FACT: CEO’s/CFO’s do not know and understand the dramatic shift in buyer behavior that has transpired over the last 12 months.
As a result, they may not know money could actually be better spent towards the top of the funnel. Translation: Even if the CEO/CFO allocate more money to you (the CSO), you should allocate some of those dollars to Marketing. This will assure that the right amount of potential Buyers are brought into the funnel, and subsequently passed along to your Sales Team. Your CMO will love you for it, and furthermore, you can now hold him accountable for delivering the number of opportunities down the funnel that you need to make your 2013 number.
Proper budget allocation is IMPORTANT, because your own success, as well as the success of your CMO, will depend on the appropriate allocation of overall resources and expenses in 2013. Never before has the linkage between Marketing and Sales become more important. You need a combined budget strategy and mentality in order to truly succeed with today’s buyers.
This year’s sales planning session will probably unfold something like this, depending on whether you are having a great year, or a tough year:
- Great year: Your CEO says, “Take your projected 2012 finish number (the best case that you’re busting your tail to get) and I want you to grow by X% with this expense target.”
- Tough year: Your CEO says, “Take your projected 2012 finish number (your best case finish) and I want you to grow by X% with this expense target.”
And by the way, your CMO partner is going through that exact same exercise.
Sales and Marketing Teamwork = Success
So what’s your next move? How do you make sure that you grow by the CEO-targeted X% with the budget you have been given? Perhaps you need to look no further than your marketing compatriot.
The fact of the matter is that buyer behavior has changed so much in the past 1-2 years that now the buyer is performing 50% (or more) of the Buyer’s Journey on their own. As a result, your well-funded sales team won’t even touch them until they’re already halfway home. If that’s the case, who is responsible for making sure that the potential Buyers make their way through the funnel? The answer: Marketing.
When you receive those dollars from the CEO for 2013, it is up to you how to allocate them in order to make your number. It seems like it could be a waste to spend those dollars on expenses that are all towards the bottom of the funnel, since the Buyer is spending so much time in the top of the funnel on their own.
Your buyers have changed, and likewise the mindset and planning strategy of the VP of Sales/CMO needs to as well. Success will be directly correlated to the strategies, plans, and tactics that you and the CMO will be jointly deploying. A team effort on making sure the overall Sales & Marketing costs are being allocated correctly will ensure mutual success in 2013.
Plan for Joint CMO and CSO Success
Start at the highest level and work your way down to make sure that both you and your CMO get to enjoy this success:
- Productivity Costs (Demand Generation, Lead Management, Training, Sales Ops)
- Infrastructure Costs (Travel & Entertainment, Sales Technology, Recruiting/Sourcing)
- Management Cost (People)
- Sales Cost (Sales and Marketing Compensation)
The example illustrates the use of an independent benchmark. Its role is to provide you visibility into areas that need prioritized focus. In this case the company was overspending and the VP of Sales/CMO had to relocate expenses.
Download our specialized custom tool to see how you’re doing, and what adjustments you’ll need for 2013. Get a copy of the Cost Composition Calculator here.
By teaming up with your CMO and using the plan outlined above, you can assure that you don’t fall into this problem. Instead of feeling like you need to spend your budgeted dollars on Sales-centric expenses, why not rethink your sales strategy and put those dollars where they can benefit the organization the most as a whole? It could be the decision that makes your job (and your CMO’s job) much more enjoyable in 2013.
If you have questions about how to implement this strategy, or just want to discuss this concept further, leave a comment or call me for a free 30-minute discussion to find out how to become world class in 2013 and beyond.