Monthly Archives: May 2018

Data Is The New Oil – Only If You Can Capitalize On It

I was thinking about data and an Economist article I read a while back that had compared a new data center to the oil wells of the last century. The article made a point that in the current environment, data is the new currency and companies able to monetize data will be the leaders of the future. If you have not read it, you can find the link here.

Nothing earth-shattering for us in tech, but something to ponder. Does having access to data alone makes the data worthwhile, or is it only useful if you can capitalize on it?

I ask the question in the context of the data sitting in CRM systems. Companies have been acquiring data for years and they are always hesitant to purge it. There is another article from Deloitte Insights that shared an analysis of how incomplete and inaccurate most personal data is, despite reams of marketing data collected as we all browse and shop online.

Biznology did a study that shows B2B data decays an average of 5% per month or 70.3% per year. Think about it – 70% of your data on accounts and contacts decays in one year. Most CRMs have data that has been sitting around for years. There has been no cleanup and no governance process to manage the lifecycle of this data.

Companies not investing in proactively managing the lifecycle in their CRM systems will adversely impact the way their organizations engage with customers. If 70% of your contact data is old in a year, then chances are 7 times out of 10 you are responding to a “dead” contact.

We were working with an organization that has invested in tools like Lean Data to rout leads, yet had to manually route leads to the right person since the underlying data was unreliable. Another customer wants to drive more coordinated engagement among marketing, sales, and support by engaging account and contacts in the context of their journey with the company. They have the data on the accounts and contacts, but it’s not been cleaned and there is no governance structure around managing data. Result: low ROI on campaigns.

Companies owe it to their sales and marketing teams, and to their customers, to get a better handle on the data they have within CRM systems. Cleaning data without a specific goal in mind is not the best use of anyone’s time. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Set goals about what you want to achieve. Consider the various tools ingesting data into the CRM system and run a full inventory to see if all are needed. Identify what data you absolutely need to have to meet the needs of marketing and sales teams and ruthlessly set rules to purge everything else. Understand how your marketing automation data flows into your CRM system, for example.
  2. Make rules for purge and storage. Once you know where the data is coming into the CRM system, work across teams to create a “store” or “purge” list. Purging contacts is important. You will be surprised how often people change roles, companies, or get promoted. Simple flags like no activity over a year, no email address, bad phone number, etc. are reasons to purge records.

Investing in Establishing Data Governance Policies

At fullcast.io, we believe cleaning and purging is not the solution to get a handle on this problem. It is the first step to drain the swamp. As you set about putting rules for the purge, you need to establish policies around data governance. When the data faucet gets turned on, you need to have automation that manages the lifecycle of the key data elements around which you engage with your customers. We believe that selling is a series of events, and each event is supported by a policy. You need to invest in creating these policies and enforce them consistently at the time of data ingestion into the CRM.

Keep your CRM current by applying policies that help you build a self-regulating CRM system. Having data is not enough. Making data work for you so you can disperse leads/accounts/opportunities/cases to the right person is important. You need good data to run a more targeted reach to your customers and engage in the context of their journey with you. It’s rude to reach out to a contact who is no longer an active contact.

It’s a disservice to your sales teams to assign them accounts that can no longer make a buying decision, or have them sell into accounts that may not be in their patch legally because someone else owns the parent account, but your CRM account hierarchy does not reflect that relationship. It’s not fair to your sales planners who struggle to create fair and balanced territories if they are working off an unreliable set of data for accounts.

We would love to learn from your experience on how you handle this at your organization.

Feedback welcome.

Call to action: You need to look at your data if you have done any of the following:

  1. Changed your GTM and ICP.
  2. Entered new markets
  3. Purchased lists
  4. Ingested data into your CRM from third-party tools that push account or contact and activity data into your CRM

fullcast.io GrowthOps Podcast

The world of Sales GrowthOps is ripe with innovation and ever-changing best practices. With your host, @Tyler Simons, the GrowthOps podcast series includes industry expertise from fullcast.io, and other industry experts. We break down the Sales Ops problems we are all trying to solve in our day to day. Whether you live and breathe Sales Operations, or just appreciate a good way to route leads, the GrowthOps Podcast is a must listen to. Its great for anyone interested in hearing and learning how the unique problems in Sales Ops are being solved today.

  • iTunes – If you are in the Apple ecosystem, you can subscribe through iTunes and get it on your desktop or ios device through the podcast app.
  • Google Play – If you are in the Android ecosystem, you can subscribe via the google play store.
  • RSS – If you have a favorite podcast app like “Overcast,” search for the podcast on RSS

Welcome to GrowthOps

What is Growth Ops? It’s a question that we have encountered in almost all our engagements and this post defines GrowthOps.

It’s been over a year since my partner and I left the safety of a comfortable job to follow our passion for building software that will transform sales operations into growth operations. Since then, we’ve been blessed to have a band of committed colleagues who are working on this transformation and customers who have given us this opportunity.

We see sales operations as the critical glue that binds the sales team of a growing organization. We are entering the industrial age of sales with increasing role specialization at every touch point of the customer journey, from campaign to renewal. The days of meeting your growth targets by deploying an army of salespeople are behind us; we grow by deploying special forces with targeted operating procedures to scale.

As with any special forces, more roles mean more orchestration. It demands a finely tuned, backend logistics machine to make the process repeatable and scalable. At fullcast.io, we believe good intentions don’t scale – good processes do. I have yet to meet a salesperson who does not want to meet their target. Yet most sales teams do not attain more than 60% of quota. Think about it – 40% of your sales team will not meet their target. The problem is getting worse.  As per the 2017 Bridge group report, sales productivity is dropping year over year.

Sales ops is a critical and increasingly advanced discipline – one that must be managed with care if your enterprise is to produce predictable revenue gains. Indeed, sales ops now deserves your company’s full attention to reach your full growth potential. While many companies are now buying into the overall promise of Sales Ops, only a small percentage know how to make it happen. Many of today’s sales ops teams are “ill-equipped to rise to the challenge,” contend IDC analysts Michael Gerard and Irina Zvagelsky in a report on “the next-generation sales operations team.”

Looking at the Bridge group report, sales leaders have to ask why throwing people and tools at the sales operations space is not leading to more productivity. We will discuss our approach to automation versus the “hire more people and buy more tools” approach in a separate post.

GrowthOps versus Sales Ops

Sales Operations is about doing things right. GrowthOps is about doing the right things.

The mission of a sales operations team is to make the running of sales teams smooth. They are focused on driving efficiency in the process. Growth Operations is about tying the pre-sales, sales, and post-sales function to top-line CXO growth objectives. It’s about making the process efficient in the context of shifting CXO priorities. Sales Operations is about execution, Growth Operations is about transformation. Just making a process efficient cannot be the end goal. Process efficiency means nothing if the process itself is not continuously monitored for improvement. If you have a process that is not evolving with your organization, making it efficient only means you will be missing opportunities more efficiently.

At the end of the day, the purpose of sales is to help a company grow. Growth depends not just on a company’s ability to generate revenue but also on the overall profitability and predictability of the revenue stream.

Growth requires all functions of marketing, sales, service, and product to align. This is where GrowthOps differs from Sales Operations. Growth operations takes a top-down view of the company’s goals and evaluates the enforcement of process and policy across the campaign to renewal cycle. It uses metrics to provide a feedback loop so businesses become more agile in meeting their customers’ needs.

At fullcast.io, we are doing this by driving automation across the full lifecycle of a sales operations team that is responsible for managing:

  1. Daily motion of the sales teams
  2. Reporting on metrics that drive alignment around growth objectives
  3. Iterative sales planning for finding optimum coverage model for teams, territories, products, and channel partners in support of growth metrics

It’s a huge charter by any stretch but it’s something that we feel confident in delivering.

Introducing the GrowthOps Framework.

We put together this framework to connect CXO goals with the objectives of sales teams engaged with customers and operations teams working in the backend. This framework ensures that companies looking to grow keep their entire revenue team in sync. Sales Operations is no longer working in a vacuum, disconnected from top-line growth aspirations.

The “Grow” row in green is about capturing key growth goals of the company. A growing organization needs to care about all three buckets:

  1. Are we growing revenue?
  2. Are we growing in predictably?
  3. Are we profitable?

Yes, growing companies need to track profitability too. You may choose to reinvest your profits back into the company to fund growth, but you cannot claim that revenue generation alone is your goal.

The “Perform” row in blue, then takes the goals of the Growth aspirations of a company and influences the goals of marketing, sales, and post-sales.

  1. Are we growing through acquisition of new accounts?
  2. What is our growth through expansion in current accounts?
  3. Are we optimizing our pipeline with the right types of accounts that match our current ICP?

As your company grows, your ICP will change or multiply. These questions help you reframe your growth strategy for meeting the top-line growth objectives.

The “Optimize” row in black then drives the priorities for the operations team. They are looking to answer:

  1. Do we have the right roles?
  2. Do we have the right coverage model?
  3. Is our compensation plan aligned to meet the growth goals?

They look at data to answer key growth questions. Devoid of this top-down view framework, the sales operations team ends up working in bottom-up mode. Looking at the organizational goal from the bottom makes the charter of the sales operations team look like an endless game of whack-a-mole. The GrowthOps framework helps organize the unorganized mess that can be sales operations.

Think GrowthOps, not Sales Ops.

Sales operations is about doing things right to help you grow. But GrowthOps is about not just doing things right, but ensuring you are doing the right things. It’s what will make you outperform your peers who are deploying the same sales processes to help them scale. All things equal, the company that can tie its Corporate Strategy to its daily execution rhythm will outperform a company that is looking to operate efficiently but in silos.

Your customer does not engage with you in silos, your company should not be engaging with your customer in silos.

Call to Action:

If you have any feedback on this framework, we want to hear from you.

To learn more about fullcast.io solutions visit here.