Before they started working with LeadG2, none of our clients had a line item in their budget for inbound marketing. Nor did they have extra unaccounted for dollars in their budget. It’d be a nice problem to have, but who has extra money just laying around dreaming of a new way to be spent? The truth is that businesses are running as lean as they ever have. Organizations are being asked to do more and more with fewer and fewer resources.
In this type of economic environment, the easy thing to do is just try to maintain the status quo. Don’t try anything new that might draw the attention of the “budget cutters”. Just fight for the same funding levels you got last year and try to maintain the same budget allocations.
While this may seem like the easiest and safest way to manage the finances of your business unit or department, it leaves little room for process and performance improvement. This restrictive financial management fosters an environment of complacency, which results in the acceptance of reduced expectations that allow for only incremental performance improvements.
What if You Want More?
But what if incremental performance improvement is no longer good enough? What if you want more? What if you want to see significant gains in revenue growth and ROI? Can you continue to operate your business the same way and expect different results? Probably not. In the absence of new market conditions (increased demand, new untapped markets, etc.), large performance gains in revenue and ROI require innovation. Only new strategies and tactics will lead to results that are different from the string of previous uninspiring quarters.
Innovation is required not only in the new strategies and tactics, but in your budgeting as well. You need to take a fresh look at your budget allocations. Do they still support your goals and expectations? Are the investments driving results? Can you actually measure ROI or are you just guessing?
6 Ideas to Create Funding for ROI-producing Innovations
Below are 6 ideas to help you take a fresh look at your budgets and create funding for innovations like inbound marketing.
- Delay hiring for open sales territories and assign these territories to the highest performers on your team.
- Eliminate the lowest performers on the sales team, and reallocate the overhead associated with these positions to improve the productivity of your top performers.
- Stop paying for the CRM software subscription that none of your sales team is using. Every business should have a functioning CRM. The key word is “functioning”. If your sales team doesn’t use the CRM, then it’s not functioning. Too many sales organizations are paying large monthly software subscription fees for CRM applications they get little or no value from. Take a step back and reevaluate what you’re getting for that investment. Your best option might be to try a free CRM application like HubSpot CRM. The price point is great, but it’s also extremely easy to learn and use. Consequently, the sales team will actually see value in it and use it.
- Are you still printing brochures and other marketing materials? They might look good in your sales team’s briefcases or sitting on a shelf, but if no one is reading them they are a waste of money.
- Is your PPC and digital advertising yielding leads that the sales team actually adopts, works, and turn into forecastable deals? How many leads to these campaigns produce? Are they ever even followed up on?
- How many tradeshows/events do you sponsor and/or attend? Are they all worthwhile? Just because you were there the last 10 years doesn’t mean you have to go this year. How many leads did they produce for you? How many customers? Are they supporting the sales process or are they just a nice PR experience?
When you ask the hard questions and start measuring the results of the marketing you’re currently doing, you may find that the budget you need for inbound marketing is right there waiting for you.