It’s Time to Work that…2015 Budget

 

Posted By Anastasia Bogomolov | Nov 25, 2014

 

How to effectively align your 2015 budget to your biggest challenges

We asked, you answered: Achieving aggressive growth and expansion plans ranked top in our recent poll asking readers to identify their biggest sales and marketing challenge. Accelerating the productivity of my salesforce came in close second. Were we surprised? Not really. With little exception, these challenges are top of mind for any sales leader, in any sales organization, in any industry, and very likely at all times of the year. Moreover, in one form or another, these 3 company needs (growth, expansion, and productivity) are responsible for a sales leader’s drive and archetypical need to succeed.

How to effectively align your 2015 budget to your biggest challengesBut one thing’s for sure, conquering them (and doing so on a year to year basis) is undeniably one of the most difficult feats in the lifespan of any organization, enabling these persistent challenges to behave more as mere rhetoric than achievable guidelines. With budget season here and kickin’, it’s time for the usual: aim high and go for the gold – only this time, let’s get real and utilize the budget to set some reasonable goals for winning.

As you create your plan for 2015 – what are some key considerations for overcoming such challenges as achieving growth and accelerating productivity of your salesforce? How will your budget, objectives, staffing, and so on come together to support those plans? First off, it’s important to note that while setting lofty goals is great, executing on them effectively is a whole different ballgame. An agile and predictive process can make all the difference when it comes to committing to your planned initiatives.

Easier said than done? Absolutely. But hey, ad hoc and poorly defined strategies rarely yield consistent achievements, so trying something different by embracing change (think about it as the only dependable constant) and planning for it in your budget may just make all the difference. And because unplanned disruption can impact sales performance and have negative effects on your year, it’s imperative to account for change in your 2015 planning.

Keeping in mind the nearly universal need to accelerate growth and increase productivity, consider these quick tips for creating your 2015 budget:

  • Put a consistent sales process in place – Make the your processes more prescriptive, scalable and repeatable in order to achieve consistent success.
  • Increase your sales pipeline without adding headcount – Reducing turnover in sales means hiring costs go down. Being more efficient in the sales cycle translates to increased sales velocity.
  • Adapt in real time – Just like with your budget, your sales teams need to react quickly to changes in your organization or to the competition.
  • Move the middle – Increase the performance of the reps you already have by providing them with more guidance to become top performers.

By applying these strategies, you’re primed to attain predictable results and finally – finally – work that budget to tackle your ongoing challenges.