Do you have a marketing and sales plan that helps you know which customers to target? With that information, have you created a budget? Do you have clear goals for the year and do you have a way of measuring your success in achieving those goals?
The best companies that I’ve encountered have tremendous focus on their customers and know whom they want as new customers. In turn, their sales plan creates incentives for the sales force to work to match desired new customers with those in the sales plan. The marketing plan is designed to help drive potential customers to the firm and then for the sales team to recognize those possible clients.
The sales and marketing budget should drive your general business budget. A budget provides a business roadmap much like a GPS does, for your company. Without a budget, companies don’t have a clear path to follow that helps the company achieve financial goals. Common sense tells us that optimizing success requires a plan. Good things don’t typically happen by accident. It takes thoughtful preparation. With a sales and marketing plan, you should be able to forecast sales requirements. Those needs should drive your planning for sales personnel, the size of the operations team and the support team needed for operations as well as any ancillary personnel needs. You need to think this out.
Just as the military has a plan for battle, firms should have a plan. Companies should know what steps they plan to take with specific measurable objectives. Then the company needs to drive to meet those objectives. The company should also have a secondary plan that describes the steps that are planned if it becomes obvious that the organization will not be able to meet the primary goals.
The company should also have the ability to check actual results against the budgeted plan. Do you have the ability to check your actual revenue and expenses against the budget? With this information, management can focus on the exceptions to the budget, save time and generate more profits.
This level of planning may be more intensive than you have experienced. Many companies try to go through this process but may attempt to speed up the process and take unwise shortcuts. Engaging an experienced guide helps keep the process well-grounded and effective. Our partners at B2B CFO® have remarkable experience and are happy to talk to you about providing support!