6 Keys to Generating Revenue-Driven, Actionable Insights from Your Data

Rachel Gammon

January 5, 2022 in Revenue Operations

If RevOps were a sentient being, the lifeblood pumping through its veins would be data. Without a rich, steady, real-time supply of quality data, RevOps would not be able to do what it does best. Its strength is providing executive-level insights for making intelligent decisions that impact revenue. 

Good data analyzed intelligently and presented well can provide full enterprise visibility and actionable insights across the customer journey. As an operating partner or managing director, you’ll be able to:

  • Spot emerging trends early
  • Pinpoint operational weakness
  • Discover new revenue opportunities
  • Make stronger forecasts

Revenue-driven data informs better pipeline accountability and enables discovery of the right deals, right reps, right accounts, and smarter go-to-market decisions — all with much greater confidence.

The Value of Actionable Insights

Data analytics takes good data and turns it into the actionable insights you need to optimize revenue across the enterprise. This means you get more than just facts, such as the quarterly sales numbers. Instead, you get real insights that help you determine optimal solutions. 

A few examples of actionable insight include these scenarios:

  • Sales have increased only 5% over the last quarter. Are disruptions in the supply chain turning customers away?
  • We lost 27 customers to our competitor after their last marketing campaign. What incentives can we launch to bring them back?
  • Customer success complaints have increased by 10% since changing vendors. Is the product quality the problem?

With specific, detailed insight and the right tools in your tech stack, you can make more informed, revenue-focused decisions in response to real-world events. You can also discover where your revenue is leaky and where it can grow — from sales to marketing to customer experience. 

Data is required to manage and optimize end-to-end revenue processes, according to Gartner. But too often we find companies aren’t producing quality data. This hurts their business and puts them at risk. To avoid falling into the trap of mismanaged data, follow these six principles. Learn how to leverage your organization’s data to achieve optimal revenue performance.

1—Gather the Right Data and Perform the Right Analytics

RevOps is fueled by a variety of data from sales, marketing, and customer service. Sales data examples include close rates, win and loss rates, pipeline trends, and forecast accuracy. Marketing data examples include satisfaction scores, surveys, and website and app analytics. Customer success data examples include customer churn rates, conversion rates, customer lifetime value, and satisfaction scores.

Analytics in RevOps includes two primary processes: pipeline and forecast analytics.

  • Pipeline analytics: Allows managers to see how well their sales reps are bringing in new business or expanding sales opportunities with existing customers. Managers can identify who their strong “hunters” or “farmers” are, and who isn’t contributing to the company’s sales goals.
  • Forecast analytics: Examines information from new open opportunities with future close dates. It looks at the percent likely to close, the potential upsell or cross-sell opportunities and if the deal is at risk and provides a forecast number. This allows managers to identify gaps. One example is: John forecasted $1 million this month, but only sold $500,000. What happened? If a deal slipped or was lost, a decision can be made to prevent the same result in the future. This both solves the problem and improves the accuracy of future forecasts.

With the right analytics, you get answers to critical questions and insight. With that information, you can make better decisions on issues such as: 

  • Forecasting business growth and risk  
  • Understanding why you experienced sales highs or lows
  • Setting well-informed sales and marketing targets
  • Finding the cause of missed goals by company, department, team, or individual

2—Install Intelligent Data Governance

To optimize your revenue data, you need to treat it as a corporate asset and manage it intelligently across its lifecycle. This is called data governance. It’s an institution-wide framework of principles and decision-making structures and roles for exercising authority and control over data management. 

Data governance is set up to achieve several goals. Among them is gaining the ability to: 

  • Easily identify key sources of truth
  • Minimize data-related costs and risks
  • Increase the value of your data
  • Make your data more searchable and accessible across the enterprise

Data governance is a critical, yet often overlooked, function. However, several factors are driving the need for data governance. Among them are the massive growth of data, regulatory compliance, and data privacy laws. Data that isn’t well managed can become a liability. When misused or not protected, it can lead to several high-stakes risks. Poorly managed data can lead to confusion within the organization regarding “the right data” and public mistrust of your organization. 

A well-established data governance system should include these objectives:

  • Control the number of data sources your organization uses
  • Limit the number of people who can edit or upload new data
  • Maintain clear documentation that explains the data
  • Implement a change management process for major updates

3—Develop a Data Visualization Plan   

Even in an age with a wealth of digital tools, many companies are still sharing reports in PowerPoint and Excel. These reports are time consuming to produce and prone to operator errors. As a result, they are often only produced monthly. However, today’s organizations need real-time reporting shared daily or even hourly. Enter data visualization. 

Data visualization is the process of translating large, raw data sets and metrics into charts, graphs, maps, and other visuals. It’s more user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing than raw data. As a result, it makes it easier and more powerful to communicate revenue-focused insights. 

Investing in a data visualization plan will achieve several important goals, including:

  • Allow executives to produce more impactful and frequent reports quickly
  • Easily identify important trends, patterns, and outliers within large datasets
  • Provide a structure that defines the insights you need and questions you need answered
  • Reduce the time spent creating reports manually 
  • Remove human error

4—Eliminate Data Silos and Make Data Collaborative

In a study, 48% of marketers said their biggest barrier to leveraging data is fragmented or siloed data. Siloed data made it tough for them to get the accurate, integrated view of today’s complex customer journeys. This led some marketers to use unreliable data because it’s easy.

Silos create disconnects between teams and generate confusion about data accuracy. As a result, they inhibit opportunities for revenue growth. This can lead to a range of problems that impact meeting sales quotes, marketing campaign results, and customer success outcomes. 

To optimize revenue generation across your enterprise, silos need to be eliminated. Once eliminated, departments should be structured to work together with a single common purpose. 

With access to relevant data from sales, marketing, and customer success, the entire organization gains a holistic view of the customer journey. With access to shared inputs from key departments, everyone can make better decisions that impact higher revenue generation.

5—Deploy the Right Tools in Your Tech Stack 

Your tech stack will be the engine of your RevOps program. There are three key technologies you need to maximize your business opportunities: 

  • A well-built CRM. Applications like HubSpot and Salesforce, when optimized, will be foundational. They provide the ability to interact with and manage your customers throughout their entire journey. 
  • Data visualization application. Once your customer relationship management (CRM) software is solid, tools like Microsoft Power BI or Tableau Software can be deployed. They can pull together data from many sources to create high-impact visualizations.
  • AI and ML. Advanced organizations that have mastered data governance can add more sophisticated tools to their RevOps function. These applications, like artificial intelligence and machine learning, can provide new ways to understand revenue data and emerging trends. Examples of these applications include InsightSquared, Boost.ai, and Clari. 

6—Create an Executive Dashboard 

As an executive, your time is limited. You don’t want to spend it scrolling through an Excel file or PowerPoint deck. You need fast access to relevant insights to make critical decisions quickly and with confidence. This can be achieved with a dynamic executive dashboard. 

Dashboards provide a fast way to find what you need for critical decision making. They also let you share critical insights with your leadership team rapidly, such as:

  • The overall health of the organization
  • Which business units are struggling
  • What the sales forecast looks like
  • How much potential business is in the pipeline

Ideally, executive dashboards should include a range of components, for example:

  • Sales leaderboards
  • Pipeline analytics
  • Forecast analytics
  • Quota attainment figures
  • New opportunities numbers
  • Closed deals numbers
  • Lost deals numbers
  • Month-over-month and year-over-year variances

Do You Have the Right RevOps Team in Place?

Data analytics has become a critical player in how modern organizations achieve the best insights and drive effective, revenue-focused decision-making. But to leverage data analytics, organizations need to first make their data a priority. 

To elevate data to its rightful position in your company or portfolio requires these capabilities:

  • Having access to quality data
  • Managing it well
  • Making it easy to communicate
  • Making it a collaborative effort among teams
  • Deploying the right analytic tools
  • Giving decision makers easy access to high-value insights 

You can easily leverage the power and potential of quality data and analytics when you leverage RevOps. If you don’t have a team of data analysts or scientists available to build or rebuild your data analytics processes, you can leverage the knowledge and skills of an experienced RevOps outsource team. 

The right team can help you avoid the pitfalls and accelerate your journey to an optimized state of revenue generation. As a result, you’ll be able to make smarter decisions, optimize your business functions, improve enterprise communication, eliminate inefficiencies, expand your customer base, and grow your revenue. 

To meet a seasoned RevOps team that can help maximize revenue growth across your company or portfolio, contact Cortado Group today. You can also download our full report, RevOps Intelligence in Private Equity Firms

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