Let’s talk about how you can make yourself indispensable to the C-suite.
If you read our content or other inbound blogs, you’ll hear about the potential for conflict between sales and marketing. Sales is focused on, well, sales, and marketers are focused on things like brand awareness, website traffic, online engagement, and in best-case scenarios, lead generation.
The same sort of conflict can exist between marketing and the C-suite. CEOs and other chief executives are focused on revenue generation and business growth, period. Without revenue, there is no business. Some CEOs are more well rounded and may recognize the connection between Facebook engagement and business growth, but generally speaking, executives want their teams to be laser-focused on the upward trajectory of revenue and to target all of their activities toward that goal.
If you have spent your career as a marketer, focused on things like building trust with your audience, fear not. Your efforts have been and are important! But the critical element of helping the C-suite find value in your efforts is the way you present the data to them. Rather than only sharing about the snazzy new infographic you just created (which is awesome, by the way!), make sure that you are reporting on metrics they care about—metrics related to revenue generation. Here are some elements you should include in your reports.
Include Lead Generation in Your Marketing Reports
If you are a B2B with a sales team and your website is a tool to generate leads, make sure that you are contributing toward that goal, and then highlight the leads that your efforts have contributed toward generating.
For example, if you have premium resources to share with your audiences, you can strategically gate some of those resources, meaning audiences must fill out a short form with their name and email (at a minimum) in order to access the resources. Then, make sure your marketing reports share the number of leads those resources generate with the C-suite. They will love you for it!
Report on Sales Enablement Efforts
If you have a sales team, they probably share content with their prospects, whether or not they realize it. They are constantly answering questions for their prospects, and those answers are … you got it—content!
When you partner with the sales team to create content they can quickly use to answer prospects’ questions, you help shorten the sales cycle. If you can help shave even just minutes off sales team response times, you are helping drive more revenue for the business. Report on the amount of resources created for sales teams and track the total sales cycle length and how it changes over time. If you can identify trends related to content product and sales cycle length, you could earn your weight in gold—or at least earn some solid kudos from your bosses and additional job security.
Include Conversion Rates in Your Marketing Reports
It is important to connect marketing efforts to revenue and that is why you should include conversion rate information in your marketing reports. Show how many new customers your efforts generated or contributed to. Connect the dots between traffic and sales.
Many B2B businesses rely on direct relationships over time, but reach a point where growth via connections alone has plateaued. They start to recognize that they need to expand their audience to people they haven’t even met yet. They consider more trade shows or traditional advertising, but those efforts are costly and it can be hard to gauge the return on investment.
When you can clearly help the C-suite recognize how more website traffic increased your online conversions or leads which in turn help increase sales volume and therefore revenue, you will ensure that the marketing department will be a valued partner. You can make the case for a larger budget and continue to accomplish greater and greater things.
Make Your Data Visual
As I mentioned above regarding the infographic, you can definitely show off that kind of work to the CEO. But present your work and results in quantitative forms as well. We are big fans of HubSpot around here. And one of the reasons we are is because of the ease of their reporting features. You can easily report on MQLs to SQLs, conversion rates, sales team productivity, and more. Having these reports at your fingertips will enable you to quickly show the value of your marketing efforts.