Tracking can make a huge difference to startups. This article summarizes a recent interview we held with go-to-market operations expert Andy Mowat.
Do you track the performance of your sales funnel and go-to-market operations?
When you first started your company, you may not have put too much thought into tracking. But as the business scales, it becomes more important. Failure to track your funnels and operations leads to inefficiencies.
Those inefficiencies can cost you both time and money, which is the last thing that a growing startup wants.
You need tracking to help you see where you’re going right…and where you’re going wrong.
In a recent episode of our podcast, I spoke to Andy Mowat about the subject.
He is the Vice President of Growth Operations at Culture Amp.
The company makes it really easy to collect, understand, and act upon employee feedback. Specifically, he focuses on the company’s go-to-market operations.
During our conversation, Andy highlighted seven metrics that you need to track as part of your go-to-market operations.
Metric #1 – Lead Flow
Lead flow is one of the biggest problem areas for startups. You need leads coming into the business regularly to both sustain and grow.
Andy identifies two key issues in regards to tracking lead flow:
- Speed of response
- Lead Destination
In regards to speed, Andy points out that the longer you wait to respond, the less likely you are to turn a lead into a client. Responding to a lead in two minutes leads to more conversions than responding in five or 10 minutes.
Tracking your response times allows you to see if you’re taking too long.
He then covers the issue of who the leads go to. Andy recommends using Confluence Pages. These are essentially internal wikis where you define the processes that your sales team needs to follow.
Creating an internal Confluence Page allows you to create a source of truth in regards to who the leads go to. Your Sales Development Reps (SDRs) can check this Confluence Page to see where the lead goes and ensure it’s in the right place.
Metric #2 – Data Quality
Andy also discusses a concept called lead-to-account matching as an ideal way to track data quality.
He defines a lead as an object that has some fundamental data attached to them. This could include company names, accounts, and contacts.
This is all data that the right tools can categorize.
The key here is that you’re looking to avoid duplication. With lead-to-account matching, you check every new lead that comes in against the ones you already have on your system.
To do that, you create a set of rules for your tools to follow. They check every new lead that comes into the system using those rules. If the tool discovers a duplication in the data, such as a company name that’s already in your system, it flags the lead.
This ensures that your sales team avoids entering the same lead data into the system multiple times. Thus, you avoid any confusion in regards to the status of your leads.
Andy says that you can use automated tools to carry out these checks. The end result is that you have better quality data that ensures your sales team isn’t repeating work.
Metric #3 – Performance Tracking
Andy says that you need to track the answers to two questions in regards to each of your sales reps:
- What’s your time to win?
- What’s your time to loss?
A key issue that you may face is that your days to loss are longer than your days to win. Ultimately, this means your sales team isn’t doing a good job of qualifying your leads. This results in leads that will never qualify staying in your pipeline for longer than they need to.
Your sales team continues dedicating time to these leads, which means they’re not focusing on qualified leads.
That’s why tracking the times for wins and losses is so important. The longer it takes to achieve a loss, the worse the rep’s doing at qualifying your leads.
You should have a good idea of how long it takes to close a lead. Furthermore, you should know how long it takes you to qualify a lead and move it to the next stage of your sales funnel. You should also know what disqualifies a lead, which causes you to remove the lead from your funnel.
Apply this knowledge to your performance tracking. Compare each rep’s numbers to what you already know.
If your rep’s numbers are a long way away from what you’re expecting, you may have unveiled a new coaching opportunity.
Metric #4 – Deal Quality
When it comes to deal quality, Andy says you need to track the answers to these key questions:
- Do you have the right start date for the client?
- Have you got the correct billing address?
- Have you entered all of the data correctly?
- Are your people following the right procedures in terms of discounts and what they’re giving to your clients?
These are all small things. However, there all essential when it comes to moving a lead through your pipeline. Making mistakes in these areas causes delays and may even directly cost your business money.
Such issues often come down to a lack of clarity.
Defining and tracking the answers to these questions improves your deal quality. This improves your interactions with potential clients and helps make your sales and service processes more efficient.
Metric #5 – CPQs
According to Andy, CPQ stands for “Configure, Price, Quote.”
He describes it as a module that helps his team to determine the proper pricing model for the things that the company sells.
The module tracks the following:
- The specific products they’re selling.
- The prices for each of those products.
- If any of the discounts that the company’s running apply to the products.
The end result is a more accurate pricing model.
Many startups do a poor job of tracking their pricing models. You may have your prices vaguely jotted down on a piece of paper or in a document somewhere. Such vagueness opens the door for inconsistency in your pricing.
Implementing this tracking helps you to define your pricing model. It also ensures that new contracts fit that model and you’re only making special offers under set circumstances.
Metric #6 – Pipeline Quality
Pipeline quality has some similarities to deal quality. According to Andy, it’s pretty easy to confuse the two.
He says that tracking pipeline quality means ensuring everything in your pipeline has the correct close date. You also need to track the probability in terms of achieving a conversion.
He also says that it’s important that anyone in the company can see the status of the leads in the pipeline.
There may be other issues that you need to track, such as where the leads are in terms of legal and security. However, those may not apply to your own pipeline.
The key here is to remove any ambiguity from the process. Defining and tracking these things allows you to scale effectively without having to deal with issues later on.
In regards to how deal and pipeline quality differ, pipeline quality examines open opportunities. By contrast, deal quality tracks closed opportunities.
Metric #7 – The Sales Stages in the Pipeline
This is an area where overcomplicating can become a real issue. You don’t want your teams going through sales stages where they’re looking in all sorts of different places for the things they need.
Every stage in the pipeline needs a definition and clear processes in place.
Andy Culture Amp’s way of dealing with the closing of a lead as an example.
Their system prompts the sales rep to fill out a form that asks them several questions. That simple process provisions the account, alerts the right people, and gives them the info they need to work on the account.
This ensures that all of the stages that surround the upcoming kickoff call for that lead get followed.
Using forms allows Culture Amp to track the stages of their pipeline while keeping things simple for their reps.
Each stage in your pipeline needs to offer a similar level of simplicity. The more complex it gets, the harder it is for you to keep track of what’s happening.
The Final Word
This only scratches the surface of the topics that we covered with Andy during the podcast. For each of these points, he dives a lot deeper to provide some valuable information.
Proper tracking is so important once your startup starts scaling and you build a team. It helps you to understand what’s happening so that you can nip any problems in the bud.
There’s a lot more that you can learn from Andy and the many other people that I’ve interviewed for my podcast. We cover a host of topics that may help you to implement tracking and amplify revenue.
Listen & Subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here: