Growth Driver #10 – Define Decisions at Customer Touch Points Before Investing in BI Tools

Defining the key decisions and information requirements at all customer touch points is a critical prerequisite to investing in BI capability.

I recently co-hosted a webinar with Chris Winter, head of Enterprise Solutions at DOMO. Our discussion focused on Optimizing the Selling Machine. We talked about business intelligence, data, and decision making.

Since that webinar, I have had a number of conversations with Sales and Senior Leaders about business intelligence as it pertains to sales and marketing. And, there’s one theme that has been resonating louder than the rest.

Here is how the theme has emerged in conversation:

  • With our marketing lead generation, social media, CRM our ordering, customer service, and fulfillment systems, we have really great data.
  • Our data completely cover our customer relationships end-to-end.
  • We now know more about our customers and our interactions with them than ever before, it’s amazing!


  • All this data has not lead to fundamental changes or improvements in how we sell or manage our sales efforts.

It turns out, that in all of these situations there were two fundamental gaps that had yet to be closed.

The first was the tools that enabled these managers to move from snap shots of data to trends and patterns of performance, and beyond to comparative analyses of multiple factors. We call this Business Intelligence.  The second, and most important gap was a set of fundamental links between business intelligence and  Sales and Management actions. In other words, the map tying information to actions and decisions across all of those customer touch points, action which in the end would lead to fundamental change.

Before you beef up your BI with a system from companies such as DOMO or Microstrategy, or deploy the next layer of, take a step back and define the key decisions your reps, agents, account managers, and managers need to make across all customer touch points and nail down what intelligence would enable their ability to act faster or differently with greater effectiveness. And. remember there are a critical few measures that matter at every step. Failing to do so risks disabling decision making and impairing growth.

This makes the 10th and final Growth Driver, links to the previous nine are listed below:

  1. Growth Driver #1 – Confirm Your Revenue Model
  2. Growth Driver #2 – Increase Your Value
  3. Growth Driver #3 – Sell the Way Customers Buy
  4. Growth Driver #4 – Pursue a Mix of Revenue Gains and Drains
  5. Growth Driver #5 – Identify Growth Themes
  6. Growth Driver #6 – Create a Road Map to Success
  7. Growth Driver #7 – Tighten Your Focus on Sales Management
  8. Growth Driver #8 – Assess Your Turnover Risk
  9. Growth Driver #9 – Focus on Opportunity Creation


2 Comments on “Growth Driver #10 – Define Decisions at Customer Touch Points Before Investing in BI Tools”

  1. Hey, Tom: this post resonated for me and what I am focused on right now: using market potential data to help set sales quotas.

    I am surprised by what seems to be a general lack of effort to gather market potential data and use it during product forecasting. No wonder sales quotas have such low regard! If marketers don’t apply national market potential data when forecasting by product, it should be no surprise it’s not reflected in territory quotas!

    • knighttg says:

      Mark: I am dismayed at the amount of top down goal setting which starts with the gross market and assumes x% share without regard for target segment’s demand or each individual territories performance. I am also amazed at how few companies use an algorithm to forecast sales out of their pipeline. Most I encounter still use the salesforce % by stage and don’t do anything to align the stage to the sales process or test this assumption.

      Happy to talk more about this and share ideas on what to do about it.

      Clearly, more data is not the answer, but the right data is.

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