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Should Sales Budgets be created by Sales Directors or the whole Leadership Team?

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The Executive Summary:

  1. Sales Budgets are a crucial aspect of business strategy, that all senior leaders and managers need to understand.

  2. Sales Budgets help plan marketing campaigns, team and resources, and increase profitable growth.

  3. Sales Budgets should be co-created and shared to foster understanding, collaboration, and innovation.

A man talking to his business leader peers around a table. Text says: Understanding Sales Budgets.

In Aspirin’s Leadership Gym last month, we focussed on creating a Sales Budget (or Income Matrix). Most senior leaders and managers, in organisations of all sizes, leave this to the Sales Director to produce. But, it’s such a fundamental piece of the business strategy and a driver of activity and marketing costs, it’s important that all senior leaders and managers know how to create a Sales Budget.

In the early stages of business, AND during fast-changing markets, we often take the work that’s available. We adapt our delivery to suit, and do more bespoke work. That can identify future growth opportunities, but it can also create a hamster wheel of bespoke, low profit unpredictable work. When we have a Sustainable Competitive Advantage (see last month’s newsletter), we have more influence on the kind of work we’ll win, which enables us to create a Sales Budget that’s an achievable stretch.

We can decide how much work we want in each of our core products and services, and that enables us to:

  • Plan full marketing campaigns, with specific Call to Actions

  • Plan the team and resources we need

  • Increase our profitable growth

Our Sales Budget clearly shows:

  1. How much work we need from each of our core products and services to achieve our targeted turnover

  2. How much of that is expected to come from existing service or retainer contracts

  3. How much new work we’ll need to win

  4. AND specific actions required to gain and retain our ideal clients

Sales Budgets are often created in isolation from other departments, who are then expected to respond and adapt their focus. There’s a huge benefit to be gained in co-creating and sharing the Sales Budget, with other departments understanding their roles, contributing ideas and challenging assumptions so that achieving the Sales Target and Invoiced Revenue becomes a team effort and not a siloed venture.

NB: Reviewing the creation of a Sales Budget in the Leadership Gym, lead to an interesting discussion on business models. For example, some leaders decided to prioritise service and retainer contracts, to better predict income and cash.


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