In 2018, Salesforce spent 46% of their revenue in sales and marketing (with revenue of $10.5 billion).*

That is a SERIOUS investment supporting business development. And not a level you will see replicated in the publishing industry. 

Publishers’ spend is generally focused on content production and creation, and developing and running digital platforms. This leaves sales and marketing scrabbling around to do their work and get budget.

The result? Disparate and legacy systems dominate, with teams of people using manual workarounds to get things done. Systems aren’t (or are poorly) integrated into the CRM. They might generate leads, but there’s no guarantee they are passed over to sales teams and followed-up effectively.

This makes it tough to prove campaigns deliver, making it harder to build the case for investment. Affordable – and standalone – digital marketing platforms that are often used lack sophisticated functionality and don’t integrate with other systems to provide a holistic view of the prospect or customer. It ends up in an endless cycle of quick fixes that don’t fully maximise the data that does exist and undermine the case for more investment. 

So, how can you persuade the board to invest?

1. Explain how much time will be saved

How many hours are lost with marketing teams downloading/uploading spreadsheets, doing manual quality checks and using external services? How do the sales reps work around less than perfect data to figure out who is the hottest prospect? Ask them and they will tell you. And when you add up the minutes they turn into hours, days and weeks across the departments.

2. Show them the financial cost to the business of not investing

All those team hours have a cost. Average out the hourly rate across the roles and you’ll soon get to a surprisingly large figure. Think about all the related services the teams use and what the subscriptions cost. Consider lost sales. Would you increase the number of campaigns you send out? What’s your average return on investment for each one? How many more sales calls could the reps make? What are the average order levels? If there’s cost that can be measured, then document it.

3. Describe the pain points, show how hard it can make people’s jobs, and talk about the impact on the team and the business

Talk through the manual processes and describe in detail what is involved. Include feedback from the team describing their frustrations and how it makes them feel about the job or company. Outline the barriers it may throw up between marketing and sales which affects business development and revenue creation.

4. Inspire them with a vision of how it should be

Describe the potential of placing the customer journey, qualifying leads, taking them to the next level and rating them at the heart of investment. Highlight how thinking about all channels – and identifying which are preferred – can transform what the company focuses on. Show how the power of segmenting customers can focus activity and increase return by building a good, rounded holistic picture.

There is huge potential for a business to grow through enhanced and integrated digital marketing and sales systems. BUT you need to invest to build growth. How will you move ahead?

If you are interested in having a strategic conversation about the challenges and potential of better integrated digital marketing and sales systems, Ribbonfish is hosting a senior roundtable online event on Wednesday 19th May from 3.00 – 4.30pm (BST).

Places are strictly limited and by invitation only. You can register your interest by emailing me at [email protected]

*Source: Vital