We’re all familiar with the old business adage, “You have to spend money to make money.” While it rings true, there are a lot of ways you can spend money and not all have an equal return on investment.
One tried and true way that sales teams have been investing money is by utilizing a Travel and Entertainment budget to increase facetime with prospects to ultimately convert them into customers. Teams are spending money on travel, meals, and entertainment in order to book more meetings and close more deals. But how much is too much? It’s important to track T&E spending so you can ultimately monitor the ROI. However, the only way you’re going to be able to do that is if your sales reps have an incredibly easy and quick way to attribute their expenses back to the appropriate clients.
Yieldbot has figured out how to do precisely that.
It all begins with a process
Yieldbot, an ad-tech company in New York obsessed with ways that they can tap big data to optimize digital advertising campaigns, took that same obsession with data and parlayed it into their internal finance operations. Matt Horn, Yieldbot’s Finance Manager, wanted to implement a structured system to track the team’s expenses against the revenue they were generating. He wanted to accomplish two things:
- Roll out an easy to use solution that got his sales reps filing expenses in real-time so that he would get faster visibility into their spend.
- Utilize the Abacus expense tagging system to attribute prospective clients to a sales rep’s expenses.
Matt turned to Abacus to build his new process.
“We had been using an expense platform that made associating expenses and their related client data cumbersome, which translated into a large visibility gap in our reporting. So when we decided to use a tool to facilitate ease of use for our employees, I wanted to find something that would also help me track all sorts of metadata for more comprehensive reporting later on. Abacus offered a really simple interface for my organization while also giving me full reporting flexibility.” – Matt
Data Driven Spending
Now that the data was being tracked in real-time, he was able to use Abacus’ search and filtering tools to report on the expense data, keeping his finger on the pulse of client spend. But collecting and reporting on spend data was just the beginning.
Now that Matt is keyed into the actual numbers and data, he’s able to help the sales team make more informed decisions. For most teams, spending info is a one-way street. Expenses are funneled into the Finance team never to be seen by the team again. So Matt developed a reporting process that recycled the data right back to sales managers so they could understand how much their team was spending per client versus how much revenue was generated by that client.
The Yieldbot team also pays close attention to the breakdown of categories of spend to hone in on which activities tend work best.
“We believe in full transparency and we circulate expense data back to Sales Managers so they can make better decisions about budgets and their sales cycles. It’s rarely about policing team spend, it’s mostly about making sure folks know where the dollars are going and coming from.” – Matt
To learn more about how your sales team can measure the ROI of travel and entertainment spend, schedule a demo or start a free trial of Abacus today!!