3 Ways to Eke a Little More Out of Your Sales Budget

squeezing-money-out-of-the-budgetSales budgets are already tight in most organizations these days, but that doesn’t mean expectations have relaxed. In order to keep up your department’s performance on a limited budget, you have to stay proactive and creative to get the most out every available dollar.

Luckily there are three simple steps you can take to help you get some extra mileage out of your sales budget without sacrificing results.

Step 1: Optimize Ad Bidding

If you’re a consumer-facing business, most of your current customers (who represent up-selling opportunities) and potential consumers (new revenue!) spend a considerable amount of time on social media.

In September 2014, Business Insider’s Emily Adler reported that “Americans spend more time on social media than any other major Internet activity, including email.” And with the potential revenue represented by this screen time, you can’t afford not to put yourself front and center.

But, like you, your competition is also realizing the opportunity provided by online advertising, and bidding can get out of hand in a hurry. You need to know where and how to invest your budget the best.

First, start with the where.

According to Bloomberg Business Week, most Americans spend a majority of their social media time— 40 minutes a day, to be exact—on Facebook. And with the most eyes on this platform for the most amount of time, it’s your safest bet for marketing, native advertising and display ads.

While Facebook has proven an effective means of advertising and capturing sales, you need the right bidding strategy to get the most out of the platform. Fortunately, Facebook makes things fairly intuitive.

The platform provides you with all the tools you need to optimize your ad bidding and reach the right people. All you have to do is decide who you want to reach and how much you want to pay for one click or 1,000 impressions of your ad, and Facebook does the rest.

When you optimize your bidding strategy and you target the right customers, you can stretch your sales dollars further.

Step 2: Trim Your Internal Workforce

How much does having an internal sales staff cost you? We’re not just talking base salary and commission. Training. Overhead. Benefits. Health care. Turnover. Expenses add up quickly when you have a fulltime, in-house team.

When you outsource inside sales, you’re doing two important things that can help you stretch your sales budget just a little bit farther.

The first is that you’re utilizing a team of highly skilled professionals who are already trained and ready to drive sales. You don’t have to spend the time and money onboarding new personnel into your organization.

Secondly, outsourcing lowers your overhead costs— and that means higher margins. Your bottom-line profit increases for every sales dollar you generate when you work with outsourced personnel.

Step 3: Brush Up on Your Account Planning Skills

The accounts that you pursue and the relationships you create are almost as important as the number of sales personnel that you have and the dollars you’re allocated. You need to prioritize your accounts and pursue those clients with the highest potential for sales. You also need to make sure that your sales personnel stay on task and don’t go chasing clients when the probability of success is low. Once you optimize your account planning skills, you’ll start to see a better return on your sales dollars.

The Bottom Line

Although your sales budget may be tight, there are some clever techniques you can implement that’ll boost your revenue without detracting from your bottom line, optimizing cash flow for your organization and, perhaps more importantly, providing the ROI you need to expand your budget in the next fiscal year.

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