Feb 212013

In late Jan 2013, another article was presented talking up the focus and importance of data.

Roman Stanek, the founder and CEO of GoodData, stated; In the past, “big data” as it’s come to be called was mostly limited to big companies with whole business intelligence functions and massive investments. Now, it’s democratized to the point where you encounter it almost every day as a consumer, and  tools are being developed for everybody from small businesses to individual salespeople.

Ok, so we get the fact all types of organisations need and should be focusing their business decisions using data. If we focus on the process of generating revenue, which infers customer (or buyer as we like to call them), then the problem is how does the plethora of data reflect the needs of the buyer, in particular those that are your ideal buyers. Meaningful data is often overlooked with the focus on BIG DATA, mostly spruiked by data vendors and is often managed in total isolation to an organisations overall focus. That focus can be best described as front end (revenue generation) and backend (revenue saving).

For those leaders responsible for generating revenue (frontend), data plays a huge roll but is often used adhoc.  The best example is to consider how well an organisation can answer a few simple questions such as “how many leads does the company need to generate this month to help sales reach goal?”.  The answer will be complicated… but it shouldn’t be. Data (numbers), offer the ability to measure something and if you can measure you can manage.

The question is what should you measure to manage revenue performance?

We’ve a few ideas which you can learn more about in our Secrets to building a Revenue Engine paper


Feb 012013

IBM stepped forward recently to state the blatant obvious.  As a vendor with clear bias towards the message, we’re not convinced this message leaves the business community any better off.

“Big data will spell the death of customer segmentation and force the marketer to understand each customer as an individual within 18 months or risk being left in the dust, according to IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty”

Data is important, as is aligning to buyer cycles and customer needs but is this statement that compelling, to infer we are ready to move on from segmentation within a few years?  Perhaps the shift is from the word… not the intent. Business can and should rely on data, but make it meaningful and part of the overall revenue performance picture.  That shift may be the adoption of buyer “behaviour over attitude”, if nothing but a start. Measuring performance and basing a business plan around what customers “do” versus what they “say they’ll do”, are polar extremes when making decisions based on fact, not fiction.

Learn more in our 8 Miracles to building sustainable revenue performance


Sep 012012

Not all of your data is important.  There… we’ve said it and it’s now on the table!

The context of this point is really based on the principle that your business has huge amounts of data, large enough budgets to pay data analytics firms to make something of it and that you’ve then got the additional funds to implement the insights, your data offers.

Another reason we make that statement is due to the NOISE being spruiked by hardware and software vendors. Granted data plays an important role in managing a business to be an industry leader or innovating, but it isn’t everything. Data plays a central and pivotal role in measuring performance, providing insights and offering business leaders clarity on what to manage.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

The explosion of online (digital) activity has reinforced the need to capture data and use it to improve business performance. The value of data is often misleading as it assumes that your market is purely online, often known as pureplay. If so, great you’re in the right place.

Unfortunately, there are many businesses, which entertain offline activity across all functions of a business and that is unlikely to change too fast.

Data, as the new black oil, was mostly based on financial and operational roles and is now equally valued when applied to the consumer. For simplicity we call the roles that service the consumer (customer, buyer, prospect, market etc) the “front-end”.  Many other traditional data sources are still needed including procurement, billing, staff kpi’s and idle stock to name an important few. We refer to these as “back-end” data sources.

So if most meaningful data is applied to the consumer “front-end”, then it needs to be said the data type falls into one of two options.  Either i)the known customer or ii) the broader market.

Much of the big data hype, has been rightfully based on those businesses which have deep customer transactions, notably financial institutions, telecommunications and utilities. Each of these sectors reflect how our society is wired and our transactions are guaranteed for them, offering them data rich intelligence. Remember information leads to intelligence and intelligence leads to insights.

An area of significant focus is the use and adoption of research.  It has a place, but many businesses place a higher value on what people “do”, over what they “say they’ll do”. Think behaviour (doing) versus attitude (saying).

Revenue performance needs to be based on your Ideal Buyer Criteria (IBC). Defining your IBC means deep insights into your data to articulate your buyer segments, the profits they deliver, their tenure, your cost of serve and many more metrics. Basically use the data that shows what customers “do”.

Once defined, sizing your market will be a fundamental next step. This step is the critical one, whereby your ability to define a realistic business plan is quantified. Without this step, your “Revenue Engine®” may be flawed from the start.  Learn more about a “Revenue Engine®” here.