies in an obsolete model for building websites with tremendous up-front investment and guesswork – requirements based on subjective ideas instead of user requirements. The traditional model was driven by extensive planning and lengthy development processes that exhausted budgets, added risk, and were slow to implement.

A growth-driven development model consists of a lean development process, driven by a methodically prioritized list of user-driven features and goals. Website features are prioritized according to their ability to deliver business results. Instead of a big budget major website development initiative – websites are built in lean stages. First with a launchpad website prioritizing the essential needs, then with constant user testing, investment, and improvements.

The result is a website that starts small and gets bigger over time, because it is carefully planned and measured, and then evolves with new information and real data gathered from real users and real business results.

Retargeting

What about the targeted users who visit your website but don’t take any actions to enter your sales funnel? It’s not uncommon for visitors to stop by and bookmark your website for later or to bounce to other websites as they search for solutions. The natural journey of any user isn’t exactly linear. People visit and revisit websites and take deeper steps through the sales funnel. Retargeting offers a way to straighten out this line by bringing visitors back and website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website. 46% of search marketers agree that retargeting is the most underused online marketing technology.

Retargeting works because it keeps your brand or your solution top-of-mind with your visitors through banner ads served by other targeted websites. The average click-through for retargeted ads is 10x that of standard display ads.

A cookie is recognized in a user’s browser which identifies them as they visit other websites that are part of the retargeting program. This is called pixel-based retargeting requiring inserting a line of javascript code in the user’s browser. The code is quickly recognized by participating websites and served ads according to your campaign requirements. The repeated exposure reinforces your offers and drives users back to your high-converting landing pages.

The retargeting process works best when it is used as a conversion rate optimization tool, through continuous testing and optimization – to refine how the retargeting ads are executed to improve conversions.

LinkedIn Advertising

Forget about PPC or cold calling. Blend your inbound content strategies with an effective and highly targeted outbound promotion method. If you want to reach a highly-targeted list of prospects, as narrowly defined as, by company size, segment and even job title, or company name. LinkedIn Advertising is an effective way to complement inbound marketing because of the accuracy of their targeting platform and by the context with which users are interacting with the platform. 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to disseminate educational content.

It’s a business networking and collection of thought-leadership communities. Users participate in the channel for business content, thus your opportunity is to select a highly-relevant audience that matches your target persona and then promote sponsored content which will be displayed in their feeds, and links to your landing pages. By using HubSpot’s native integration with LinkedIn advertising, you can attribute your ads to revenues through the advertising and campaign reporting features.

Always consider how to accelerate your engine

Inbound is a natural response to the way that buyers have changed to interact with content and brands. It’s a data-driven, methodical process that requires a marathon mindset. But that doesn’t mean that the process has to be slow; you can leverage any of the above techniques to accelerate your inbound strategies and drive demand for your solutions.

How to Get Buy-In for Inbound Marketing when Change is Hard

Most of the trouble with marketing comes with the words that we use. Rapidly-evolving words, disciplines, and then specializations, have made businesses pretty complicated environments to manage. When you’re always chasing knowledge and the concepts seem just out of reach, getting access to that knowledge can be threatening to your credibility. Worse yet, technology is pretty disruptive. It’s constantly changing the environments we work in, both creating new opportunities and making old methods completely obsolete.

Change, for many leaders, can be pretty threatening. Changes requiring that business leaders learn something new, release control, trust someone new, or face the unknown, are among the scariest environments imaginable.

The Scariest Environment Imaginable

Oscar (Owen Wilson): … let’s say that we actually do land on this. What’s it gonna be like up there?
Truman (Billy Bob Thornton): 200 degrees in the sunlight, minus 200 in the shade, canyons of razor-sharp rock, unpredictable gravitational conditions, unexpected eruptions, things like that.
Oscar: So the scariest environment imaginable. That’s all you gotta say, scariest environment imaginable.

Building a Strategy for Buy-In When Change is Hard

“I’m having trouble getting anyone to listen to me.”

The advocates of inbound marketing are primarily the marketing managers and leaders who are on the front lines, reading articles about marketing, and developing their own knowledge. They are also the people who are going to run up against resistance, bringing new ideas to the principals and leaders of their organizations without a strategy for influencing change. Change is even more difficult when you’re working in an industry that’s slow to adopt new ideas. If you’re not careful, you’re going to create your own roadblocks.

Research Shows that You Should Ask Questions

One of the ways that you can open the door to the C-Suite, especially when you know that what you’re doing isn’t working so well, is to ask questions. Though many people believe that asking too many questions might make you look uninformed or incompetent, the research according to Harvard Business School ( Smart People Ask for Advice ) shows that the only thing making you look stupid is your fear of looking stupid, and that maybe one of the ways that you can get others to be more open to your ideas is to ask the “right” questions. The research shows that two things happen when you ask the right questions. 1 ) Others see you as curious and intelligent – as problem solvers and resources for knowledge and they are flattered to be asked for advice. 2 ) You gain more self-confidence.

Remember that you’re in a business environment that is slow to adopt change, so it’s unlikely that the CEO is going to ask you what you think the firm should do to improve their results. He should, but let’s face it. He probably won’t, and if you just walk in the door and suggest that the organization should make a fundamental shift in the way that you earn business, it’s probably going to be met with some resistance.

How to Craft a Framework for Change

You’re going to have to ask the right questions in the right sequence, if you’re going to get anywhere with the CEO who’s resistant to change. I suggest that you get an audience with leaders that have some influence on the organization and explain that you are trying to do some research with other firms in your space, to see if there are ideas or best practices that could help you improve the results. Ask your leaders for their permission, support, or even suggestions for where to look. You might ask, “Who’s doing it right?” and then follow-up with “What do you think that they are doing, different from us, to be so successful?” This gets everyone’s wheel’s spinning and helps open you  up to being a potential subject-matter-expert.

What Are We Doing Today?

The first step is to step off the hamster wheel of endless tactics and take a short inventory of what you are currently doing today, and how your business is performing. Use data that is as objective as possible. You might find out that no one has been watching or measuring the process. You can use that to your advantage. Keep this simple.

How can we help grow sales?

The secret to getting buy-in for inbound marketing is to focus on the benefits to your business development process and helping you grow sales. The CEO isn’t focused on the nuances of marketing strategies and emerging tactics. Those are costs and without a framework to understand how all of those tactics drive the financial outcomes,  you’re going to run into resistance.

Despite the complexity of marketing, it’s an unfortunate discipline that everyone seems to think they know something about. And the term, “Marketing” means something very different to different people. You might be unaware that they CEO believes that the only marketing your firm engages with, is creating brochures or sharing news on Facebook.

Remember to communicate that your goal is to help the firm improve sales.

Who are the customers that we want?

Who or what are the top business opportunities that you want? This can get a little complicated if you work in a segment where there is a difference between relationships and project types. Try to focus on relationships and identify who is most important in driving our future business. If you can get buy-in on who your customer should be, then the other steps are much easier.

How do they connect with us?

Remember that all relationships are built around a journey. A good example is a marriage. It is rare that two people sit down to a first meeting and compare bank accounts and health reports, and then decide to spend their lives together. All relationships have entry points and then they evolve with both time and value. From a business perspective, can you take a quick assessment of YOUR typical buyer’s journey, from awareness,  to consideration, and decision – and identify what your firm is doing to reach them at each stage?

You might not be doing very much to address problems that your prospects have at each stage. This is good. You can use this to illustrate potential obstacles in your business development strategy. To fill your sales pipeline, you’re going to need the building blocks of inbound marketing infrastructure in place to attract, connect, convert, and nurture those prospects to sales opportunities. If you’re not showing up for the entire journey, your sales are going to suffer.

How can we measure our efforts?

Now it’s important to collect data. Without data, you might lose the entire opportunity. Again, following your buyer’s journey, quantify the number of new leads, new prospects, new opportunities (proposal), and new business (projects or contracts) that you close every month. Also, you’ll need to identify how many prospects you currently have in your sales database or that you are connected with via social properties. These are all assets with which you can leverage to drive new sales. Sometimes companies look at the outputs, but not the inputs in a process. Taking a few quick measurements will help you understand whether or not your business is attracting and closing the right kind of business to deliver the results that you want.

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What’s the value of a new customer?

It’s important to understand or at least agree on the value of a new customer. A relationship might lead to many projects. Invite the principals and business development leaders in your firm to come up with the facts or the assumptions that will help you agree on a solid number. Try to measure value in terms of future profits. This metric that is typically used to accomplish this is customer lifetime value, or CCLV. (You can use our online calculator to crunch your figures). The benefit of using CCLV to measure the value of a new customer is that customers typically influence repeat purchases or one kind or another. When everyone at the table agrees to measure the value of customers in terms of CCLV, you are also helping them understand that investing in developing relationships is a marathon, instead of a sprint. This is an important element of inbound marketing, because it’s focus is on the entire lifecycle of the customer relationship.

Bonus Tip: Anytime that you are talking numbers, it’s valuable to get the CFO to sit down to the table and give his or her blessing on the facts. This will help give provide credibility for your inbound marketing pitch.

What are our goals?

Again, this is quite common, especially when times are relatively good and everyone’s current efforts are generating acceptable short-term results. If you can get the C-Suite to put a financial flag somewhere out there on the horizon and define goals in terms of both financial and personal aspirations (why they want to accomplish said goals), you’re in the home stretch.

Your suggestions for growing your sales pipeline

Just forget about calling this entire process “inbound marketing” to the CEO, ok? This is where your inbound marketing pitch comes in. Now you have the building blocks of getting buy-in for change, or in your case, inbound marketing. You know what you’re doing, whom you are doing it for, how you are currently performing, and what your goals are. You’ll probably uncover some gaps in-between your current performance, and your organizational goals. Those gaps are your opportunities for change.

This is where you can make your case about the benefits of inbound marketing for your sales pipeline, how engaging targeted-prospects early in their journeys, drives more qualified leads and your sales team can focus their time on sales-ready opportunities.

Presenting a Hypothesis: Without talking about blogging or marketing automation or any of the supporting tactics around inbound marketing, you have the building blocks to make your case. You will need to present things in a scientific framework by reverse engineering your goals, and then presenting the outputs that need to happen to reach them, e.g. x number of leads, x number of qualified opportunities, etc…

Conclusion

You’ve made your case and you’ve received buy-in at every stage. Then you can present the proven statistics and best practices around Inbound Marketing to demonstrate the process and the framework for making this happen. If you need more help, we’ll help you build a buy-in process and get the facts you need to make a game-changing pitch to the C-Suite.