The B2B marketing budget is equally as important as the budgets for other departments in your company. Here are a few steps to take to ensure you create a compelling and convincing pitch to your CFO.
If the B2B marketing budget sells, the marketing strategy might too.
One of the challenges faced by marketers is selling the marketing budget to their executive teams. However, the best way to justify a company’s marketing expenses is to visualize it as part of the company’s revenue generation. It can be far more effective than just referring to previous years’ numbers and adding or deleting such information based on estimation alone.
Many marketers believe their first customer is the VP of Sales, or in some cases, the CEO. Though these are important individuals, there is one person who stands between them and you: the CFO. Convincing him first to sanction your plans can work wonders. With all processes in place, when discussing budgets, the buck really stops at the desk of the CFO.
Things CFOs Should Avoid Sharing with The CEO
Once the process is complete, or about to be complete, there are certain things you don’t want your CFO to share with your CEO including:
- Those guys spend a lot of money, but they have no clue about what they are working toward.
- Why should we grant marketing more budgets if they are not showing results?
- Why is the sales team always complaining about the marketing team?
- We must cut the budget; let’s start with the marketing department.
CFOs Expectations From their Marketing Department
To be sure your CFO doesn’t speak about your marketing team and efforts in this way, let’s look at some points that CFOs are looking for from their marketing department:
- As a department, which analytics do marketers use to achieve their financial goals?
- Does strong integration exist between the sales and marketing departments to help marketers build a solid pipeline?
- Is there accountability in the marketing department when it comes to developing valid business cases?
- Can it be ensured that B2B marketing functions keep checks on non-financial goals like support agreement?
Beyond these four questions, there are other important elements like improving the return on investment, and reducing expenses. Usually, CFO’s are ready to trade off capital against brand development.
Tips for CMOs to Create a Lasting Impression on Your CFO
To make a lasting impression on your CFO, here are four methods you should adopt:
- It can be a challenge to think of your CFO as a customer. Their challenges and concerns are not the same as others.
- Integrate with other departments, particularly sales. This can ensure that the service levels are recommended and processes are defined to expectations.
- When in front of CFO, speak his language. Talk about revenue and avoid asking about quotes.
- Set all metrics for performance monitoring so the CFO can build his confidence in you.
It may sound very simple to just go ahead and sell to your customer, but it is not as simple as the words on this screen. A CFO is usually a taskmaster whose responsibility it is to measure and maintain the company’s profitability.