Veronica Malloy, A-LIGN
The power of data has transformed the way organizations are operating, allowing leadership to have better oversight into how each department supports the overall firm and its sales goals. It provides greater insight into how to deliver targeted messaging and develop data-driven marketing strategies that generate a higher return on investment (ROI). So how can data analytics tie into building a marketing and sales budget? It’s simple – you cannot determine where to spend your dollars without insight into which marketing tactics have been generating qualified leads and sales.
Before creating a budget, you need answers to certain questions. The same questions that should be addressed in your marketing plan and may require research to uncover:
- What are your highest revenue generating industry verticals?
- What are your highest revenue generating service lines?
- What is your highest revenue generating lead source? (Pay-per-click, tradeshows, referrals, etc.)
- How many leads per month do you average? Can you tie these back to service lines and lead sources?
- Who are your A, B, and C clients (determined by the amount of sales generated)?
- What are your sales goals for the upcoming year?
Once you have the data to answer these questions, you can start to build a marketing plan that includes the different strategies and vehicles you plan to use to generate leads through new business or existing business. For example, if your highest revenue generating industry is manufacturing and distribution and most of your revenue came from leads from tradeshows, then your budget should ensure it has enough allocated for that lead source in the upcoming year.
The key to developing a strategic marketing and sales budget is the ability to tie each marketing tactic back to revenue. An important part of this is the use of a CRM, allowing you to have greater insight into the buyer’s journey. Moreover, sales forecasting will be a big proponent on how your budget should be created. Analyzing your firm’s sales for the last three years and discovering which industries and service lines have attributed to growth will allow you to create effective sales goals for the upcoming year. Whether this is your responsibility or that of leadership within your firm, it is important to have the data to guide your marketing efforts in the right direction – the direction of higher ROI.
As you begin to embrace the role of a data analyst to better understand your buyers, it becomes easier to create a marketing budget that supports leadership’s sales goals; this allows you to better enhance marketing efforts and maximize your budget spend.