There is no true budget season anymore is there?  You may have spent the past few weeks putting together 2016’s “official” budget for your sales and/or marketing needs, but we all know that best-laid plans rarely survive first contact with the battlefield.

New initiatives come up.  Great ideas fall flat.  It’s not a matter of if, but rather now far into 2016 you end up adjusting or flat-out re-evaluating how dollars are allocated to best drive pipeline performance and sales results.

With that said, as best as we could estimate, we worked recently with the fine folks at Dun & Bradstreet Netprospex to identify the top five B2B budgeting priorities heading into 2016.  You can download our full report with objectives, measures of success and recommended vendors here.

What didn’t make the list?  I could easily argue that the following five categories should still have a central spot in your budget and program execution.  From our estimation, the “next five” budget priorities are (not necessarily in this order):

  • Sales enablement software: Get the right message to the right prospect at the right time, drive more accurate & productive sales conversations, plus help your reps spend less time searching for the right content.  Measure success via a higher % active selling time across your sales floor, plus higher conversion of leads to opportunities.  Highspot, Brainshark and DemoChimp are among our recommended vendors.
  • Content curation & distribution: Increase positive impressions and intent with qualified prospects, expand leverage and ROI from the long tail of your content, plus increase value-add to prospects and customers.  Measure success via increased/accelerated impressions with target prospects, plus velocity of progress through the early buying cycle stages.  Uberflip and GaggleAMP are among our recommended vendors.
  • A/B testing software:  Increase response rates across all media, keep offers, landing pages and more fresh & high-performing, plus increase speed of learning and optimization across all marketing efforts.  Measured by before/after response rate growth and velocity of learning, plus sustained average response/conversion rates over time.  Optimizely, Socedo and Unbounce are among our recommended vendors.
  • Sales automation software:  Increase productivity of your sales team, increase consistency of their process execution and messaging leverage, plus provide transparency of what’s working (and what’s not) across the sales floor.  Measured by higher prospect engagement rates, higher lead to conversion rates and more productive sales reps (measured by active selling time).  Tellwise, Salesloft, ToutApp and KiteDesk are among our recommended vendors.
  • Attribution tracking: Increase transparency and understanding of what campaigns are working and converting, quickly optimize your marketing and campaign mix to accelerate performance, plus stop wasting money on marketing that doesn’t work.  Measure success via higher producing campaigns at lower costs, plus speed of learning and adjustments to increase results.  Full Circle Insights, BrightFunnel & Bizible are among our recommended vendors.

So what made the list of our top five budget priorities?  Click here to find out.