Scrambling to get your budget locked down racing into 2024? We know first-hand how many marketers are right there with you. With limited resources and tight budgets hitting nearly every team, most of us are feeling the pressure to make the most of every dollar and hour we have. Plus, most of us are ready to take advantage of pockets of opportunity rather than just focus on what's 'not working.'
After seeing the all-too-familiar dynamic of increased competition for the same pool of accounts without increased budget — we need a new way of looking at those dotted lines and spreadsheets. It's time to close those tabs, get back to the basics, and refresh your approach.
Check Your Budget Assumptions to Focus on Value > Cost
We’re here to let you in on a not-so-secret secret — you don’t always need more budget to get the job done. Instead, it’s time to rethink your big bets. You often hear this when it comes to product marketing — you don’t always need to lower the cost of what you sell, you need to increase its value. The same mentality should be applied to your budget. Here are 3 quick questions to ask yourself (and yes, we’ll then walk you through 3+ ways to answer them).
3 Budget Q&As for Quick Impact
Question 1: Are we focusing on the best prospects, and how do we optimize conversion rates across channels?
Answer 1: Make sure you’re not missing out on in-market accounts and ABMify existing channels
- Capture in-market accounts to build a strong, fast-moving pipeline: In-market accounts are more likely to close than those that are not actively looking for a solution. By focusing your efforts on this sub-set of accounts, you’ll eliminate waste and zero in on high-fit, high-intent, and high-engagement accounts. That means no more throwing budget on the wrong leads, and gaining that budget back to spend wisely. Plus, this will give your sales team extra trust in your process with a higher rate of SQLs.
Want to get your hands on accounts in-market for you today? Start with our free tool.
- Improve engagement on existing channels with ABMification: Your existing channels are likely already generating leads, but there’s likely much room for improvement and some gaps in your conversion funnel. By taking a 1:many ABM approach to common channels like ads, email, content syndication, gifting, and events — you’ll double down on only spending budget in the right place. The best part is that ABMifying your existing channels is there’s no net new cost. By making small adjustments to your current campaigns, you can increase their impact and generate more leads.The result? Better conversion rates, a happier sales team, and a budget that does more with less.
Question #2: What vendors could help not only optimize my spending, but fit into the tech stack/goals/processes I have today?
Answer #2: Seek vendors who can optimize your budget to do more with less and meet you where you're at — after all, your tech should be automating and augmenting your impact.
- Give your tech stack a reality check, and evaluate new vendors based on what they can do with the budget you DO have. This could be as simple as asking your content syndication vendor to only deliver leads that come from your target account list (TAL) or match your ICP. It also looks like making room in your tech stack for new tools that can automate and optimize your budget with the right data, engagement, and insights. For example, recent Gartner research shows the dividends of running with tech vs. no tech in ABM programs (that 15% higher win rate looks good, doesn't it?):
*Source: 2022 Gartner Technology Marketing Benchmarks
- Come prepared to any demos or sales conversations with tech partners, asking them to show you how they can take what you have and positively impact not just old school ‘lead volume’ but pipeline, deal size, time to close, etc.
- Look out for vendors who preach a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to adopting their tech. All marketers are in their own industry, on their own evolution, and have their own unique processes — opt for someone who can meet you where you're at, not require you to start from scratch with a 6-month overhaul. Tech that fits you, not the vendor, is crucial to staying nimble in 2023.
Question #3: Where do I have flexibility to shift budget and how do I get my leadership on board?
Answer #3: The final step. See how you can reshuffle discretionary budget once you’ve optimized channels and vendors — and seal the deal on your final numbers.
- We all know that in rockier economic times with everything under scrutiny, leadership isn’t exactly thrilled at the thought of trying entirely new strategies or embarking on a massive tech stack overhaul. TL;DR: it sounds like a lot of not only cost, but human capital to get done. And no one has much of either to bet on lofty programs.
- Come prepared with your big bets — where you’re reducing, where you’re increasing, and why. Visualize this impact in increments, and how your team can support these shifts.
With this cheat sheet Q&A, we hope you’re on the path to a less-rocky start to the new year and can rest easy that your budget doesn’t need to expand to promise impact. It’s all about focusing on the right targets, on the right channels, and getting your sales team to hit the goals to get you where you need to go. After all, in a tight market -- every lead counts.
About the AuthorFollow on Linkedin More Content by Caroline Van Dyke, Head of Content