This content, written by Kyle Coleman, was initially posted in Looker Blog on Sep 3, 2015. The content is subject to limited support.
The top of the funnel is a numbers game. A game that becomes considerably easier when you have real-time access to all the numbers. And easier still when these numbers are consistent across every department. This consistency and reliability allows confident, data-driven decisions at the top of the funnel that can impact the entire organization.
At Looker, we pipe our Salesforce.com data to our Amazon Redshift database (as well as many other data sources like Zendesk, etc), and run Looker on top for analysis. As such, we’ve almost entirely eliminated native reporting in Salesforce and instead rely on our own product. Looker queries are simple to build and , making this data readily available to anyone who needs it.
One key metric we track at the top of the funnel is overall lead flow: current, retroactive, and forecasted. This allows us to properly allocate resources as we spot trends. For example, we’re currently building our footprint on the East Coast and must create hiring and sales goals accordingly. Here’s a Look at lead flow in key states over the last 12 months:
Does our hiring plan fit this trend? How did we handle the extra demand late last year? What’s up with that February spike? Should we hold a local event to accommodate our East Coast leads? Sales and Marketing leadership are equipped to ask these questions, drill into the data, and have meaningful conversations to more smoothly guide the growth of the company. Of course, these decisions would also be guided by deeper funnel analysis and looking at the different rates that these leads turn into customers (the conversion rate), but even this simple chart giving us hard facts instead of gut feelings gives us a great place to start.
This kind of analysis is something we look at as a part of the day-to-day operations at Looker. An even more specific key metric our Sales Development Reps (SDRs) are measured against is outbound lead creation (leads that are created through each SDRs effort to reach out and meet data analysts). The number of outbound leads an SDR generates each week is a good indicator of the meetings / appointments they’ll set the following week, so this is an element on each SDR’s individual dashboard:
This is a hot topic in the one-on-one meetings I have with my team members. In the example above, this particular SDR was prepping for his summer vacation. Notice the big spike in leads created the week before he left. Two of the last three weeks have been a little slow. What other initiatives has he been focused on that were taking his time? Are there process tweaks we need to make to get things back on track? (I’ll explore deeper analysis on campaign research, creation, and efficacy in later posts).
I only scratched the surface of the kinds of analyses we do at the top of the funnel, and I could talk all day about our various use cases. The important part is that everyone is looking at and acting upon the same data: from the C-Suite all the way to the individual reps. Because of this, everyone understands not just how we’re playing the numbers game, but how we’re optimizing our company and our process around the data.
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