How To Become More "Data-Driven" As A Revenue Leader
Being “data-driven.” It’s the most cliched recommendation from “thought leaders" and marketers across SaaS. But being data-driven is one of those concepts that everyone recommends to do but few do it well. I’d love to know how data driven certain CMO’s or thought leaders “actually” are when running their unit / teams.
The reason is quite simple.
Getting data accurate and assessing across your MarTech stack to cover the end-to-end funnel is difficult. In many scenarios, it’s difficult to trust the data, make decisions from the data, even understand the data and hence impossible to be "data-driven".
The theory to be “data-driven” is obvious. The reality of operating in a “data-driven” way is a challenge. But it’s a challenge you need to solve. The reason is that the longer a marketing leader operates without effective data and the longer period they can not deliver insights to a CEO or board. Your credibility slowly wilts. It slowly diminishes. If you never solve it you will never provide the leadership, value and credibility into the business.
You may think you have 15 HubSpot / Salesforce dashboards that show the funnel. You can present each one in its siloed entity which shows a picture of pipeline health. In my experience that never satisfies the CEO. The CEO/ board wants to understand the complete flow through of the funnel from marketing to new business, cross-sell, up-sell to advocacy. The detail of each component of that funnel and what it means in the context of understanding how the business will look now and in 3-6 months time.
The average marketing leader says they are “data driven." The great marketing leader has built a full operational data model covering the entire funnel with all inputs across every channel included into the visualisation.
The great marketing leader will then be able to deliver “data insights”.
Think about the framing; it's different. "Data-driven" is thinking you are great with data because you tell everyone you are "data-driven" (and in a lot of cases with the detail to prove you are data driven - this is similar to people calling themselves ‘thought leaders’ - another common bugbear of mine!!). If you deliver “data-insights” you are taking action on the data.
Most likely because you have built the data model to inform recommendations, suggestions and improvements into the sales and marketing funnel.
Your goal is to deliver “data insights”.
The end state goal is to have a holistic picture of the entire funnel.