It's the fourth quarter, and everyone is under pressure to close the year strong. For most companies, that means a mandate to cut spending and close more deals. However, one of those instructions often undermines the other. Marketing budgets are often the first to experience cuts, and these cuts can feel self-defeating. Marketing creates sales, and a healthy marketing and sales pipeline is key to sustainable growth.
Making this argument may not change your Q4 reality, though. Instead, we offer some practical suggestions of marketing and sales activities to stop, and some to start, to meet your budget and sales targets.
If you must cut sales and marketing spend, consider:
- Ad spend: Take a look at your contracts. Are there any ads that could be pushed out or re-allocated?
- Say no to more print collateral. Toss the out-of-date materials, and wait to see if you really need a replacement.
- Examine your trade show schedule. Could any be dropped? Are all staffers necessary? Travel and opportunity cost of your attendees' time probably represents 1/2 of total spend. Look for ways to maximize trade show ROI.
Improve your sales in the last quarter with fast tactics like:
- Referral outreach: The more specific the request, the better the results.
- Bring one new idea to each current customer—they're the fastest to close.
- Fish or cut the bait: Give stale leads one last chance with an email and offer. Check whether they've engaged with your lead nurture campaigns. If not, purge and start fresh for the new year.
Check out our full 12-step checklist for cutting spend and improving sales by year's end.