The end of the fiscal year is fast approaching for many companies. Money left over at year’s end seems like a nice problem to have, especially in this economy. But, if your company is of the ilk that rewards prudent money management by slicing next year’s budget (seriously, what’ up with that?), then you know you have to use it or lose it.
Don’t just spend it to spend it – invest your budget surplus to grow next year’s profits. Here are three areas where you could get the most bang for your buck.
- Invest in people
- Bring your marketing and sales teams up to date in the latest lead generating and sales techniques. The sales landscape has changed and cold calling is dead or dying. On-line lead generation supports warm calls to prospects who have a demonstrated interest in your products and services.
- Invest in updated technical skills. Your teams must be able to incorporate technology into their day-to-day tasks to be effective .
- Don’t use sales people to clean up a messy database – get a temp or intern to get your database ready for holiday mailing.
- Make this the last year for the holiday card excel-spreadsheet-nightmare by organizing and segmenting your database.
- Invest in your online presence
- Refresh or redesign your website. Your website is more than an online brochure. It must be a resource that attracts your ideal customers and helps them solve problems.
- If you’ve got great website design but don’t create fresh content, then get started. It’s not as resource-intensive as you may think, especially if you empower your entire staff. Engage them in your blogging and social media efforts and train them to effectively promote your brand.
- Use Google Analytics (free) or get real insights into SEM (search engine marketing) with investments in marketing software like HubSpot or Marketo. Start now; you can get some quick wins in lead gen, but it takes time to realize the substantial ROI that’s possible – the sooner to start, the sooner you can start closing more business.
- Invest in your systems
- For many sales people, laptops have gone the way of the dinosaur Your sales team should take every advantage of tablets and smart phones to connect to customer and prospect details.
- How’s the CRM system working out for the company?
- If you don’t have one, get one! There is no way you can manage a sales team of more than one effectively if you don’t have a tool in place to share account details.
- If you have CRM and reps aren’t using it effectively, address the reasons why and fix them. No management oversight? Is it poorly designed? Is it confusing and difficult to use? All fixable. You owe it to your bottom line.
One final word: if you’re still hunkered down waiting for a recovery, take a look around: the economy is improving. This is the time to invest in the future.