Build a Business Case for a New Lead Generation Strategy

By Dayna Rothman

You are armed with your goals and your lead generation plan, but now you need stakeholder buy-in. What is stakeholder buy-in? You need the support of your executive team to make your dreams a reality. Your stakeholders give you a budget, help you staff, and support your program efforts. They are also the people who very carefully watch your successes.

In order to build a successful business case, you need the following tools for success:

  • Your lead generation plan: Make sure you have your well-organized project plan, which channels you intend to participate in, and your priorities listed and mapped.

  • Your success metrics: How are you planning on measuring your success and what are you planning on measuring? Maybe you are planning to implement a marketing automation tool to help with tracking, or maybe you just plan to start on a spreadsheet for now. Either way, you need to have a clear idea of how success will be measured.

  • Your budget: Your key stakeholders want to know how much budget you need to implement your lead generation plan. Be sure to include any additional marketing staff headcount dollars in this budget estimate. You might not have an exact number now, but try and get an estimate of needed funds. Review your costs from last year to get a baseline.

  • Your timeline: What is the timeline in which you intend to attain your goals? What can your stakeholders expect in one month, six months, or one year?

  • Your presentation: You want to create a well-thought-out PowerPoint or Keynote presentation to give the team. Remember, they might not know what lead generation is, so be sure to describe the benefits.

Choose your stakeholders

Who in your organization needs to know about your program and give it their blessing? Chances are you have a handful or more of people who need to know about your program and who have a say in how things should be carried out. These are your program stakeholders. These are the people you need to present your plan to.

There are a variety of people in different departments who you need support from. They may include but aren’t limited to the following:

  • The CMO (chief marketing officer): The CMO needs ultimate signoff on your proposal because he will be providing the budget. He is also most likely the person to whom you need to be reporting metrics and outcomes.

  • The VP of Sales or GM (general manager): Your sales executives are the next on your list who need to buy into your plan: They are affected by it just as much as you are. Sales and marketing need to be aligned for your programs to work, so the VP of Sales or your GM is a critical component for success.

  • The CTO/CIO (chief technology/information officer): If you are planning on implementing any technology, whether it is a marketing automation platform or even a program like HootSuite to run your Twitter profiles, your CTO needs to be in-the-know. She has to provide resources and help you determine which applications would be the best fit.

  • The CFO (chief financial officer): You definitely need a budget. And your CFO wants to know how much you need and what you need it for.

  • The CEO: Depending on program size and your company size, the CEO may want to be involved in your decision-making process. Keep him in the loop and invite him to meetings when appropriate.

Come up with your list of needs

Now that you have a clear understanding of who needs to sign off on your program, you need to determine what you need from them and why they should care. Always have a clear call-to-action (CTA) and show what’s in it for them. What do you want to ask them for?

If you go into the meeting, present your plan, and don’t ask for anything, you will probably hear crickets from your stakeholder team as they try to figure out why you invited them to your meeting in the first place.

So have an ask (or several) and make sure to include all of your asks in your presentation. Your needs depend of course on your own unique business case, but here is an example of what you might want to cover:

  • Needed budget for all programs

  • Needed headcount for program execution and success

  • Needed technology for metrics measurement and project planning

  • Needed internal resources for support and planning

  • Needed SLAs (service-level agreements) that you might want to put in place to ensure follow-through from different teams

Also make sure that you have a timeline for when you need the final decisions from your stakeholders. Particularly, let them know if you have any programs planned that have deadlines or that are time-specific like an event. This helps to move the process along.

Schedule regular check-in meetings with your stakeholder groups. Schedule a follow-up meeting after your initial presentation so that you can discuss with them further questions or concerns and understand when your stakeholders intend to give you the answers to some of your questions about budgets and headcount. Then make sure you set ongoing check-in meetings with them to report on progress.

Develop your presentation slide deck

A key part of presenting to your stakeholders is making sure you present the details of your plan in a clear and concise manner. A PowerPoint presentation gives your presentation structure and gives you an outline to follow. Consider the following outline for your slides:

  • Slide 1: Title Page: [Insert company name] Lead Generation Plan. Also include the definition of lead generation on this slide.

  • Slide 2: Agenda: Include what you are going to speak about in your presentation so that your stakeholders know the meeting roadmap.

  • Slide 3: Executive summary: This reviews what you are going to talk about and some of your key points.

  • Slides 46: Background: Set the scene for your stakeholders. Talk about the changing marketing landscape, the new buyer, and so on. Also discuss where your marketing is now. It is here that you want to build a compelling case as to why a lead generation program is needed.

  • Slides 710: WIIFM: These are the What’s in It for Me slides. This is where you define lead generation and show your stakeholders all of the benefits of implementing a lead generation strategy.

  • Slides 1112: Plan: Discuss and show what your actual plan is and why. Show them your project plan and walk them through each step.

  • Slide 13: Metrics: Show how you plan on measuring your success.

  • Slide 14: Getting started: How do you plan on getting started with your lead generation efforts? Include a timeline that shows step-by-step where you plan on being in three months to a year.

  • Slide 15: Summary: Before you go into your Calls to Action (CTAs), show them a quick summary of what you discussed. Make sure your best key talking points are there.

  • Slide 16: CTAs: What do you need from your stakeholder group and when do you need it?

  • Slide 17: Next steps: Take this time to set up follow-up meetings.

  • Slide 18: Thank you and Q&A: Never forget to thank your stakeholders for attending. Then open the meeting up for Q&A. No doubt there will be plenty of questions you might need to answer.