3 Ways To Gain Executive Buy In

It has happened to all of us. We learn something new at an industry event, or read something amazing that could change the way you do business, but how do you pitch it to your boss, team leader, executives or even the CEO?  Many organizations foster the idea of innovation and welcome change within; however, most sadly do not. So, how can you share ideas and influence change within your organization and gain the often elusive executive buy in?

shutterstock_224973049Understanding the value and keys to of obtaining executive buy in is timely as event season is just about to kick-off. This week’s Content Marketing World in Cleveland and a host of other inspiring and educational events are sure to share best practices that you will want to implement. How do you share ideas and leverage the experiences you have at these events? According to a recent article in Harvard Business Review (HBR), Getting the Boss to Buy In there are a few key areas to focus on when engaging in “issue selling” and presenting new ideas to your boss and teams when suggesting change.

3 Ways To Get Buy In:

Make it relevant:
When you return from an event with a new concept that will drive more revenue for your organization, or are looking to try a new process to save resources, you need to learn to tailor your pitch when presenting ideas based on the audience. Just as markers know we need develop buyer-centric content to reach and engage our audience, you must know your audience and tailor your pitch accordingly, especially when presenting a new idea or suggesting change. Know what drives the CMO (revenue, increase in customer lifetime value, new logos, and customer advocacy) and share how your ideas will help support these goals. Understand what drives your other audiences and pitch the ideas accordingly. Don’t assume everyone has the same goals when sharing your ideas.

Illustrate the benefits:
There are benefits to an organization as well as personal benefits that need to be clearly illustrated to gain executive buy in. Illustrating benefits is similar to making it relevant, but clearly show how this change or idea will positively impact the organization. Speak the language of your boss, use numbers, statistics, revenues or savings percentage to help quantify the value of the proposed change. Focus on the positive benefits of this idea and why it is important to the organization and also, to you as an individual and a member of the organization. Be personally invested in the idea.

Lead the change:
Why is it your job to lead the charge on the new idea? According to the HBR article, you (managers in the middle) are in a unique position. Why? You see and experience when the market, customer or partnership are ready for change through direct contact and intelligence gathering. The article also states that often organizations won’t prosper unless individuals speak up and identify and promote the need for change.

Make the most of this golden age of marketing and learn new ideas and concepts for yourself, but ultimately, work to enhance the effectiveness of your organization. Whether it is a new way to utilize marketing automation to support your Demand Generation Strategy or how to create content that helps engage buyers better, identify and promote the need for change to your executives. Your ideas and opinions are valid – present the ideas strategically by tailoring your message to your executives, ensure the benefits are clear and then lead the charge. Getting executive buy in is essential for bringing new ideas to your organization, but always remember, you need to be ready to drive the change once you get the buy in. That’s what makes this whole process work.

Author: Erika Goldwater CIPP/US @erikawg VP, Marketing for ANNUITAS