“A penny saved is a penny earned.” We’ve all heard the wise words of Ben Franklin at some point in our lives. And when it comes to your personal finances, it’s generally pretty good advice. Even when it comes to business, specifically your co-op / market development fund, there’s a tendency for leadership to be content with money going unspent – it helps the marketing and sales teams finish the quarter or year within their budget and the leftover money simply drops to the bottom line. But when you really look at the numbers, sorry Ben; a penny saved is revenue left on the table.
So why are companies missing the mark with co-op funding? Traditionally, managing co-op funds has been a labor-intensive effort that leaves the person/people crunching the numbers swimming in spreadsheets. Thankfully, technology has caught up with demand, and solutions are out there to help companies better manage co-op funds, in turn allowing their sales teams to generate more revenue. Done right, sales and marketing teams will even be able to calculate the direct relationship between money spent and revenue generated to achieve a predictable revenue stream.
The key to all of this is efficiency. Sales professionals rely on efficiency to maximize their profit. If something isn’t easy to use, fast or effective, it means less time spent working leads. If you want to get the most out of your co-op funds, you need to make management of those funds efficient and effective. Here’s how:
- Use cloud-based systems to budget, manage and track co-op funds. The enables easier access to numbers in the office or on-the-go.
- Electronically provide sales channels with pre-approved marketing materials they can customize to their local market.
- Enable sales channels to submit receipts or claims through a system that automatically routes them for approval. This will reduce the time both the company and sales person spend on reimbursements.
- Encourages sales channels to develop campaign ideas by implementing a system that allows for easy submission and timely approvals for creative.
- Track spend by marketing channel so you can see trends and share best practices.
Reap the rewards
The right systems – ones that enable better management of co-op funds and the campaigns they support – can empower your sales channel to make great things happen. Over time, you will see direct correlations between money spent and revenue generated, giving leadership and sales professionals alike the ability to better forecast future earnings. With all due respect to Mr. Franklin, a penny spent can be worth a lot more than a penny saved.