Generating sales is the core foundation of most successful Canadian businesses, whether they operate in a B2C or B2B environment. Without adequate sales, you’re not going to have the revenue you need, but when you’re looking at how you generate sales, it can be difficult to really know what your ROI is, and where you could make changes for more efficiency.
The sales team tends to have a lot of moving parts that go into their process, including meetings and traveling to close deals, so how do you look at them and know if your budget is where it should be, or some changes could be made? What is the true cost of sales in your company?
The following provides some tips on what to know when it comes to planning a sales’ team’s budget.
Planning any budget needs to be based on facts and data, and with the availability of advanced, sophisticated software, there’s no excuse for this not to be happening in Canadian companies of all sizes.
When it comes to the sales team and their budgets in particular, businesses should look for tools that will allow them to compare travel and entertainment spending as it compares to the revenue generated. This needs to be accessible at a glance at any moment, to ensure for example, that the sales team isn’t being cut off right in the middle of making an important deal, for the sake of reducing the budget.
You also want to be able to break it down and get not just an overview, but be able to look at individual accounts or team members and see how they’re performing as compared to what they’re spending.
Even though you’re planning the sales budget, it’s important to bring other relevant departments into the process as well. For example, the marketing team plays a big role in what the sales team is doing. What are they going to be spending, and how is that going to factor into things like sales volume?
In some Canadian businesses, it might also be necessary to speak with the teams responsible for introducing new products, or deciding when old products will become unavailable. These are big factors in the budget requirements of the sales team.
Overall Sales Plan
When you’re working on sales budgets, it shouldn’t be done in a vacuum. Instead, it should be part of a comprehensive sales plan. Otherwise, the budget is just a bunch of meaningless numbers in most cases. If you can integrate your sales plan with your larger marketing plan, even better.
Finally, in a sales plan think about not only broad objectives, but also specific metrics for success, and highlight strategies, quotas, and timeline as well. Then, as time goes on and you see where changes might need to be made to your budget, you can do it while working within the larger framework of the sales plan. You shouldn’t view your sales plan or budget as definitive and set in stone, but instead as a guide forward.