We’ve all had moments where we get great business ideas. Revelations and epiphanies that seem so promising to start. You see visions of making your 2013 and 2014 sales number. These are ideas that will change the course of the organization. They’ll undoubtedly yield success.
Then reality hits.
You don’t have the budget you need. These big picture projects cost money in addition to your existing budget. If you’re like most VP-Sales, this is money you most likely don’t have. But there’s one thing you’ve learned throughout your career. If you want to survive as VP-Sales, these projects must get off the ground.
So – how do you fund these projects?
Sometimes it takes a little bit of creative thinking. Instead of fighting the CFO for more funding, work within your current budget. Your success will prove you’re determined and resourceful.
Here are 2 options for uncovering dollars today in your current budget. Additionally, we’ve included a 3rd tactic to justify the implementation of your project.
Examine the overall sales/marketing budget spend left for 2013. Can you reallocate any of these funds? How big is your project? It’s possible you need to dip into your 2014 budget as well. However, if you execute, this budget reallocation will pay off in spades during 2014.
2) Rethink Sales Team Head Count
Do you have underperforming, or ‘C’ Player sales team members? If so, consider removing them. This will create open positions you can fill with ‘A’ level talent. It will also help you save the money from their salary. You can then allocate that salary money to other projects.
Next, it could take you 60-120 days to find the right talent. By this time, it’s the end of 2013. This year’s budget is no longer a concern. You’re essentially trading dollars. You successfully save 5 months of underperforming sales rep salary. You can allocate those 5 months of salary into your new project. Once this is done, you replace those underperforming reps with ‘A’ players. You’re able to execute your project, and upgrade your talent all at once.
Bonus Tactic: Build a Business Case
Building a thorough business case can prove to be a valuable asset. You’ll need to show, without a doubt, how your project will yield revenue lift. You’ll also need to project exactly how much revenue lift you expect. At the end of the business case you should be able to say: “Yes, I can afford this project because of the ROI in 2014.”
Sales Strategy Projects you Should be Working On
Whether you’re ahead or behind 2013 plan, thoughts must now begin to shift.
You need to start thinking about 2014.
You should be in the early stages of sales strategizing. Today’s activities will fill next year’s sales pipeline. If this year is like every other year, your sales target will go up. What are you doing today to prepare for 2014?
Are you brainstorming big picture sales improvement projects that will position your 2014 success? You should be. These are structure and strategy projects. They’re focused on changing the actions of your sales team. They modernize your processes and keep your organization relevant. Most importantly, they help you make the number in 2014 (and possibly this year as well).
Here are a few examples of these types of projects:
- Building demand generation campaigns
- Creating infrastructure to produce relevant top-of-the-funnel content
- Generating a custom sales process to stay up to speed with the massive changes in the buyer’s journey
- Equipping sales team with the skills they need to engage prospects with social selling
As a sales leader, you’re expected to make changes to sales strategy and process. These changes must keep your sales team relevant and successful. However, you have to balance these ambitions with reality. Working within your budget is part of being a World Class VP-Sales. Finding creative and effective ways to utilize your dollars separates you from the pack.