Learning how data helps you make decisions with Stephanie Sanders

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Episode Summary

Data-driven teams use company-wide data insights to identify, advance, and achieve their business goals. And using data, you can have insight into how your employees operate daily.

But inaccurate data can be a big problem that can lead to bad business decisions and negative business performance. Also, incorrect data can lead to a drop in productivity because everyone — sales, marketing, customer support, etc. — uses the same data.

According to Stephanie Sanders, it’s important to take action if data seems inaccurate and collaborate with others to get their perspective. “It’s always about communication. It’s always about being open to other perspectives and ways of looking at the same slice of the pie and then using that to help progress your agenda and everything else in the next situation,” says Stephanie.

In this episode of Taking the Lead, Stephanie explains how you can use data as a diagnostic and to make decisions. Stephanie and our host Christina Brady discuss the importance of being open to other perspectives when analyzing data, data usage in the sales funnel, and wrong data.

Guest Profile


Key Insights

Episode Highlights

Using Data to Make Decisions

“The first part is just knowing the steps that need to be happening and where; that’s part of the process. And the thing with measuring any of this, unfortunately, is a little bit retroactive in certain instances. We don’t do QBR or anything to that extent here yet, but I do like to sit down with the team at the beginning of a new quarter and look at everything that happened in the previous quarter. Not so much as a way to dwell on the past, but it’s like when you look at something with that more bird’s eye view, a lot of times there are patterns and things that emerge that you don’t see when you’re looking at it on a deal-by-deal level. […]

Just being able to experiment and being able to compare, ‘This is what we saw over this period versus these are the changes we made and what we saw through this period.’ It really helps us understand how things are moving and what’s impacting the overall performance.”

What If the Data Is Wrong?

I’m not saying we have any issues with this at Contractbook, but sometimes there’s a little tension between marketing and sales. And I think, here, we do a really good job of avoiding that. But we were in a meeting, presenting the numbers over a certain period, and it was one of those things I was looking at, and I was like, ‘That can’t be right; that just cannot be the right number.’ And I am very direct; I probably should have just held that to myself until the meeting was over and talked separately to that person, but I think the good part to come out of it was that I raised the concern, and I said, ‘I’d really like to look at this with you. Can you show me where you pulled this from?’ And then, I met with that person separately, and we realized there was an error. And so, to me, there was no question the next time because we had looked at it together, we’d worked on it together, and we’d found where the error was coming from. […]

People want to know why. They want to have that explanation if something’s different than what it’s been or what they think it should be, the reasoning behind it, what’s happened, and what’s going to be done to prevent it from happening again in the future.”

Sales Leader Partners

“RevOps, that’s the given, but actually within our organization, we have a data team as well that is under RevOps, and that is something that I haven’t had the luxury of having at previous jobs, which is really helpful. 

For a company that is the size we are — we’re like 130 to 140 employees — we have a RevOps function, we have sales ops, we have marketing ops, and we have business ops. We’ve got a lot of resources there that I haven’t had at other companies with the same employee count. So, that helps a lot. Otherwise, previously it’s been more so a function of sometimes even finance or operations, in general, being the ones that house that type of information. But I think most sales leaders are going to rely the most heavily on RevOps or sales ops, which is tough because they’re so busy.”