5 Simple Steps to Sell Your Boss on Inbound Marketing
As a digital marketing company that spends the majority of our time helping clients grow their inbound marketing strategies, we can say definitively that inbound marketing works. And if you don’t believe that, head on over to our case studies, where we’ll take you step-by-step through all the ways inbound marketing has returned serious results for clients in a range of industries.
If you’re here, though, you probably already know inbound marketing works. You’re just trying to figure out how to sell your boss on inbound marketing.
Maybe you’ve seen inbound or digital marketing putting your competition in that number one spot, or maybe you’re just tired of printing out physical marketing materials that no one ever looks at. No matter the reason, you’re here to figure out how to sell your boss on inbound marketing, and we’re here to help.
Here are 5 ways to show your boss that inbound marketing is legit.
As in, it’s a legitimate marketing method that produces the leads you want, the sales you want, and the ROI you’ve always dreamed of. No joke, it’s actually that good. Here’s how you get your boss to realize that too.
Step 1: Make Sure They Know What Inbound Is
Before you can launch into the multitude of benefits that inbound marketing will provide, make sure you’re on common ground. You’ve been in the marketing world for some time now — you’ve got the jargon down and the basic methodologies are clear to you. Your boss probably hasn’t spent as much time in the trenches as you.
Try to find a short, concise, and direct way to explain what inbound marketing is to your boss. Chances are that if you’re out looking for ways to set your company apart, your boss already trusts your opinion, and is willing to listen. Just make sure you don’t take up too much time explaining the process. Stick to:
- A definition
- The basic goals of inbound marketing
- An outline of the Attract, Convert, Close, Delight flywheel
- The benefits of inbound marketing
We have plenty of clients who’ve never heard of inbound marketing and who just came to us for a new website. Don’t assume that your boss knows what inbound marketing is. If they do, great, but if you really want to sell your boss on inbound marketing, it’s important to start on the same page first.
Step 2: Paint a Picture (It Doesn’t Have to be Pretty)
Once your boss knows what inbound marketing is, paint them a picture of where your company is now, and how inbound marketing can help you get to somewhere better. Like I said in the subtitle, this doesn’t have to be a pretty picture.
If you only get 50 visitors to your website a month, let your boss know. And let them know that’s really bad, too.
It can also be helpful to paint your company’s picture in relation to your competition. No VP of Marketing or Sales wants to see that the competition is doing better than their company.
Use a free site like Ubersuggest to get some initial info on how well your competition is doing. Are they getting more traffic than you? Do they have a better position on Google for your keywords?
Lead with data. When you can paint a clear, factual picture, and back it up with real data about a) how your company is doing, and b) how you could be doing with inbound marketing, you’re going to earn some buy-in from your boss.
Step 3: Show ’em The Money
Your boss cares about the bottom line. No biggie. We all live and die by profit margin. Inbound marketing holds up, and there are plenty of studies to show it. Click To Tweet
How do you prove the ROI of inbound marketing to your boss?
Case studies are one of the easiest ways to show your boss why inbound marketing is worth the investment. Do a little searching around and find some case studies that represent companies similar to yours. (You can start on our site, we’ve got a bunch of FREE ungated case studies over here, showcasing inbound’s results for a number of industries.)
You’re not the first person to have to prove inbound marketing’s ROI to their boss. ROI is important to most companies, and to answer that need, there are plenty of industry studies out there showing exactly how much bang for your buck you get when you invest in inbound.
For example, did you know that:
- It’s 61% cheaper to deliver a lead with inbound marketing versus traditional marketing tactics.
- Inbound marketing tactics generate 54% more leads than traditional paid marketing methods.
- Companies who blog just 1-2 times/month generate 70% more leads than those who don’t.
- The average cost per lead drops 80% after 5 months of consistent inbound marketing.
- Inbound marketing generates three times more leads per dollar than traditional methods.
There’s a lot of info out there on the internet that can help you make this pitch. Come armed with data, statistics, and a compelling story, and you should be able to convince your boss to at least check out inbound marketing.
Your Own Estimates
If you’ve got the tools and the time, it doesn’t hurt to present some real numbers to your boss, either.
Getting a few cost estimates about how much it’ll take to get your company started with an agency, and take a few demos to see what types of tools, like HubSpot or Facebook Advertising might be helpful.
Many digital marketing agencies are happy to offer a few cost estimates, and they’d love to tell you what they can do for your company too.
If your company is serious about hiring an agency for some sort of marketing help, it’s worth it to have those estimates on hand. That way you can show your boss the real projected ROI you’ll see when you do invest in inbound marketing.
Step 4: Get Someone Else On Board
If I had to pick, I’d say go talk to sales. Have you ever met a sales team who felt like they were getting enough leads?
Inbound marketing is an easy sell to sales teams, because it delivers qualified leads directly to them, and helps take a lot of the legwork out of their day-to-day.
Bringing the sales team in as backup shows your boss that a) you’re not the only one who thinks this is a good idea, and b) that inbound marketing is something everyone can get on board with.
When your boss sees that this is an initiative that can prove results, and that other team members will get on board with, their decision is a lot easier.
Most company decision makers shy away from new initiatives for two reasons:
- They’re afraid the cost isn’t worth the rewards.
- They know the initiative is worthwhile, but they’re afraid to spend money on something the team might not use.
Your data already proves that inbound marketing is worthwhile. If you can get someone else at your company onboard with inbound marketing, you solve concern #2 as well. That puts you in a great place to sell your boss on inbound marketing.
Step 5: Make Inbound Marketing an Easy Decision
Here are a couple of things you can do to make your boss’s decision for inbound marketing a little easier:
- Show them the work you’ve done
- Clearly outline your top three inbound marketing agency choices
- Show them how making the switch to inbound can help your company grow
- Invite them to an informational call or demo with one of your top-choice agencies
When your boss sees the work you’ve put into this, they should be willing to at least hear you out. That’s your foot in the door policy. Show them what you’ve learned, and show them why you think inbound marketing is going to be good for your company.
If you do all the work, and present the real, tangible growth benefits that inbound marketing can offer your team, you’re doing everything you can to sell your boss on inbound marketing.
No one but your boss knows exactly how he or she will respond, but at least you’ve done everything you can to set yourself up for success.
We get that making the switch to inbound marketing is a tough choice. Especially for manufacturers and B2Bs, inbound can feel like a foreign way to do things. If you know inbound marketing could help set your company apart from the competition and grow your business with more of the right leads knocking on your door, come talk to us.
We’d be happy to get you the information you need, and we’ll even talk to your boss for you if you want. And, for more info to strengthen your inbound marketing pitch, be sure to check out the case study below.