Sales and Marketing Budget: Use it or Lose it?
This article was originally published on December 14, 2018. This updated and revised version was published on November 16th, 2020.
It’s almost the end of 2020. If your sales and marketing budget is based on an annual allocation and isn’t maxed out yet, it could threaten your budget for 2021. Leaving some of the funds untouched could cause leadership to think you didn’t need all of it. As a result, they might approve less budget for the year ahead.
You only have two weeks left and if you’re looking for ways to use your budget, one of the best ways is to develop a marketing plan that helps your sales team start more sales conversations so they can create more customers in 2021. Continue reading to learn the best options available for spending your remaining 2020 budget.
9 Ways to Use Your End-of-Year Sales and Marketing Budget
With the end of the year rapidly approaching, it’s time to find ways to spend those available dollars. There are many options, such as advertising, premium sales tools, or focusing on modern selling branding and skills development. Each of these, when used properly, can have a dramatic impact on achieving next year’s revenue goals.
If you’re still searching for ways to spend your budget, have no fear. The Vengreso founders have come together to share ways to use your sales and marketing dollars now and maximize revenue impact for next year.
Viveka von Rosen’s Tips:
#1: Invest in Premium Sales Solutions
While some companies resist the “pay to play” model when it comes to software solutions, if you find yourself at year-end with some budget left over, that might be the perfect time to invest in software that could help to increase your sales team’s productivity and revenue in 2021.
One premium solution I can’t live without (now!) is LinkedIn® Sales Navigator. Previously, I was hesitant to invest in this tool until an end-of-year budget crunch time a couple of years ago. Best of all, Sales Navigator is great for B2B sales teams. Sales leadership can see how their reps are engaging with prospects, whether they’re on pace to hit their goals, and more. Plus, I can easily track my ROI and know that this investment produces major rewards.
But don’t forget: A fool with a tool is still a fool. That’s why it’s so important to offer LinkedIn® Sales Navigator training to your sellers so they can learn the specific techniques to effectively leverage the tool to find, engage, and connect with prospects to start more sales conversations.
#2: Purchase Sales Incentives
There is nothing like rewarding your best sales reps with end-of-year awards or setting up sales quota incentives! Trips or iPads are always a big win. Buy it now and give it to them in the new year.
It’s true that unlike many of the suggestions on this list, these expenses may not have a direct impact on revenue or hitting sales goals. However, it can create competition between sales reps and offer rewards for reaching their targets.
#3: LinkedIn® Advertising
LinkedIn® ads have gotten a bit of a bum rap – but if you do them right, they can produce good results. Why not use some of your end-of-year budget and invest in LinkedIn® ads or other advertising campaigns? Perhaps you could target a new audience with a year-end sale of your products or services.
The key is to avoid having your ads sound like ads. Instead, use the same approach we teach in our PVC Sales Methodology™ and focus on providing value to increase engagements.Sales and Marketing #Budget: Use it or Lose it? @LinkedInExpert shares how to use up this year's budget to drive #2021 revenue. #DigitalSales #DigitalMarketingClick To Tweet
Kurt Shaver’s Tips:
#4: Sponsor a Podcast
Podcast content has a long shelf life and provides value to a specific audience. In fact, according to Convince and Convert, 32% of Americans, or roughly 90 million people, listen to podcasts monthly. Additionally, 22%, or roughly 62 million people, listen to podcasts every week.
With this increase in audience, Google has started adding podcasts to search results. The best part is that podcasts usually target a very specific audience, which means by sponsoring the right ones you can reach the ears of your target customers.
#5: Optimize LinkedIn® Profiles
It’s important to ensure that your team is representing your company well. One of the best ways is to book a photographer for your 2021 National Sales Meeting to take professional headshots of your staff.
These types of marketing expenses can be overlooked during the budgeting process. But with year-end funds available, it is the perfect way to improve your sales rep’s professional branding on LinkedIn®.
And, if you still have money in that budget and you’re looking for more impact than just looking good, consider a company-wide LinkedIn® Profile Makeover for Teams program. This investment will dramatically help your sales team stand out, add value to their prospects and attract more opportunities leading to more booked calls.Sales and Marketing #Budget: Use it or Lose it? @KurtShaver says investing in #podcast sponsorship can get you in front of your targeted buyers in #2021. #DigitalSelling #ContentMarketingClick To Tweet
Mario Martinez Jr.’s Tips:
#6: Order Sales Books
There are so many great sales books available to help your team grow and develop in 2021. One of the best ways to spend your remaining sales and marketing budget is to find books for your sales leaders, sales enablement leaders, and marketing leaders that offer insights they can use in their role.
Some books identify ways to leverage marketing efforts to engage with prospects throughout the buying process. Others can teach leadership and management techniques to coach sellers on specific techniques to hit their revenue goals.
Find the right books to help your team grow as a producer and as leaders to achieve their goals in the coming year.
#7: Focus on Professional Development
Here is a great one that won’t impact your budget one penny – encourage your sales reps and leaders to subscribe to a free 12-month digital subscription to Selling Power Magazine to help them grow in their role.
This monthly magazine offers:
- Proven selling tactics from industry leaders.
- Sales strategies from experts to increase sales performance.
- Motivation to empower your reps with a winning attitude.
Additionally, it offers print and digital versions, so they can absorb the information as they prefer. That type of professional development will help your sellers produce more in the coming year and will help show them that you’re invested in their future.#Sales and Marketing #Budget: Use it or Lose it? @M_3Jr shares that the right books can be great gifts to help your team grow personally and professionally. #DigitalSales #SalesLeadershipClick To Tweet
Bernie Borges’s Tips for a Sales and Marketing Budget:
#8: Identify Content Gaps
If you haven’t gone through the exercise of setting up a content for sales enablement strategy, it’s an essential step to empower your reps to effectively engage the modern buyer. This is much more than a content marketing strategy. Instead, it is identifying, organizing, and creating content for specific buyer personas at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Documenting buyer personas is an opportunity to revisit the basic understanding of what makes your buyer tick in terms of pain points, interests and needs and map them to your offerings. Once you’ve defined the content your sales team needs, you’ll be ready to produce and distribute it.
Your sellers will love that you used your budget surplus to create a content for sales plan because it makes their lives easier. They will no longer need to curate or create content themselves to share with prospects. Additionally, they’ll be able to easily develop their thought leadership on social media platforms by sharing relevant content.
#9: Invest in Employee Advocacy
Each year the Edelman Trust Barometer report reveals that employees are the most trusted source of information. Give employees what they want – a chance to be empowered to share your content, engage on social media and show their authentic support for your brand.
Don’t miss out on creating and implementing an employee advocacy program as a key element to your digital sales and marketing strategy for the new year.Sales and #Marketing #Budget: Use it or Lose it? @BernieBorges shares how investing NOW in an employee advocacy program can develop thought leadership in 2021. #DigitalSelling #SocialSellingClick To Tweet
Achieve Stronger Results in 2021
Looking for better results in 2021? Use your remaining sales and marketing budget wisely to build the foundation for next year’s success by applying the tips above.
BOTTOM LINE: Whatever you do, don’t let that budget go to waste. There are so many ways you can utilize it now that will produce ROI in 2021.