George Thomas 0:08
Ready to spend 15 minutes with the experts you admire these strategy sessions from thought leaders brought directly to your ears. Welcome to the sprocket talk 15 minute strategy podcast where every week George B Thomas uncovers the challenges that sales, marketing and service professionals face and of course, the strategies to help them overcome their biggest hurdles. So sit back and set your sights on growth with these bite sized conversations filled with your strategy gold. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 15 minute strategy podcast. Hey, sprockets ears. It's your boy George B. Thomas. We're back with another episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast where we try to give you a strategy that can affect sales marketing service, or maybe the business in whole in 15 minutes or less. We're never less sometimes more. Okay, let's be honest. Most of the times we're more but I'm super excited today because we have a buddy of Powell somebody I have known for years. Even
Before where he currently is. But Pete, before we jump into the deep end of the pool, on the strategy podcast, why don't you let the sprockets ears the viewers and listeners know who you are, what you do and where you do it. Pete computer CEO of data box or software company that helps organizations get all their data into one spot set goals against it be alerted when things happen and more easily, in an automated way, report the results and share the results to their team, clients, or investors. So Pete, the deep end of the pool I want to dive into is I've been paying attention to the girls and boys out in the marketing sales service space, and they seem to be having a little bit of a problem and that is they are really bad with their data. So as we jump in, let's talk about better behavior around your data and building processes. But to do that, what are the foundational pieces that the sprockets ears the viewers and listeners need to know to carry on this conversation today?
Pete Caputa 1:54
The guys in a software company might be surprised for me to say this, but it's not about the software. But what we've discovered That most organizations use data sporadically.
Or because someone asked for something, and they're not thinking strategically about what they should be measuring how they should be measuring it, how they should be tracking it, how and how, how they should set goals against it, and things like that. So we're on a mission to really help organizations use data better. As an engineer, turn marketer, myself, I'm really passionate about demystifying math for for business people, especially in sales, marketing, customer service, and we're the front office stuff. So Pete, when we think about using data better, what are either a and this could be a very broad question, what are some places that people should just inherently immediately be measuring if they're not, and maybe even some timeframes in which they should be doing those measurements to we have a training program that we actually just launched if you go to data box COMM And Click training in the top navigation, you'll see it's called the predictable performance methodology. It's a, it's free, video based, there's really three steps that we push organizations to do. The first thing is to get aligned about what metrics to track. So we walk companies through an exercise where we ask them what they're working on, and how and and how to measure what what they're working on, as well as the impact that it has. We like to call them output metrics and outcome metrics. That's kind of the first step. Second step is saying, All right, well, now that you know what your output is, say you're making a certain amount of sales calls or you're writing a certain amount of blog posts, or you're spending a certain amount of money on Facebook ads, that's your those are your output metrics. Those are the things you do. And then the outcomes of course, are things that are a little more usually a little more important to the business. The things that you're asked to report on usually, such as how much traffic do we get how many signups did we get? How many leads do we gather? How many customers or how much revenue did we get?
Get from our marketing and sales activity. And and that's the first step is really getting aligned around that. And then we're all about helping them think through how do they analyze that. So when you're analyzing your blog performance, you might want to look at things like which author is that has the best performing content? Which topics? Of course, which posts individually have the best performance? And then why how are they performing? Are they are they are people reading them in full? Are people converting when they read them? They converting the lead kerning to sale? Are people are your existing customers reading? Are they coming back? Are your subscribers coming back in? So those are the kind of output metrics that you might want to measure, say, for example, with your content marketing or blogging, and that's that's next step is analyzed. And then from there, it's adjust and I think this is the part that most organizations don't quite get, right. It's adjusting your strategy adjusting what you do, how frequently you do it, you know, the details about how you've executed upon it. And just to take that
You know, stick with blogging as an example for, for sake of example here, you know, you might change the topics or the keywords you're targeting, you might work, you might have one author who seems to do well do more, you might do just more of it. If, if you're getting the results, or you might take the content that's performing well and figuring out how to update it or promote it more. So there's so many different things you could adjust in your plan.
In order to get better results, get more people reading it, get people reading the whole thing, get people converting it. So we're all about that align, analyze, adjust, and that process that everyone in the organization should do. Everyone should think about the things they're doing and the impact it has. And think about what metrics you can use to measure both of those and start to analyze and improve your own perform.
George Thomas 5:48
I love that we have a framework that you guys are providing for Well, everybody, but especially now because the sprockets ears are listening to this. They can go and they can get this will leave a link in
The shownotes. And I'll ask for that again, because I'm sure that might be where you want to send people after this episode. But if you're a person who now is listening to this, and you want to start paying attention to your data, but you're kind of lost and how you would do that, if somebody asked you the question, How do I get started? What's your answer to that?
Pete Caputa 6:20
Right? tactically speaking, it's what tools are you using? And what do those tools measure? A lot of organizations, especially as they get larger, tend to like invent their own metrics or have a specific way they want to look at it. But I find that people that create SAS software these days, put a lot of thought into that, and will generally provide you the metrics that you need to track. So you should always start there. And so it's a matter of like listing out what tools you use, whether that's Google Analytics, or Google ads or Facebook ads or HubSpot, or MailChimp or activecampaign, whatever it is, literally start by logging in and seeing what you can measure. And then from there, I think a lot of times when you're doing
things, it might not your software might not measure how often you do things and think that's just as important to measure your output as the outcomes, especially if you can correlate those two. And so sometimes it's just using a Google Sheet and keeping track of things manually, but very tactically speaking, you know, start with the tools using the data that's in there.
George Thomas 7:17
So let's dive into the process side of this conversation that we're having. And you're got the tools in place, you're collecting the data, you've already said that many people, even though they start to collect the data, they don't necessarily always use it. And we actually did an episode with Christopher Penn A while back if you haven't listened to that episode, go listen to that, where he talks about people using predictive analytics or paying for it and not ever using it's like having a bike and not writing it down the road. you're leaning into the same thing. So what are some things that you once you have the data once you have maybe data box and dashboards and all this stuff is coming in there? What are some things that you can fundamentally change about your process or focus Focusing on your process to really make those tweaks that are going to get you to help you grow better moving forward.
Pete Caputa 8:05
Everything we've talked about till now in last few minutes is all about empowering everyone in the organization to be more data driven. And I don't think an organization can be data driven unless everyone thinks that way and thinks about what they do every day, and how would it impact so that's job number one. But that only takes an organization so far. And I think after that, what's really critical is that the organization has a cadence to how they do things. I think that's a true statement, no matter where you're talking about marketing, sales, HR, or finance or whatever. But from a being a data driven perspective, we're leveraging data to improve your performance
of your business, you have to have a cadence. And so we have a model that we use and we taught at in the last chapter of this training program, which is to build an annual model. So build a spreadsheet model that that takes all of the major things that you do in your business and the major outcomes that you have in your
business and try to figure out what those correlations are and build that model. Now you've done I'm sure this kind of my thought before and like on a very simple basis, what I mean is like, look at the amount of traffic you have on your website and the typical conversion rate to lead and just use that for 12 months of the year and say, okay, you know, assume that either your conversion rates gonna stay the same, or if you think it's going to drop or go up a little bit, but have that as one row and in your spreadsheet. Another row in your spreadsheet might be how many clients cancel, and how much revenue that is that you lose in a given quarter given month. That's step one is you got to build a model for your business doesn't be complicated, but you got to get started somewhere. Otherwise, there's just you're not you're you're not able to really think to be thoughtful about what you should prioritize in order to improve your business. That's step one. Step two is we recommend picking initiatives on a quarterly basis. So an initiative might be Hey, we're going to start doing a lot more video marketing, or, hey, we're already doing video marketing is working
Word to exit five exit, whatever, right? And so that's an initiative. And that's a marketing initiative. You can have sales initiatives, services issues, we have HR initiatives, right? That we do as well. So there's no shortage, the whole organization on a quarterly basis, every director in my company will sit down, write out exactly what they think they should prioritize for that quarter. And we go through that list, we think about what's the, what's the effort required and the impact required and we make decisions about where we're going to prioritize. So that's number two. I think organization that's using data has to do that because they have to be thoughtful about where their resources are. Third step we recommend is setting and resetting goals monthly. What we've discovered because we have a goal tracking and goal setting and tracking feature in our system, what we've discovered is that most companies set annual goals and they don't change out it's not a good habit, because basically you can't sit there and most organizations in January and say we're going to be here by December with any kind of confidence because there's just so many moving parts, so many things that happen you might lose them.
And might lose major clients. You know, there's all kinds of positive things. Of course that can happen to you might have a breakthrough and get get figured out and get more clients on board, right? We recommend revisiting that model every month and saying, what what goal Are we going to achieve this month from there, and it should be realistic, ideally, based on historical data that you have. From there. We recommend having weekly plan. So in our organization, like many agile organizations, we we list out what every person on the team is going to do every week, many times that goes for certain teams that goes into a project management system, like our product team, because there's so many interdependencies on what they're doing for marketing, that could literally be just a quick checklist and the things that we're going to do that we usually done in the past, but every week we sit down, we talked through that and if that's the right thing to do in order to hit the monthly goal that we set, and if it's not we'll adapt our plan. And then finally, the last thing we do is we we try to celebrate wins all the time. I think someone has
We'll, we'll wait till their monthly meeting to celebrate successes of an individual or team or the company. We're trying to do that on on a daily basis. There's in any business, there's good and bad news coming at you every day. And I think it's important to celebrate the wins be objective about them based off of the data, of course, but but to celebrate those wins. So that's kind of the methodology or the the cadence that we follow in.
George Thomas 12:24
Ding, ding, ding spark of tears, we've reached the rewind point, you've got to rewind that section. It is flush full of so much stuff. I heard everything from like, you've got to build the map. So you've got to actually put your pin points in the map to understand where you're going to like, hey, you've got to celebrate those successes along your journey. There's a ton.
Pete Caputa 12:43
So here's the thing is we got this build your annual models, pick your quarterly initiative, set your monthly goals, tweak your daily plan, celebrate your successes on it, tweak your weekly plan, celebrate your successes on a daily basis. So because it is the 15 minute strategy podcast and yes
George Thomas 13:00
Believe it or not, we have reached that destination. I want to ask you one last question. And that as people set out on this journey or as they set out on this journey, what are some potholes or hurdles or problems that you've seen that they face that we can help them not hit and run into,
Pete Caputa 13:15
don't don't treat data or reporting as a, set it and forget it thing we is what we do. Obviously, we have software that allows people to set up dashboards, but there isn't a week that goes by where we don't create a handful of new dashboards in order to measure analyze something in our business. And so we're at the point where we have thousands of dashboards. Now I don't look at them all every day, but I know that they're and have the ability to take a look at that when we need to. And so I think the biggest model organizations make is that they come up with their way of of reporting or analyzing and they do it the same exact way every month. Now, I'm not saying that you should throw it away, but you should always be building upon it and constantly be looking for opportunities for for improvement.
George Thomas 14:00
always improving. Great advice. Pete, if people want to reach out to you if they have questions about data box, if they want to dive deeper into this subject, where do you want to send them,
Pete Caputa 14:09
if you want to check out our free training data box, com, just click training in the top, top Now, the second Now, we also offer a free product as well. So pretty generous limits on it. And so check that out data box comm slash sign up. I have a team of people there and their mission in I wouldn't say life, but mission work is to help our users get set up. We offer free support in chat. There's something we need to research or think about will come back to you by email, but we have chat live 14 hours a day in the free product as well as our paid products. And we're always thinking how do we help companies measure their performance? We figured a lot of stuff out. We haven't figured everything out. But you'll find that if you've got something that you want to accomplish, we'll try to figure it out with you and encourage you to go there somebody wants to talk to me personally. I'm on Twitter, PC4media on LinkedIn, undefeated recruiter and usually pretty responsive.
George Thomas 15:06
So sprocket tears, make sure you check out that free training. Make sure you're paying attention to your data, make sure you're building better processes moving forward, and we'll be here waiting for you on the next episode. Did you enjoy this episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast, we'd love to know. leave a rating and written review wherever you listen to your favorite shows and keep that learning going by visiting sprocket talk comm sign up for your free membership and in that membership area, you can find bundled episodes where we combine like strategies to help you grow better make the world better and share this episode with your friends and co workers who may be battling this same obstacle. You can always reach out to George Thomas on Twitter with questions or guest suggestions or just to talk about your favorite Marvel superhero and go out into the world and leverage this strategy for your success. And we'll see you on the next episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast.
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About the Expert
Pete Caputa helps companies grow by implementing sales and marketing excellence. Pete has worked with 100's of businesses directly as well as helped 100's of agencies and media companies grow by helping their clients achieve predictable, measurable and improvable ROI from the marketing and advertising services they provide.
George Thomas 0:08